Title favourites, the Titans, failed to bring home the maiden Abu Dhabi T20 title, losing by 15 runs after restricting the Lahore Qalandars to 148-6.
‘It’s a bit disappointing. I’d like to be going back with that trophy at the back of the plane, but we played some good cricket here. We dominated the first two games and it will be a good experience for the youngsters who played against some quality players,’ said Titans coach Mark Boucher after losing to the Lahore Qalandars at the weekend.
Sadly, spectator turnout for the tournament was low, but that did little to dampen the enjoyment the Titans players experienced during the three-day tournament.
Arguably the strongest side in the tournament, Boucher admitted that the Qalandars’ score of 148-6 was ‘doable’, but that the Titans big guns failed to fire against the young and hungry Qalanders bowlers.
Left-hand opening batsman Tony de Zorzi stamped his class on the tournament with a terrific century against the Boost Defenders that impressed Titans T20 skipper Albie Morkel.
‘He’s been with our team for a while and played a couple of games last season, but I hope this innings will help to launch his career. That hundred was one of the best T20 innings I’ve seen,’ said Morkel.
In the final, however, De Zorzi was unlucky to get out for a golden duck, although TV replays indicated the ball should have been adjudged to have pitched outside off-stump, in addition to the batsman possibly getting an edge to the ball. Henry Davids followed for nine to leave the Titans on 10-2.
The Titans struggled to hit enough boundaries to put the Qalandars bowling attack under pressure and, as a result, couldn’t keep up with the required run rate, even though Theunis de Bruyn (37), Rivaldo Moonsamy (27) and Heino Kuhn (37) batted well to keep the scoreboard rolling along. They finished their 20 overs on 133-6, coming agonisingly close to what would have been a deserved victory.
‘They bowled brilliantly in the last seven overs – they nailed their yorkers,’ said a disappointed Morkel after the match.
Scores: Lahore Qalandars 148-6, Titans 133-6. Lahore Qalandars won by 15 runs
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