Farhaan Behardien’s 88 helped the Titans consolidate their position at the top of the One-Day Cup log as they beat the Dolphins by 29 runs in Pietermaritzburg.
He was a pillar of strength as the mighty Titans wavered under a determined attack by the Dolphins, who had elected to field. They must have felt it was a good decision, as they restricted the Titans to 242-8 at a manageable 4.8 an over.
It didn’t always look that way, though, as Heino Kuhn (33 off 50) and Tony de Zorzi (38 off 53) put on a solid 79 for the first wicket. But when De Zorzi cut Imran Tahir straight to backward point, and Kuhn followed two balls later after a similar shot, the Titans wavered, losing three more wickets to reach 127-5 in the 33rd over.
Behardien, as he has so often done in this tournament, stepped up to bring order, adding 55 for the sixth wicket with David Wiese (22) and 50 with Tabraiz Shamsi (15 not out) until he fell in the last over. His 88 came from 80 balls with three fours and three sixes.
The Dolphins had more than their fair share of bad luck, with captain Khaya Zondo having to come in at No 7 because of illness; Sarel Erwee pulling a muscle which hampered his movement and Calvin Savage being caught behind as he ducked a bouncer from Albie Morkel.
There was no luck involved, though, when Erwee’s 76 off 102 balls knock was ended by a superb catch by Morkel at gully off the bowling of Shamsi. His loss was keenly felt, as at 143-5 they were still in with a chance. Zondo ended the best of the rest with an unbeaten 36 as the Dolphins were bowled out for 213.
But in the end it was the relentless pressure of the Titans bowling which reduced the Dolphins from 134-3 to 163-7 and ultimately ensured their seventh win out of nine matches, putting them six points clear on the log.
Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix