Dean Elgar hammered 98 off 45 balls to help the Titans to a 21-run win over the Knights when the One-Day Cup series resumed in Kimberley on Friday.
He was given the freedom to open up and take the game away from the Knights after Jacques Rudolph had anchored the innings with 119, scored off 135 balls with 11 fours and a six. He was well supported by Henry Davids (51) and Theunis de Bruyn (46) as the Titans compiled 167-2 off 35 overs. It was a solid foundation and enabled Elgar to play with some freedom.
His fifty came up off 30 balls with four sixes and three fours as he and Rudolph added 101 off 68 deliveries, at which point Rudolph was run out.
Elgar, though, felt he had the platform to push on hard. He added two mores sixes and six fours, racing from 54 to 98 off just 14 balls. He had driven one six and was going for another when he was caught on the long-on boundary off the last ball of the innings.
The Knights were faced with a run-rate of 6.6 an over, but Reeza Hendricks and Rudi Second were up for the fight. They put on 84 for the second wicket, keeping in touch with the run-rate. But then both were run out: a hesitant Hendricks was beaten by a piercing throw from Junior Dala, and then Second was undone at the non-strikers end when a drive from Pite van Biljon brushed the bowler’s hand on to the stumps.
Van Biljon fell to a great catch by Elgar on the boundary and while Obus Pienaar (63) and Michael Erlank (37) applied themselves to put on 76 for the fifth wicket, the run-rate continued to climb.
The rest of the innings was a procession of forced shots and good catches.
The Titans are still in fourth place on the log on 13 points, but have now closed the gap on the Highveld Lions to two points.