Albie Morkel’s 117 wasn’t enough to prevent the Titans from back-to-back defeats against the Knights on Sunday.
It was a one-man show for the Titans at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley, as the 35-year-old skipper rolled back the years to score only his second List A century, off 69 balls. He eventually departed for 117 off 84 balls, which merely frustrated the Knights with the victory all but in the bag.
It was the Knights’ third victory of the campaign, which lifted them off the bottom of the standings, but it’s the second time in this season’s One Day Cup that they’ve got the upper hand over the Titans. This after leapfrogging them to Sunfoil Series glory last month.
The Knights have David Miller and Pite van Biljon to thank for getting them to 302-8, after losing the toss. Miller, playing in his first ever List A match for the Knights, blasted 104 off 100 balls, while Van Biljon smashed 90 off only 76 balls in what was a 185-run stand of 25.5 overs.
It was vital, seeing as it was in between a cautious start by Grant Mokoena (36) and Rudi Second (25) and a late collapse, which saw six wickets fall for just 31 runs in the last five overs.
Knights paceman Marchant de Lange made the chase a near-impossible task after only four overs into his spell, ripping apart the top order with three wickets and a run out. The pace and bounce from the tall right-hander was too much for Jonathan Vandiar (4), Aiden Markram (0) and Heino Kuhn (1) to handle, before contributing to the run out of Behardien for just two.
Tony de Zorzi then needlessly ran himself out for four and Miller took a fine catch to see off David Wiese for six, to leave the visitors reeling on 36-5. A partnership was finally found between skipper Albie Morkel and Shaun von Berg, who added 120 to the total.
Only 29 of those were provided by Von Berg, as Morkel played in a different class to the rest. In terms of the required run rate they actually remained in the hunt, as Morkel smashed four sixes and 13 fours for his 117, but the problem was always the wickets column.
Morkel was the eighth wicket to fall in the 35th over, and that effectively meant the end of the contest, as only eight more runs were added to be bowled out for 191, 111 runs short of the target. It denied the Titans the chance to move ahead of the Dolphins at the top of the standings.
Elsewhere, the Cobras suffered their fifth defeat to leave them stuck at the bottom of the log, as the Warriors grabbed a bonus-point win thanks to a magnificent knock from their captain Jon-Jon Smuts. He hit 173 off 164 balls, and 3-56 from Colin Ingram took their side to second.