Aiden Markram’s third century of the campaign and a complete team bowling performance saw the Titans claim the One-Day Cup title by 135 runs at SuperSport Park on Sunday. KHALID MOHIDIN reports.
The One-Day Cup final was dominated by the home side at SuperSport Park after a puzzling decision by Dolphins captain Khaya Zondo to bowl first. The decision was a surprise to many, considering that the record books show that in nine out of 10 day games, the teams batting first at SuperSport Park claim victory.
A superstar performance by Markram put the Titans in an incredible position to prove that stat. Markram scored 127 runs off 88 balls as the Titans posted the highest score in day games at SuperSport Park – 356-5.
With convenor of selectors Linda Zondi in the stands, Markram handed selectors no choice but to pick him in their World Cup XV.
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The Dolphins’ response was underwhelming. Dale Steyn started with a maiden over before he dismissed Vaughn van Jaarsveld in his second over and Senuran Muthusamy in his fifth to give his side the perfect start, in so doing reducing the Dolphins to 37-2.
The visitors got themselves to 72-3 thanks to steady batting from Sarel Erwee (41), but Tabraiz Shamsi outsmarted the Dolphins opener and set up his stumping at the start of the 13th over. Shamsi ended the 13th over with his famous telephone-shoe celebration when he trapped Dolphins skipper Zondo leg before. Zondo was mortified by the decision, as he indicated that he had edged the ball.
This gave Andile Phehlukwayo the platform to prove his batting ability. He batted exquisitely for his 42-ball 43 until a terrible leg-before decision by Adrian Holdstock sent him packing. Phehlukwayo was vividly angry about the decision, and rightly so, as replays showed that he got a clear edge on to his pad. The dismissal gave Steyn (3-36) his third wicket.
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These shocking umpire decisions and the denied leg-before calls in the Titans’ innings make a strong case for DRS to be introduced in the semi-finals and finals of the competition.
Dane Vilas (59) was next to go as the Dolphins were reduced to 172-6 after 28 overs. This brought two new batsmen to the crease, which all but ensured a win for the home side.
A run-out from Markram off the bowling of Shamsi reduced the visitors to 188-7 before they managed to pass the 200-run mark, but Matthew Arnold (2-41) picked up his first wicket of the match by dismissing Eathan Bosch.
Dean Elgar made it 211-9 and Arnold wrapped things up as the Titans sealed a dominating 135-run win to claim the One-Day Cup in triumphant fashion.
Photo: Gordon Arons/Gallo Images