Ed Moore led a blockbuster batting display by the Warriors as they recorded the highest One-Day Cup chase of the season to edge the Titans by two wickets at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Friday.
Chasing a mammoth 332 for victory, the left-hander struck 107 (107 balls, 10 fours, 1 six) – his fourth career century – to help the visitors reach their target with one delivery to spare.
The powerful Lesiba Ngoepe also played a key hand with 79 off 69 balls (3 fours, 4 sixes), while Sisanda Magala’s rollicking 27 off 18 balls when the crunch was on cannot be understated.
In the end the men from the Eastern Cape pulled off a priceless win to consolidate third place and one that leaves the defending champions with much work still to do if they want to qualify for the play-offs.
Mandla Mashimbyi’s side will be wondering how they could not defend the biggest total of the season, which was set up by a life-time best List A score of 137 (140 balls, 13 fours, 1 six) by Tony de Zorzi.
Opening the batting, the youngster dominated with his third career ton as support came from almost everywhere, barring Faf du Plessis, whose rare appearance for the Titans yielded just 11.
Aiden Markram hit 29 in an opening stand of 58 and Dean Elgar’s aggressive 93 off 87 balls (5 fours, 1 six) provided the home side with excellent impetus during a third-wicket partnership of 161 alongside De Zorzi.
Captain Grant Thomson then applied the finishing touches with an unbeaten 36 off 20 balls – the hosts ending with 331 for four in an innings in which eight bowlers were used.
The Warriors knew that to get close they needed a good start and skipper Moore alongside Matthew Breetzke (65 off 71 balls, 3 fours, 2 sixes) could not have responded better after putting on 144 for the opening wicket.
Ninety-six then followed between the former and Ngoepe, taking the Warriors to 240 for one in the 39th over, before both fell not too far apart from each other.
That increased the pressure on the middle and lower order, which almost told, before Magala’s clinical hitting took them to the brink and the tail squeezed them over the line.
Photo: Gallo Images