Henry Davids and Aiden Markram struck half-centuries as the Titans claimed a 38-run victory against the Knights on Dale Steyn’s long-awaited return.
It was a battle between champions in Kimberley, which saw last season’s Sunfoil Series winners take on the Titans, who won both limited over formats last season.
The Centurion side lost Quinton de Kock early on, run out on nine, but quick partnerships helped the Titans gain control after their blip.
Davids’ cool head at the top of the order saw him string together a measured 65-run partnership with Markram, which saw him reach his 50 in 43 balls (2×4, 3×6).
Davids was the first to fall with his side on 85 as Markram was joined by a destructive AB de Villiers.
The 22-year-old reached his half-century in 34 balls ( 4×4, 4×1) before losing his wicket after a 23-ball 44-run stand with De Villiers, the Titans reduced to 129-3.
De Villiers slapped two sixes and two fours for his 20-ball 43 (3×6, 2×4) taking his side to 179. His partnership with Farhaan Behardien was phenomenal, 43 runs off 19 balls, but it was Behardien whose late shift manoeuvred the visitors into a position of strength. He smacked three sixes and three fours for his 37 off 14 as the Titans set a 200-run target.
The Knights were handed an early lifeline when De Kock dropped Grant Mokoena on the first ball of the innings, and he capitalised on his luck by smacking Steyn for three fours the following over.
Morkel took a second swipe at Mokoena and this time he got his man, Mokoena trapped lbw on 21 off 13.
Theunis de Bruyn and Patrick Kruger managed to take their side to 46, but Kruger dragged on a Junior Dala delivery for the fall of the second wicket.
It wasn’t long before Steyn (1-25) got in on the action. After conceding 17 runs off his first over, he struck on the first ball of his second, removing the Knights skipper who picked out De Villiers on 22 (22 balls).
Miller fell just before the half-way mark, Tabraiz Shamsi (2-30) finding a feathering touch on an attempted reverse sweep, and the spinner struck again in the 14th over to deceive Ryan McLaren (11).
Cameos from Aubrey Swanepoel (16), Andries Gous (37 off 29) and Marchant de Lange ( 27* off 12 balls) saw the home side wither to 161-7 as the Titans were denied a bonus point.
Two out of two for the Titans, as they sit firmly at the top of the log.
Photo: Louis Botha/Gallo Images