Heino Kuhn smashed an unbeaten 83 off 52 balls to set up a 42-run win for the Titans over the Highveld Lions in the CSA T20 Challenge.
He was the foundation of the Titans’ innings of 194-4 after they were put in to bat. The Lions could muster just 152-8 in reply.
You could forgive the Lions for being a bit shell-shocked: on Friday, Lions coach Geoffrey Toyana was highlighting the contribution Alviro Petersen could make in this campaign. Just hours later, Petersen was banned from all cricket after the CSA levelled charges of match-fixing against him.
That is not the best way to start a big derby match.
Still, the Lions had looked good in the third over, with Hardus Viljoen dismissing Henry Davids (8) and Grant Mokoena (4). But that brought Kuhn to the crease and he took control, smashing four fours and four sixes among the 52 balls he received.
He got good support from Qaasim Adams (22 of 15), Albie Morkel (30 off 23) and a ferocious innings from Farhaan Behardien, who raced to 37 off 17 balls, with one four and three sixes.
Apart from Rassie van der Dussen, who brought up a cavalier 51 off 28 balls,with five sixes, the Lions were never up for the fight.
It did not help that Reeza Hendricks retired hurt, having faced just six balls, but no one else could break 11, apart from No 9 Hardus Viljoen, who showed what was possibly by hammering 41 off 26 (3×4, 3×6).
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Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images