Henry Davids and Heino Kuhn’s fifties helped the Titans set an unreachable 324-6 as they claimed a 35-run win over the Warriors on Sunday.
After losing their last One Day Cup match to the Knights on Friday, the Titans needed a win to go above the Dolphins at the summit of the log. They faced a spirited Warriors side at Buffalo Park, who experienced a confidence boost on Friday by crushing the table-topping Dolphins by 130 runs.
Aiden Markram and Henry Davids, despite a slow start, set the tone for their side. They found themselves at 90 at drinks and went on to post a 100-run opening stand, before Markram lost his wicket on 45 off 69 balls. Davids went on to reach 66 off 73 deliveries, but was run out shortly after as the Titans were reduced to 122-2.
Heino Kuhn and Toni de Zorzi put on 93 more runs, but shortly after witnessing his partner reach his 18th 50, De Zorzi (41 off 54 balls) hit the ball straight to Jerry Nqolo off the bowling of Colin Ingram. Kuhn didn’t hang around long, as Ingram picked up his second by dismissing him on 61 off 51 balls.
The Titans then smashed 109 runs off the last 10 overs, led by their captain Albie Morkel (34 off 16) and David Wiese (44 off 26 not out), who took the visitors to 324-6. Ayabulela Gqamane (2-53), Andrew Birch (1-78) and Ingram (2-51) were the only bowlers to take scalps for their side.
The hosts started well and sped to 150 off 161 balls, thanks to their captain Jon-Jon Smuts and Gihahn Cloete. Markram tipped the momentum back in the Titans’ favour by grabbing two quick wickets. Smuts, who was in cruise mode at 85 off 71 balls (two sixes and 11 fours), was the first to go, attempting a reverse sweep as the ball crashed into his stumps. Cloete was next as Markam ran him out on 65 of 94 off his own bowling.
Spin continued to be the weapon of the day as Davids trapped Ingram (6) lbw, followed by Shaun von Berg, who struck next to dismiss Yaseen Vallie (2). This rattled the hosts as they found themselves on 172-5 after Colin Ackermann was run out by Lungi Ngidi off the bowling of Von Berg.
Lesiba Ngoepe (41 off 34) and Kelly Smuts (26 off 20) managed 49 for the sixth wicket, but both were dismissed by Malusi Siboto as the Warriors started to fizzle out. Von Berg (2-67), Junior Dala (1-28) and Wiese (1-23) cleaned up the tail to bowl the Warriors out for 289, claiming four points for their side.
An excellent batting display at the Wanderers saw the Lions post 294-4 against the Knights before rain stopped play. Reeza Hendricks (142 off 144) anchored two major partnerships for the hosts. The first was a 145-run stand with Rassie van der Dussen (51) and the second was a 90-run stand with Mangaliso Mosehle (59 of 47 balls). Hendricks was still at the crease before a rain delay ended their innings with two balls remaining.
The visitors, in a 49-over innings, could not reach their 294-run target as they lost by 60 runs (D/L method). Wickets tumbled throughout the match, thanks to Beuron Hendricks (3-40) and Aaron Phangiso (3-52). Leus du Plooy (74 off 81) and Rudi Second (43 off 49) put on an 80-run partnership to give their side hope, but it was to little prevail as the Lions claimed five points to take them equal points (13), with the Dolphins in second place.
Photo: Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images