An unbroken 56-run partnership between Grant Thomson and Farhaan Behardien put an end to any nerves and helped the Titans secure a draw on the final day of their 4-Day Domestic Series clash with the Warriors in Port Elizabeth on Thursday.
Set a sporting 282 in 59 overs by the hosts, the log leaders slipped to 45-3 early on, before the key fourth-wicket stand ensured there was no drama at St George’s Park, where home coach Rivash Gobind was witnessing his team in action for the final time.
Although there was no fairytale ending for the new Afghanistan assistant coach, there was once again plenty of fight and endeavour from the Eastern Cape franchise, who will have former Proteas all-rounder Robin Peterson at the helm from next week.
In what was an encouraging final day by both teams, the hosts set out batting on 139-1 and added 121 for the loss of their remaining nine wickets.
Matthew Breetzke, unbeaten on 68 at the start, took his score to an innings high of 80 (171 balls, 10 fours, 1 six), with the next highest scores being 45 from captain Jon-Jon Smuts and Rudi Second’s 30. The latter pair were both dismissed by Tabraiz Shamsi, the Proteas spinner finishing with the impressive return of 5-66.
It was his 21st first-class five-for and backed up Neil Brand’s 3-59, with the Warriors dismissed for 260 in 81.2 overs.
Glenton Stuurman (2-25) then claimed the wickets of Wesley Marshall (2) and Victor Mahlangu (14) early and, when Brand (16) fell to Smuts (1-15), it was game on for the hosts.
But Thomson, who hit his maiden franchise ton in the first innings, hit an assured 39 off 124 balls and Behardien did the same at the other end with a 94-ball 30 to ensure the game finished as a draw.