Having done the hard work of making it to the final of the Abu Dhabi T20 against the Lahore Qalandars on Saturday night, the Titans failed to press home the advantage to claim the title.
Having restricted the Qalandars to one of the lowest scores in what had been a relatively high-scoring tournament (148-6), the Titans lost by just 15 runs. Coming off the back of a brilliant domestic season last year, it would have been disappointing to lose the final of the inaugural Abu Dhabi T20 when it seemed for all intents and purposes as if the title was theirs for the taking.
Tshepo Moreki picked up 3-33 and Shaun von Berg 2-28 in the Qalandars innings, while Chris Morris went for just 4.25 runs to the over, including bowling the final over.
The Titans lost dangerman Toni de Zorzi for a golden duck, although TV replays indicated the ball should have been adjudged to have pitched outside off stump, in addition to the batsman possibly getting an edge to the ball. Henry Davids followed for nine to leave the Titans on 10-2.
The Titans struggled to hit enough boundaries to put the Qalandars bowling attack under pressure and, as a result, couldn’t keep up with the required run rate, even though Theunis de Bruyn (37), Rivaldo Moonsamy (27) and Heino Kuhn (37) batted well to keep the scoreboard rolling along. They finished their 20 overs on 133-6, coming agonisingly close to what would have been a deserved victory.
‘They bowled brilliantly in the last seven overs – they nailed their yorkers,’ said a disappointed Titans captain Albie Morkel after the match.
Scores: Lahore Qalandars 148-6, Titans 133-6. Lahore Qalandars won by 15 runs
Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/Getty Images