The Titans’ record-breaking 425-5 allowed them to complete a crushing 236-run victory against the Warriors and win the One Day Cup.
Never has there been a victory quite as crushing as this in the final of a domestic competition. It was the second-largest in South African domestic history, and the Titans fully deserved their second crown in three years.
It was a noble effort throughout the competition from the Warriors, who weren’t expected to get as far as this. Jon Jon Smuts was superb with both bat and ball throughout as they came within one match of winning their first title for seven years, but they were thoroughly outplayed by a far better team.
It was set up by centuries from Aiden Markram and Henry Davids, as well as a blistering finish from Chris Morris. The 425-5 they posted broke their own record, surpassing the 415-3 they achieved against the Lions earlier in the season. It was the third time this season they’d posted 400 or more, and it was thanks to the same players.
On all three occasions, Davids has scored a century, capping off one of his finest seasons in professional cricket at the ripe old age of 37. Markram, meanwhile, has scored centuries in two of them, and followed up his South African List-A record 183 with 162 this time around at SuperSport Park.
He achieved it in front of Convener of Selectors Linda Zondi. Markram’s undeniable talent was there for all to see.
Davids scored 114, and the 212-run partnership followed a 133-run stand between Markram and Heinrich Klaasen. The latter came in at the last minute for AB de Villiers, who sat out with a precautionary back strain. Klaasen, after carrying the drinks for the Proteas in New Zealand, got straight back in to the swing of things, hitting a 50-ball 60.
Markram’s 162 included seven sixes and 11 fours, and with cramp visibly discomforting him, he holed out.
With the platform laid for another 400-plus score, Morris proceeded to blast six sixes in 12 balls to score 47 off just 12 balls, putting the seal on an emphatic display of batting.
Having said that, it was a poor showing from the Warriors, who were slack in the field with several dropped catches. The bowlers, spinners in particular, were at a loss as to where to bowl to the batsmen.
Dejected from their display in the field, it was going to be an almighty task to try and chase down the mammoth total. And struggle they did.
Not only do the Titans possess the firepower in the batting, but they have an embarrassing wealth of bowling options to boot, and Chris Morris (2-41) and Lungi Ngidi (2-38) combined to devastating effect. Morris bowled Gihahn Cloete for three in the second over, before Ngidi tucked into Colin Ingram (1) and danger man Smuts for 13.
That left the middle order to pick up the pieces in what was becoming an impossible chase. Colin Ackermann (39 off 26), Yaseen Vallie (35 off 28) and Jerry Nqolo (40 off 47) tried their best to restore some parity, but the required run rate proved too much.
Proteas spinner Tabraiz Shamsi cleaned up the tail to finish with figures of 3-31, as the Titans cleaned the Warriors up for 189 off 31 overs.
It was an emphatic display from Mark Boucher’s side, who can consider their season as a whole extremely successful. They completed the limited-overs double, and finished second in the Sunfoil Series. Job well done.
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images