A ruthless batting onslaught by the Warriors crushed the mighty Titans by eight wickets, with 91 balls remaining, in the Momentum One-Day Cup semi-final at Centurion.
The Warriors, having bowled out the reigning champions for 230 in the last over, set off as if they had something to prove and to exact revenge for their defeats in the league phase. It took them just under 35 overs, with fifties from Lesiba Ngoepe, Gihahn Cloete and Jon-Jon Smuts, to earn a final spot against either the Cobras or the Dolphins, who meet Wednesday.
Cloete and Ngoepe broke the back of the chase in an opening stand of 115 in 17 overs.
Cloete finally went for 56 off 50 balls, with seven fours and a six, but captain Smuts was there to pick up the baton, adding 39 for the second wicket in four overs
When Ngoepe was caught off the bowling of Malusi Siboto for 69, scored off 64 balls with six fours and two sixes, the Warriors were scoring at over seven an over and the required run-rate was down to just 2.7. Smuts smashed his way to 74 off 60 balls, with 11 fours and a six.
Earlier, the Warriors bowlers had produced a solid all-round performance which never allowed the Titans to build partnerships and raise the run-rate.
They got through the first powerplay without loss, but at just 4.2 an over. Then the Warriors, who had sneaked into fourth position on the log with just four wins, began to make inroads.
Tony de Zorzi was first to go, caught and bowled by Andrew Birch for 27, with 47 on the board. That turned out to be the highest partnership, followed by Farhaarn Behardien’s 44-run stand for the ninth wicket with Junior Dala, who resolutely held up his end (scoring seven of 32 balls). Behardien ended with 57 off 67 balls with just four fours and a six.
After Anrich Nortje had Henry Davids caught behind for 19, the first of his three wickets, Ayabulela Gqamane severely damaged the top order by removing Test hero Dean Elgar (20) and Heino Kuhn (20).
Nortje ended with 3-45 and Gqamane 2-40.
Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix