Tony de Zorzi lit up the Abu Dhabi T20 with a sparkling maiden T20 century for the Titans against the hapless Boost Defenders of Afghanistan.
De Zorzi smashed 106 not out from just 57 balls as he carried his bat and propelled the South African franchise to a whopping 218-3 en route to a 50-run win over the Boost Defenders.
It was the perfect start to the competition for the South African champions, as they lived up to their tremendous billing as domestic giants.
De Zorzi opened the innings with Henry Davids after they had been invited to bat first under the Zayed Cricket Stadium lights. Davids fell for 17, skying Kyle Abbott in the fifth over, after an opening stand of 36. Rivaldo Moonsamy joined De Zorzi in the middle, and he too got into his work, with a breezy 32. De Zorzi, meanwhile reached a 33-ball half century, his strike rate improving with every over.
The Titans were set fair on 84-1 at the halfway point, before going ballistic in the second half of their innings. Moonsamy was desperately unlucky to get run out at the non-striker’s end after a straight drive from the set De Zorzi got a tickle from the bowler.
Theunis de Bruyn came and went for nine, as De Zorzi seized control of the scoring. He found a willing accomplice in the free-spirited Chris Morris, who marched in and bludgeoned 46 not out off just 14 balls.
Morris’ clean-hitting was a sight to behold, but the real story was happening at the other end, as De Zorzi reached three figures from just 54 balls before ending on a memorable 106 not out.
It was a mountain for the men from the Everest to climb, but Colin Ingram was always going to give it a go. Eldred Hawken had provided the early breakthrough, striking in his opening over. The one danger for the Titans was the relentless Ingram, who put on a dangerous stand approaching 100 with Higgins for the second wicket. It was Morris who made the breakthrough to quell mild concerns, with De Bruyn holding on to a Higgins swipe to square leg to dismiss him for 45.
The big scalp of Ingram for 51 (which effectively sealed the victory) was taken by Shaun von Berg in the 14th over, as the leggie took his second wicket of the evening. Ingram was trapped in front by Von Berg, who refused to be intimidated by Ingram’s forthright style.
The wickets were shared evenly among the Titans bowlers, as Hawken got a brace and debutant Tshepo Moreki also ended the match with a pair of scalps. It was an ideal start by the men in blue, but they have little time to reflect on their win, with the might of Auckland lying in wait for them tomorrow.
Report and photo: Titans (Facebook)