Miller, Smuts tons deliver Knights and Warriors big wins
A century from David Miller and three new-ball wickets from Marchant de Lange overshadowed a quickfire hundred from Titans captain Albie Morkel to help Knights climb their way to fourth place from the bottom, with a resounding bonus-point victory of 111 runs in Kimberley. Both teams now have 14 points each.
Chasing 303, Titans were in tatters when de Lange ran through their top order with an opening spell of 5-3-4-3 that left them on 8 for 3 in the seventh over. To add to Titans' miseries, Farhaan Behardien and Tony de Zorzi were run-out, slipping them further to 22 for 5 in the 11th over. Once David Wiese also fell three overs later, Morkel combined with Shaun von Berg who scored only 29 in their partnership of 120 in just 17.1 overs. The duo took the score past 150 but fell within the space of four overs after Morkel scored a century off 69 balls and was eventually dismissed for 117 off 84 that featured 13 fours and four sixes. Titans lasted another 15 balls and were wrapped up for 191 in 37.2 overs.
When Knights were asked to bat, Grant Mokoena retired hurt for 36 after an opening stand of 57 with Rudi Second. Once they were 90 for 2 in the 20th over, Miller, on debut for Knights, and captain Pite van Biljon stitched a dominating partnership of 185 runs in under 26 overs to charge them to 275 with 27 balls left. Miller ended with 104 off 100, his seventh List A hundred with eight fours and two sixes, while Biljon's 90 off 76 included nine fours and two sixes that helped the lower order post 302 for 8.
In what was their third bonus-point victory, and as many wins from seven matches, Warriors posted 305 for 6 after Smuts strung an opening partnership of 119 runs with Gihahn Cloete, who struck 70 off 75 balls. The two Colins - Ingram and Ackermann - then chipped in with twenties each to help Smuts, the Warriors captain, surpass his previous best of 132 against Dolphins in 2011-12. While it took Smuts 134 balls to bring up his ton, he amassed his next 73 runs in only 30 balls, clobbering nine fours and eight sixes overall to register the third-highest one-day score in South African domestic cricket after Reeza Hendricks' 181 and Morne van Wyk's 175*.
Cobras' decision to field found little validation, as only Eddie Leie and Rory Kleinveldt offered any sort of resistance with returns of 4 for 56 and 2 for 48 respectively. Richard Levi, however, provided Cobras' chase a rapid start, plundering 94 off 53 balls before retiring hurt in the 18th over, his side having made 128 for 2. Cobras' subsequent loss of four wickets for 32 runs prompted Levi's return in the 26th over but he ran out of partners and his 70-ball 106 went in vain. No Cobras batsman, barring Levi, scored more than 20 and Ingram and Ayabulela Gqamane returned combined figures of 5 for 78 to skittle Cobras for 215 in 37.3 overs, the last wicket having fallen to the Player-of-the-Match, Smuts.