The semi-finals of the MTN Domestic Championship have taken place, with Titans and Eagles set to contest the final on January 16
Gulam Bodi and Roelof van der Merwe produced an unbroken second-wicket stand of 141 in 19 overs, as Titans eased past Cape Cobras at Centurion to book their place in the MTN final. In a rain-affected match that was reduced to 33 overs a side, Titans won the toss and chose to bowl first, and restricted Cobras to 183 for 9, with van der Merwe producing career-best figures of 5 for 31 in seven overs. Cobras had at one stage been handily placed on 107 for 1 after 20 overs, but the run-out of Henry Davids for 49 destabilised the innings, and there was no way back after that.
Eagles held their nerve in a tense encounter against Dolphins at Bloemfontein, sneaking home by eight runs thanks largely to Loots Bosman's boundary-laden 95 from 89 balls. In partnership with his captain, Boeta Dippenaar, who made 71, the pair added 125 for the fourth wicket in 14 overs, to post an imposing total of 253 for 8. That target was always just one step ahead of Dolphins, who shed vital wickets at regular intervals and had slipped to 184 for 7 before Daryn Smit and Quinton Friend's late stand of 61 threatened a last-minute turnaround.
Player of the Week - Roelof van der Merwe
Van der Merwe turned 24 on New Year's Eve, and has begun 2009 with the sort of intent that could yet turn a few heads among the South African selectors. A left-arm spinner and opening batsman who adopts a no-fear attitude to all aspects of his game, he was the find of Titans' Pro20 campaign last season, and also starred on the South Africa Academy's tour of Bangladesh in August. South Africa has never been blessed with a rich pool of spinning talent, but in van der Merwe, they have a definite name for the future.