Eagles retain title in low-scoring thriller
Eagles 143 for 8 (Morkel 3-19) beat Titans 142 (de Bruyn 55, van der Wath 3-25) by two wickets
Having won the toss and put the Titans in to bat it was the seam attack of Johan van der Wath, Cliff Deacon and Roger Telemachus who laid the foundation for what turned out to be a close win. Having got the best of the conditions the bowlers put the Titans under pressure from the first over. After two rain delays, and at 37 for 4, the writing was almost on the wall for the Titans and it was left to the spin duo of Nicky Boje and Thami Tshabalala to wrap up the tail. A disappointing batting display from the Titans saw them bowled out for 142 in 42.3 overs with 54 from Pierre de Bruyn and 44 from Johan Myburgh helping to make a slight contest out of the final.
With a target of 143 to defend the discipline of the Titans bowlers let them down as 19 wides and six no-balls were bowled with extras top scoring for the Eagles with 36. Albie Morkel and Ethy Mbhalati kept the Titans in the game with three wickets each but, with a 38-run partnership between van der Wath, who had a fine match, and Ryan McLaren for the seventh wicket, the Eagles were almost home. However, two further wickets left then at 123 for 8 and the outcome was far from certain. With the excitement mounting a few lusty blows from Telemachus, and the composure of McLaren, guided the Eagles through with five overs to spare.
Keith Lane works for Cricinfo in South Africa