Bowlers lead Titans to thrilling one-run victory
SuperSport SeriesThe Titans held their nerve in the field to clinch a thrilling one-run victory over the Eagles at Centurion on Sunday. In only the second such instance in the history of South African domestic cricket and the 32nd in all first-class cricket, a superb performance from the Titans' bowling attack culminated in Thani Tshabalala driving Eshi Mbhalati into the hands of Farhaan Behardien at point, leaving the Eagles all out for 177, two short of their target of 179.
The Titans had won the toss and batted, before a good all-round performance from Eagles captain Nicky Boje put them on the back foot. Boje took 4 for 61 as the Titans were dismissed for 204, and scored 69 as the Eagles replied with 309. Davey Jacobs was also impressive, scoring 74 off only 59 balls as the Eagles built a commanding 105-run lead.
Gulam Bodi's 77 and half-centuries from Behardien and Morne Morkel dragged the Titans back into the match as they reached 283 in their second innings, with Johan van der Wath taking 4 for 82, but the target of 179 was a modest one. The Titans' attack, featuring the Morkel brothers, Mbhalati and Paul Harris, made early inroads, as the Eagles lost four wickets for 12 runs to slump to 59 for 5. Morne van Wyk and Roger Telemachus threatened to bring them victory, before van Wyk went for 53 with 32 still needed. After Dillon du Preez's dismissal Telemachus and Tshabalala gradually chipped away at the remaining 29 runs until an Eagles win seemed inevitable, but it was not to be as Behardien clung on at point and the Titans celebrated.
The Dolphins cruised to a five wicket victory over the Lions at Pietermaritzburg on Sunday as they chased down a daunting target of 299. Vaughn van Jaarsveld's superb 159 looked to have put the Lions in control, but only Neil McKenzie (53) and the tail provided any support and the Lions had to settle for 334 all out. A half-century from Doug Watson and some lusty blows from Lance Klusener lifted the Dolphins to respectability in their reply, as Claude Henderson claimed five wickets and Friedel de Wet four to roll them over for 210, a deficit of 124. Van Jaarsveld added 68 to his first-innings knock as the Lions tried to engineer a victory after rain had affected play, declaring on 174 for 7 and setting the Dolphins an unlikely target of 299 in just under a day. However, they reached it with more than an hour to spare thanks to Imraan Khan's 78 and an explosive, undefeated 32 from Klusener that occupied only 10 balls, including seven fours from one Garnett Kruger over that contained a no-ball.
The Warriors and the Cobras played out a sleepy draw at East London. JP Duminy and Ashwell Prince scored half-centuries in each innings for the Cobras, while HD Ackerman's exceptional 195 in the Warriors' first innings of 411 was the highlight of the match. He was ably supported by Johan Botha (56), who had earlier taken 5 for 95 in his first match after his bowling action was declared legal by the ICC, as the Cobras were all out for 333 in their first innings. A result never looked likely on a good batting pitch and when stumps were drawn the Cobras had reached 271 for 3 in their second innings.
SAA Provincial ChallengeTatenda Taibu's 93 led Namibia to a thrilling three-wicket win over Griqualand at Kimberley on Friday. Griqualand looked to be in control after an undefeated 126 from Adrian McLaren and 95 on debut from 17-year-old Reeza Hendricks led them to an imposing first innings total of 355 for 9. They then dismissed the visitors for 266, but a solid all-round bowling performance from the Namibians rolled Griqualand for 154 in their second knock, leaving a target of 245. Namibia scampered home thanks to Taibu and 76 from Sarel Burger, despite a few nervous moments late on.
SAA Provincial CupJB Burger's explosive 131 from only 99 balls led Namibia to a huge total of 329 and a 107-run victory over Griqualand at Kimberley on Saturday. He shared a partnership of 149 with Taibu (58), as the Namibians knocked up a formidable score from their 45 overs. Louis Klazinga and Nicholaas Scholtz took three wickets apiece as Griqualand never looked like reaching their target and were eventually bowled out for 222.
Sam Collins is a freelance journalist based in London