Rossouw, Olivier lead Knights to dramatic win
Knights 76 (Mbhalati 5-29, Wiese 3-16) and 255 for 5 (Rossouw 97, Hendricks 69, de Lange 3-64) beat Titans 141 (Olivier 5-42) and 187 (Adams 69, Budaza 3-26, Olivier 3-39) by five wickets
Knights chased down a target of 253 in just over 50 overs against table-toppers Titans on the third day in Bloemfontein, despite being shot out for 76 on the first day. Knights conceded a first-innings lead of 65 runs, and then dismissed Titans for 187 in the second innings, before Reeza Hendricks (69) and Rilee Rossouw (97) scripted a dramatic turnaround to chase the target. Knights pacer Duanne Olivier finished with eight wickets in the match.
Opting to bat, Titans were troubled by a five-for from Olivier (5 for 42) as Farhaan Behardien (34) crossed 30. The lower order helped too, with double-digit scores from Heinrich Klaasen, Marchant de Lange and Tabraiz Shamsi. Knights, however, could not capitalise on the strong start and were bowled out for a paltry 76 before stumps. Ethy Mbhalati's 5 for 29 and David Wiese's 3 for 16 meant only two batsmen could reach double digits. As many as 21 wickets fell on the first day.
Titans could improve on their first-innings score only slightly. This time Qaasim Adams (69) scored a fifty and several other batsman got starts too, but three wickets each from Olivier and left-arm pacer Mbulelo Budaza meant Titans lost their last six wickets for 66 runs, to be restricted to 187.
Facing a stiff target of over 250, Knights' top order led the charge. Openers Hendricks and Michael Erlank (33) put on 101 runs in under 19 overs, and even though both fell within six overs, Rossouw took over and and nearly saw them through. De Lange dismissed him for an 89-ball 97, with 14 fours and a six, and Luthando Mnyanda and Tumelo Bodibe in the next three balls too, just missing a hat-trick, but there was hardly any work left for the remaining batsmen. Rudi Second stayed unbeaten on a patient 41 off 83.
Knights picked 14 points for the win, while Titans took four.