Titans keep play-off hopes alive

Titans 274 for 7 (Kuhn 92, Davids 73, Friend 3-58) beat Knights 279 for 7 (Rossouw 87, Pienaar 2-22) by three wickets (D/L method)

Titans kept their faint hopes of reaching the play-offs alive, beating Knights by three wickets according to the Duckworth-Lewis method in Bloemfontein. Titans cruised to a revised target of 271 from 48 overs with six overs to spare but failed to get the bonus point that would have bettered their chances of qualification.

Titans now have 19 points from nine games, four points short of third-placed Dolphins and five points behind Warriors, who are placed second.

The Titans chase was set up by a 149-run opening stand between the captain Henry Davids and Heino Kuhn.

Kuhn blasted a 80-ball 92 with 13 fours, while Davids played a more patient 73 off 78 deliveries. After Davids fell, Kuhn put together a 48-run stand with Cobus Pienaar, marching towards the total. However, once Knights got Kuhn out, the Titans' middle order, in an attempt to snatch a bonus point, began to recklessly attack the bowlers and lost three wickets in successive overs, going from 220 for 2 to 231 for 5.

Pacers Quinton Friend and Malusi Siboto picked up three wickets apiece, as Knights tried to claw their way back into the game, but the start provided by the openers gave Titans enough impetus to achieve the target in 42 overs.

Earlier, Knights chose to bat and were buoyed by starts from their top-order batsmen, who added steady stands for the first and second wickets. An 85-run, third-wicket stand between Dean Elgar and Rilee Rossouw set the platform for a challenging total. Rossouw smashed 87 off 76 deliveries with 11 fours and a six, before late contributions from Pite van Biljon and Diego Rosier propelled them to 279 for 7 from their 50 overs.

Titans must now beat Warriors on Friday, and hope that Cape Cobras beat Dolphins, to stand any chance of qualifying.

Cape Cobras 239 for 8 (Puttick 108, Ontong 38) beat Warriors 238 for 8 (Jonker 66, Harmer 32*, Piedt 2-31) by one run

Cape Cobras maintained their position on top of the points table with a tight one-run win over Warriors in Paarl. Warriors, chasing 239, needed 14 runs off the final over, but lost Christiaan Jonker, who had brought the side to the brink of victory, off the fourth ball. No. 9 batsman Andrew Birch came in and smacked a four but, with three needed off the final ball, hit Lizaad Williams' well-disguised slower ball straight to cover, and was run-out attempting a second run.

Warriors lost wickets at regular intervals during the run-chase and were precariously placed at 153 for 6, before Christiaan Jonker and Simon Harmer counterattacked with a 80-run seventh-wicket stand. Jonker's run-a-ball 66 included three fours and two sixes, while Harmer remained unbeaten on 32 off 26 balls.

Earlier, Andrew Puttick scored his 10th List A hundred to help the shaky Cobras line-up reach 239 for 8. Puttick hit 10 fours during his 108 off 138 balls, and added 71 for the fifth wicket with Justin Ontong, to keep the side's innings going in spite of regular wickets on a dry pitch that produced reverse swing. Puttick fell in the 49th over to pacer Rusty Theron, who finished with 3 for 44.

Warriors 2nd innings Partnerships

1st32JT SmutsLL Mnyanda
2nd4CA IngramJT Smuts
3rd21RT BaileyCA Ingram
4th34AG PrinceCA Ingram
5th19AG PrinceDJ Jacobs
6th43DJ JacobsC Jonker
7th80C JonkerSR Harmer
8th5ACR BirchSR Harmer