Titans 141 for 2 (Bodi 69, Snijman 53*) beat Eagles 138 (Rossouw 39, Harris 5-27) by eight wickets
A career-best bowling effort from the left-arm spinner Paul Harris set up an eight-wicket win for the Titans in the final of the MTN Domestic Championship in Bloemfontein. Harris, not a part of South Africa's ODI side, returned home from Australia and promptly picked up 5 for 27 to dismiss the Eagles for a paltry 138 in 44 overs, following which the Titans openers hit half-centuries in an easy chase. It was the second successive MTN Domestic Championship title for the Titans.
The Titans chose to field, and as early as the third over they had succeeded in sending back the potentially explosive Loots Bosman, courtesy a throw from Blake Snijman at mid-on. In the next over a brilliant catch from Martin van Jaarsveld, running around from leg slip to intercept a paddle off Morne Van Wyk, justified the decision to open the attack with Roelof van der Merwe's left-arm spin.
van Jaarsveld, who took time out after the first five games of the competition before returning for the final, then struck with the ball. The experienced Boeta Dippenaar and Rilee Rossouw had added 43 from 85 balls, but shortly after Dippenaar got a leading edge to a full toss from Faf du Plessis, van Jaarsveld bowled Rossouw (39 off 59 balls) when the batsman missed a reverse-sweep.
That left the Eagles 72 for 4 after 22 overs and there was little resistance to come. Harris' first five overs from first-change had been tidy if unspectacular, but on return after the fall of Dean Elgar for 22, he turned it on. A lovely piece of spin bowling foxed Ryan Bailey, who was stumped by Heino Kuhn, and another good catch, this time by a tumbling du Plessis at midwicket, accounted for Ryan McLaren.
A third and final spell of 3 for 6 from Harris, back for the 42nd over, spun a web around the lower order. Only Con de Lange managed a patient 26, and Harris had his fifth when Victor Mpitsang was well taken in the deep by du Plessis.
There had been nothing alarming in the pitch for the first half of the match, and the manner in which the Titans went after the required runs put Eagles' innings in perspective. The openers Gulam Bodi and Snijman got stuck in from the get-go, and breezed their way to an opening stand of 125 in just 22.3 overs.
Snijman started off with an uppercut for six off Dillon du Preez, and after a slow start Bodi played an array of shots in his 65-ball 69, an innings which made him the leading run-scorer in the competition. Bodi edged the persevering Thandi Tshabalala to slip, but Snijman stuck around with an unbeaten 53 off 78 balls to take the Titans to victory.