The Multiply Titans kept their spot atop the standings of the T20 Challenge with a 46-run victory over the bizhub Highveld Lions at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Wednesday.
Full Scorecard: Titans v Lions
Winning the toss and bowling first, the Lions struggled from the outset with the Titans openers, Aiden Markram and Jonathan Vandiar, posting 70 for the first wicket.
Markram was the first to depart for 27, before Heinrich Klaasen blitzed 26 off 15 balls.
Vandiar’s innings came to an end off the first ball of the 13th over, when he holed out to Reeza Hendricks in the deep off Aaron Phangiso’s bowling. He finished with 67 off 41 balls in an innings that included three sixes.
Cameos from Heino Kuhn (29), Albie Morkel (32), Farhaan Behardien (19*) and David Wiese (17*) saw the Titans amass 230-5 in their 20 overs.
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15 fours and 13 sixes is what the Titans compiled in their innings as they posted the highest ever score in South African Franchise T20 cricket.
Phangiso (2-28), Fortuin (1-30), Leie (1-42) and Viljoen (1-47) were in the wickets for the Lions.
The Lions made a good fist of the chase, albeit in somewhat fortuitous fashion with many mis-hits finding no-man’s land and a total of five catches being spilled by the Titans in the field (one off a no-ball) .
In reply, Rassie van der Dussen continued his good form in the opening slot, blasting boundaries regularly and clearing the ropes with ease. He was provided with some lives off Junior Dala’s bowling, before the quick exacted revenge by disturbing Van der Dussen’s furniture in the fifth over for a quickfire 45 off 18 balls.
Malusi Siboto then turned the game in the hosts’ favour, taking three crucial wickets in a two-over spell. Reeza Hendricks (24), Mangaliso Mosehle (11) and Dwaine Pretorius (12) fell to the seamer in the sixth and eighth overs as the Lions slipped to 99-4.
Despite keeping the run rate at around the 10-an-over mark, the Lions’ wickets column kept ticking and with most of the big hitters in the shed, the asking rate became too much.
Temba Bavuma (33), Nicky van der Bergh (22) and Hardus Viljoen (28*) all tried gamely with the bat, however the 231-run target was always going to be too much for the visitors. 184-7 is what the Lions mustered, falling 46 runs short.
In the bowling stakes for the Titans: Siboto (3-27), Dala (2-40), David Wiese (1-21) and Lungi Ngidi (1-42). Wiese was named Bowler of the Match for his miserly four overs which included a tricky mix of length and pace variations.
Vandiar earned the Batsman of the Match award for his 67 – the only half century in a match that saw more than 400 runs scored.
In total, 23 sixes were smashed in an entertaining evening which sees the Titans to 29 log points, two points clear of the Warriors. The Lions meanwhile remain on 16 points and slip to fourth behind the Cobras (16).