Aiden Markram produced with both bat and ball for a man of the match performance to help the Multiply Titans to a 83-run bonus-point victory over the WSB Cape Cobras in the Momentum One Day Cup at PPC Newlands on Friday evening.
Markram scored his third List A century, making 169 from just 129 balls with 15 boundaries and seven maximums as the Titans posted 320 for six after being asked to bat first by JP Duminy and then claimed 2-24 in five overs as the Cobras were bowled out for 237 in 40.5 overs to hand the bonus-point victory to the men from Centurion.
Markram was brilliantly supported by Farhaan Behardien, who made an unbeaten 111 from 100 balls with eight fours and four sixes, as the pair recorded the a world record sixth-wicket stand of 272 off just 225 balls to rescue the visitors from a precarious position of 31 for five after Rory Kleinveldt (10-4-36-3) and Akhona Mnyaka (10-0-57-3) had decimated the top order.
Kleinveldt, in making his first start for the Cobras this season, had Toni de Zorzi (1) and Jonathan Vandiar (12) caught behind by wicketkeeper David Bedingham to leave the Titans on 14 for two in the sixth over. Mnyaka then bowled a wide ball which Theunis De Bruyn (3) went after and edged the ball to Duminy at first slip.
Dean Elgar (5) then edged Kleinveldt to Bedingham followed by Heinrich Klaasen (4) slapping Mnyaka straight to Zubayr Hamza at backward point with the Titans stranded on 31 for five. But Markram and Behardien used their international experience to steady the innings and start a rebuilding progress.
Markram’s innings was brilliant in the way he controlled the game, taking 66 balls to reach his fifty before accelerating to his 100, using just another 36 balls. But the fireworks exploded in the shadow of Table Mountain as the Proteas top-order batsman blasted his third fifty off just 18 balls to bring up his 150 off only 120 deliveries. Markram was finally out in the final over, caught in the deep by Dane Paterson off Mnyaka.
Behardien’s effort was over-shadowed by his partner but was no less vital as the middle-order batsman started off slowly, giving the strike to his more prolific partner and in so doing, raised his fifty off 71 balls but then raised the stakes, bringing up his fourth List A ton off 97 balls.
In reply, the home side’s chase got off to the worst possible start as Hashim Amla was trapped in front by Chris Morris (7-1-34-1) with the total on 16. But Janneman Malan (71) and Hamza then set about giving their side hope in believing that they could chase down the mammoth 321 target.
Hamza struck three boundaries and was oozing confidence but then some brilliant work off his own bowling saw Junior Dala (8.5-0-42-2) throw down the stumps at the striker’s end to see Hamza short of his ground, bringing an end to the second wicket stand of 60.
Duminy’s return to the side, having last represented the Cobras more than a year ago, lasted just two balls as he was caught down the leg side by Klaasen off Dala for a duck. But Malan found an able partner in Bedingham as the pair kept the required rate in check with a fourth-wicket partnership of 71 from 88 deliveries but then a solitary over from Elgar saw the end of Malan, caught by Behardien for 71 from 76 balls, having struck seven boundaries and a six.
The Cobras could not muster any form of a partnership moving forward as they lost the wickets of Bedingham (50), George Linde (21), Aviwe Mgijima (8) and Paterson (1) and despite a brief rear-guard action from Kleinveldt, who smashed three fours and three sixes, was the last man out, caught in the deep by Morris off Dala for 41 from 28 balls, the Cobras fell well-short of their target.
The victory moves the Titans into third position on the log with 10 points from four games, pending the result of the match between the Warriors and the bizhub Highveld Lions in East London while the Cobras drop down to fourth with eight points, having played a game more.
Should the Lions defeat the Warriors, the Cobras will find themselves second-from-bottom, having started the evening in third.
The Titans will now travel to Port Elizabeth to face off against the Warriors on Sunday while the Cobras travel to Johannesburg to tackle the Lions next Thursday at the Bullring.