An excellent all-round performance from the Momentum Multiply Titans secured a seven-wicket victory over the Six Gun Grill Western Province in a CSA T20 Challenge clash at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
Having won the toss and electing to bowl first, the Titans restricted WP to just 140 for five with Dane Vilas top-scoring with an excellent 60 and Lizaad Williams claiming 2-21 in his four overs. In reply, the Titans victory charge was setup by a 79-run opening stand between Quinton de Kock (43) and captain Theunis de Bruyn (37).
The Titans and WP are separated by just two points at the top with each side having one game left to play before the knock-out stages.
Vilas used his experience to good effect, striking four boundaries and two sixes from 48 balls and shared in a very important stand of 85 for the third wicket with Tony de Zorzi (45) after Williams and Junior Dala (3-0-14-1) had reduced WP to 12 for two with Richard Levi (0) and Jonathan Bird (8) back in the hut early.
De Zorzi and Vilas brought up their 50-run stand off just 39 deliveries after a slow start saw the Cape-side scoring just 24 runs in the power play. When De Zorzi looked to up the ante, he was caught at long-on by Heinrich Klaasen from the final ball of Tabraiz Shamsi’s spell. The No. 1 T20 bowler in the world ended with a disappointing 1-36 in his four overs.
Once De Zorzi departed, Vilas tried to keep the momentum going with Wayne Parnell (17) after George Linde departed for just three, caught by De Bruyn at short fine leg off Dewald Brevis (3-0-19-1). Parnell was caught in the same fashion off Williams off the penultimate ball of the innings.
In reply, De Kock and De Bruyn set about laying a solid foundation with De Kock cracking seven boundaries from 34 balls after a slow start. De Bruyn seemed more aggressive upfront, striking one boundary and two sixes down the ground.
Beuran Hendricks (3-0-31-0) did not have a good day at the office despite coming into the match as the joint-leading wicket taker. The introduction of Kyle Simmonds (4-0-26-1) and Mihlali Mpongwana (3-0-20-1) changed the complexion of the chase.
Simmonds had De Kock trapped in front with the Proteas wicketkeeper missing a straight delivery while De Bruyn edged Mpongwana to Vilas behind the stumps. Brevis (26) and Klaasen then added 29 for the third wicket before Brevis was brilliantly caught on the long-off fence by Gavin Kaplan from the bowling of Basheer Walters (3-0-17-1).
To Western Province’s credit, they pushed the Titans all the way defending their below-par score but with the Titans needing 16 from the final 12 balls and looking a tad nervous, Hendricks conceded 15 runs in the penultimate over with Heinrich Klaasen clubbing the left-arm seamer for two sixes.
Klaasen, who had been dropped by George Linde (4-0-34-0) off his own bowling when on four and then by Hendricks when on 12 off Linde’s bowling, added a boundary to his two maximums to end unbeaten on 33 from just 25 balls to see his side home.
The Titans finish off the round-robin stage with a game against their neighbours, the North West Dragons while WP face off against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins with victory for Parnell’s men handing them top spot.