The Titans claimed a third consecutive T20 title on Saturday when they thumped the Dolphins at Supersport Park in Centurion by seven wickets, with a massive 53 balls to spare.
The Titans, who lost just twice all season, were unstoppable but it was the way in which Mark Boucher’s men went about winning the title that brings something to mind – a team game!
Despite Tabraiz Shamsi (16) and Lungi Ngidi (13) ending up as the two leading wicket-takers, AB de Villiers was the leading run-scorer for the Titans and he was only ninth on the overall list.
Boucher has managed to put together a very good team, bringing in the likes of Quinton de Kock, Chris Morris and Shamsi, who struggled to break into the Dolphins side. The former Proteas wicketkeeper also brought Dale Steyn back up country from the Cobras.
De Villiers, Aiden Markram and Farhaan Behardien were the only players in the Titans squad to surpass 200 runs in the season but Behardien ended with an amazing average of 234 after only being dismissed once, against the Cobras in Cape Town. De Villiers (64.75), Markram (59) and Albie Morkel (53) all had averages over 50 and this was key in their success.
De Villiers was his normal belligerent self, smashing more sixes than boundaries while ending with a strike-rate of 200.77.
On the bowling front, Malusi Siboto and Junior Dala backed up Shamsi and Ngidi with nine wickets apiece while Morris’ four wickets in the final pushed him to eight for the season.
Another outstanding feature of the Titans’ bowling attack was that four of their bowlers conceded less than seven runs to the over with Markram conceding just 5.42 from 14 overs. Morkel, who bowled just nine overs, conceded at a run a ball while Steyn (6.33) and Morris (6.63) were impressive.
The question will always be asked whether the Dolphins deserved to be in the final after winning just three of their 10 league matches, with five matches being washed out – as well the semi final against the Cobras in Durban which resulted in them going through to the final by virtue of their higher log standing.
The Cobras, who lost their opening three encounters, bounced back to win to win five from six and their loss to the Warriors in East London, in the end, resulted in the Cape franchise having to travel to the East Coast.
But, despite the ruckus surrounding the semi final debacle, no matter who faced the Titans in the final in Centurion, Boucher’s men would have triumphed. Despite the men from Pretoria losing to the Cobras and Dolphins in the final two rounds, the final was where it counted.
It will be interesting to see whether the Titans can now transform their T20 dominance into the 50-over game when the Momentum One Day Cup kicks off on Wednesday 20 December 2017.
The Titans’ first match is against the Knights at the same venue where they clinched the Ram Slam trophy and the men from across the Jukskei River will be in high spirits.