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Morkel leads Titans to victory

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Port Elizabeth - Albie Morkel smashed a trademark 46 to thrust the Titans to a five-wicket win over the Warriors in their T20 Challenge cricket match at St George's Park on Friday.

Chasing only 121 for their opening victory of their campaign, the Titans eventually romped home with 11 balls to spare.

With the Titans precariously placed on 61 for five in the 14th over they needed a hero and Morkel stepped up to the plate and assumed the role.

He wasted no time in taking the game away from the Warriors with some impressive power hitting mixed with some streaky boundaries. He needed only 17 balls and struck three sixes and five fours after Martin van Jaarsveld had added 25 at the top of the order.

Offspinner Simon Harmer was the best of the Warriors' bowlers, taking three for 28 in his four overs while Birch reduced the Titans to two for three in the second over of their chase.

The Titans will be thrilled to have got off the mark after the frustration of a loss against the Lions on Wednesday and a rainout in Durban last Friday.

The Warriors now have a win and a loss in their two matches and will be looking to bounce back against the Lions in Potchefstroom on Sunday.

Earlier, the Titans won the toss and elected to field. They managed to work their way quite steadily through the Warriors' top and middle order.

They were aided by some poor batting from the Warriors and it was left to allrounder Simon Harmer, who scored an unbeaten 39, and the lower order to give the innings some substance in the latter overs.

Christiaan Jonker was the first wicket to fall when Albie Morkel pulled off a brilliant one-handed diving catch at a wide third-man in Marchant de Lange's first over.

Ashwell Prince became De Lange's second victim when he flicked a delivery straight to Eden Links at deep backward square and the homeside were 26 for two. That quickly became 36 for five as Davy Jacobs (5) was bowled by Morkel, Colin Ingram (10) chipped an innocuous delivery from Eden Links to Morkel at backward point; and Parnell (2) was bowled by Links.

Craig Thyssen (9) was also beaten by spinner Links with the total on 50.

Harmer then came to the crease and immediately began dominating.

He struck two massive sixes and two fours in his 27-ball stay at the crease.

But it was the 42-run stand between himself and Adrian McLaren that helped get the Warriors out of the desperate position they found themselves in and into one which they could have a chance at defending.

Number 10 Andrew Birch also weighed in with a quick 20 off 14 balls at the death.

Links finished with figures of three for 13, his best in this format of the game bettering the two for 21 he took against the Impi last season. - Sapa


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