Rudolph steers Titans to victory

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iol spt feb24 Titans Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images The Titans record a six-wicket victory over the Dolphins in their T20 Challenge match at Kingsmead.

Jacques Rudolph made an intelligent half century to help the Titans record a six-wicket victory over the Dolphins in their T20

Challenge match at Kingsmead on Friday.

The Proteas opener carried his bat to finish unbeaten on 62 off 55 balls as the visitors reached the 168 victory target with the final ball of the innings.

The Dolphins had earlier made 167 for five thanks to a second successive half century from Cody Chetty – the young batsman striking 63 off 49 to follow his 82 from 49 earlier in the week against the Knights.

He also shared in a record 116-run partnership for the fifth wicket in domestic T20 cricket with David Miller (44 off 40).

The home side, who won the toss and chose to bat, made a flying start to their innings thanks to the hard-hitting of Cameron Delport, promoted up the order ahead of captain Imraan Khan.

The opener plundered 38 off 17 balls, although wickets were constantly falling around him. Loots Bosman (two) fell to CJ de Villiers (2/42), caught at mid-off by Jacques Rudolph, while Khan lasted two balls for a duck as he played Henry Davids to Martin van Jaarsveld at mid-on.

Delport stuck his bat above his head whilst attempting to leave and got an unusual edge to David Wiese at short fine leg.

Vaughn van Jaarsveld was run out for three after a needless mix-up with Chetty to leave the score on 51 for four.

After that, it was the Chetty-Miller show as they put on 116, blowing away the previous record of 89 for the fifth wicker between Gerald Dros and Justin Kemp in the 2004/05 season.

Chetty was eventually out off the last ball, bowled by Alfonso Thomas (1/21), after another fine innings in his debut T20 season.

In reply, Rudolph received good support from Heino Kuhn (39) and captain van Jaarsveld (31).

However, it was not all easy going at the top after Davids was out third ball when he fended Mthokozisi Shezi straight to wicketkeeper Daryn Smit for one.

But Kuhn and Rudolph put on 62 together for the second wicket, taking their side past 50 in the sixth over as the visitors consolidated.

South Africa T20 keeper Kuhn finally fell when he lifted Delport straight to Miller at long-on after an innings that lasted 27 balls and included two sixes and four fours.

But Rudolph found a more than able partner in his skipper Van Jaarsveld.

The pair shared in a 56-run stand that effectively took the game away from the home side.

After passing 100 in a massive 23-run 13th over conceded by Delport, Van Jaarsveld was bowled by Frylinck, with Farhaan Behardien (six) following shortly afterwards.

But Rudolph was still there and he got his 50 in 48 balls, before taking two fours off the final over to seal a second win of the season for the Titans. – Sapa


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