The Titans cruised to a seven-wicket victory over the Cape Cobras in the CSA T20 Challenge on the back of some disciplined bowling from their spinners, and a superbly crafted half-century by veteran Henry Davids in Benoni on Wednesday night.
The defending champions were hardly pushed in claiming a comfortable win – with a bonus point – that put them back on track after they suffered an unfortunate defeat in the opening game against the Warriors.
The Titans put the Cobras under pressure from the start, claiming two wickets in the power play after they’d asked the visiting team to bat first.
Hashim Amla again failed to take an opportunity edging a delivery from Eldred Hawken that bounced and moved off a length to wicket-keeper Rubin Hermann after scoring just two.
David Bedingham couldn’t take advantage of two dropped catches before eventually being dismissed, superbly caught by a flying Hermann off the bowling of Junior Dala.
Once again the Cobras were grateful to young wicket-keeper batsman Kyle Verrynne, who kept the innings together, allowing them to set what looked like a reasonable total.
But Verreynne couldn’t get to grips with the Titans’ two spinners, Gregory Mahlokwana and Shaun von Berg.
The latter bowled beautifully, ripping leg-breaks past the Cobras batsmen, while he also made very good use of his googly to claim 1/18 in four overs.
There was variety too from Mahlokwana, who bowled his first three overs as a left-arm spinner, and in his final over alternated between his left and right arm, picking up the wicket of Simon Khomari with the latter and finishing with figures of 1/19.
Verrynne had to retire hurt at the end of the penultimate over of the Cobras innings after getting smashed in the head by a nasty bouncer bowled by Dala.
There was a bruise on his forehead and after a check from the visiting team’s physio, he left the field, having top-scored with 44 (38 balls, 1x4, 2x6).
RESULT: The Sky Blues record their first win of the #T20Challenge in style with a bonus-point 7-wicket win over the Cobras. Rosier (43*) sealing the victory for the Titans with 26 balls in hand.— The Titans (@Titans_Cricket) April 10, 2019
We'll be back here at Willowmoore Park on Friday night when we host the Dolphins. pic.twitter.com/JQufaozKq7
The Cobras reached 150/5 in their 20 overs, but the Titans wasted little time in knocking the stuffing out of the Cobras, scoring 61 in the power play for the loss of Tony de Zorzi’s wicket.
Davids produced some thrilling shots – his patented lofted cover drive was on show, as were some thumping hits straight down the ground.
He was dismissed with the Titans just 13 runs short of victory, scoring 57 (39 balls, 8x4, 1x6).
Diego Rosier rounded off the win with a sparkling 43 not out off 27 balls that included seven fours as the hosts finished on 151/3.
The Titans will host the Dolphins at Willowmoore Park on Friday.@shockerhess