CENTURION – This was an ugly encounter, brought to an end by the elements, and certainly does not augur well for a competition tagged on to the back of what has been a very long season.
The Warriors beat the Titans by four runs on the DLS Method in a rain-affected T20 Challenge opener at SuperSport Park on Friday night.
Catches were dropped, wides bowled, there were misfields, full tosses, limp fireworks, rain, lightning and thunder.
Cricket South Africa’s fear that ‘cricket fatigue’ has set in for the public was proved right, with just over 800 people in the stadium on a bitterly cold evening.
The quality of the cricket matched the atmosphere – dreadful.
There were a few elements to enjoy. In between being dropped three times, Theunis de Bruyn played some thumping shots in his innings of 72, as did Grant Thomson, who made 42.
Farhaan Behardien played some flashy strokes in the final over to post 19 off just 13 balls, taking the Titans to 216/5.
The bowling was largely poor. Sisanda Magala bowled four wides, each an attempt at a slower-ball bouncer, while poor Jade de Klerk – a 20-year-old left-arm spinner – got whacked for 40 runs in two overs as he failed to find both line and length.
It was too easy for the Titans, who are missing several of the players who were so influential in their successful One-Day Cup campaign.
De Bruyn took advantage of all the chances he was given to hit four fours and five sixes in an innings that lasted 38 balls.
He and Thomson added 62 for the fourth wicket in five overs, before Behardien finished things off.
But the Warriors, having chosen to chase, then started aggressively, knowing that the match would most likely not go the distance.
That turned out to be true, and they faced just six overs, but did enough in that period to win as they ended on 60/0.
Gihahn Cloete, who earlier this season enjoyed success at this ground as part of the Tshwane Spartans side in the Mzansi Super League, hammered some poor bowling from the Titans to all parts in scoring 46 off 25 balls.
He hit five fours and three sixes.
It was a match that won’t live long in the memory, and doesn’t set a good tone for another four weeks of cricket.