CENTURION – Theunis de Bruyn continued his rich run of form in the CSA T20 Challenge to help the Titans take a big step towards the semi-finals with a six-wicket win over the winless Knights at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Friday.
The Proteas batsman, the competition’s leading run-scorer, clubbed an unbeaten 45 off 37 balls to help rescue his side from some early trouble to win with four deliveries to spare.
The result kept the defending champions in fourth place on the table, but they now also have a chance of still stealing home advantage in the playoffs, should the Cape Cobras or Warriors slip up in the final set of regular-season fixtures on Sunday.
With the fifth-placed Dolphins still pushing from behind, Mark Boucher’s side were in need of victory and they delivered it despite being put under pressure by the Central Franchise, who were desperately searching for a first win of their campaign.
The away side managed to post 148/8 after being put in to bat first – a modest total, albeit one that gave them a chance.
Their top-scorer was bowler Shadley van Schalkwyk after he struck 49 off 35 balls playing in a new role as opener.
The seamer shared in a 65-run third-wicket stand with Raynard van Tonder (35) after their side had hit some early trouble at 22/2.
There were no other major contributors for the Knights, with Ryan McLaren managing an unbeaten 17 late on.
Double-arm spinner Gregory Mahlokwana was the pick of the bowlers with 2/25.
RESULT: Needing 5 runs from the final 5 deliveries, Fudgie the finisher, plays a big 6 over long on to get us over the line. de Bruyn finishes the match on 45*.— The Titans (@Titans_Cricket) April 26, 2019
A great all round performance sees us to victory by 6 wickets over @KnightsCricket.#T20Challenge #TTNvKNI pic.twitter.com/cXARyXYynG
The Titans made a poor start to their chase and looked to be doomed after only 4.1 overs when they slipped to 15/3 – Gerald Coetzee (2/26) landing a double blow to leave the home side in a fix.
But a 93-run fourth wicket partnership between De Bruyn and the ever-reliable Henry Davids (47) got the Titans back on track, before captain Farhaan Behardien arrived to finish the job with a typically breezy 31 off 18 balls that fired them to victory.
Cricket South Africa