Titans’ loss sees Warriors into T20 Challenge playoff
JOHANNESBURG – The Warriors will meet the Lions in the play-off of the Betway T20 Challenge on Saturday afternoon after a tense final round-robin match saw the Dolphins eliminate the power packed Titans.
The team from Tshwane’s woes with the bat continued on Friday, in what for them was a virtual eliminator. Their top order has struggled throughout the competition, and on Friday they threw the experienced Grant Thomson into the mix to try and solve a problem that has seen them use Henry Davids and Theunis de Bruyn without success earlier in the round-robin stage.
Once again, the Dolphins adapted magnificently to conditions with their spinners, Prenelan Subrayen (0/15 in four overs) and – until his last over – Keshav Maharaj (0/32) keeping a vice-like grip on the scoring.
The Titans came into the game knowing they had to win after the Warriors had secured a bonus point victory against them earlier in the week, and they would have been pleased to have restricted the Dolphins to just 151.
David Miller was very good again in making 49 not out, although unlike the usual pyrotechnics for which he is known, Friday’s innings was more about resilience, as he marshalled the second half of the Dolphins innings to get them through to a defendable total.
Sarel Erwee provided an explosive start scoring 33 off just 20 balls, but his dismissal was a turning point in the innings. Lungi Ngidi was magnificent for the Titans, using cutters and slower balls to pick up 3/21.
Aiden Markram failed again, and the Titans made a tactical error in not promoting skipper Heinrich Klaasen to no.3, to give him time to manage their chase. Instead Dayyaan Galiem struggled to even get the ball off the square until very late in his innings and although he made 45, he used up far too many deliveries, 39, in doing so.
Klaasen finished unbeaten on 29 off only 14 balls, as if to emphasise the mistake by the Titans brainstrust and there will be plenty for them to unpack in the coming days as they try to get to the bottom of why this campaign failed, given all the resources at their disposal.
The Warriors however will be delighted. They have fought back magnificently in this competition and will not shy away when taking on a star-studded Lions team, who earlier in the day completed a comfortable victory against the Cape Cobras by seven wickets.
Sinethemba Qeshile’s men are a vastly different team to the one which lost their opening game to the Lions, with confidence now oozing through that squad after back-to-back wins against the Titans and Knights.
Dolphins 151/6 (Miller 49*. Ngidi 3/21)
Titans 144/6 (Galiem 45. Frylinck 2/26)
Dolphins won by 7 runs