Delport stars as Tuskers shock Titans

Published Apr 7, 2024


Zaahier Adams

CAMERON Delport turned back the clock to help the Tuskers shock the Titans with a six-wicket victory at SuperSport Park yesterday.

Delport, who is a much-travelled T20 specialist with previous stints in the Indian Premier League, Pakistan Super League, SA20 and Caribbean Premier League, among others, smashed an unbeaten 83 off 49 deliveries (including five fours and six sixes) to guide the Tuskers past the Titans’ 165 with 2.2 overs remaining.

It was the 34-year-old’s 32nd T20 half-century.

The Titans’ defeat was a major setback in their bid to haul in the Dolphins to claim that elusive fourth play-off spot. It was even more critical after the Dolphins beat the North West Dragons by 19 runs in the other fixture yesterday.

The Dolphins’ victory was earned through a magnificent contribution from Marques Ackerman (72 not out) and a blistering 66 off just 38 balls from all-rounder Eathan Bosch.

At SuperSport Park, however, it was Delport who formed the backbone of the Tuskers’ chase as the left-hander shared two partnerships in excess of 50 runs.

Keith Dudgeon, who has been enjoying an excellent CSA T20 Challenge, also contributed a worthwhile 28 off 19 balls.

The Titans, however, will feel aggrieved that they could not post a larger total after their two SA Under-19 openers, Lu-handre Pretorius (58 off 43) and Steve Stolk (22 off 15), got them off to a rollicking start.

The teenage duo were belligerent in the PowerPlay, especially Pretorius, who notched up his maiden senior T20 half-century.

At 87-1 after 10.2 overs, the Titans would have been targeting a total in the region of 200 and seemed on track when captain Sibonelo Makhanya (28 off 14 balls) and Neil Brand (32 off 22 balls) maintained the early momentum.

However, a double strike from Kurtlyn Mannikam, when the spinner removed both Dayyaan Galiem and Corbin Bosch for ducks at the death, pulled the handbrake on the Titans’ innings.

It was a major swing that ultimately was sufficient for the Tuskers to gain a much-needed victory in their battle to stave off relegation.

In Cape Town, fellow relegation candidates Paarl Royals shared the points with Western Province after the Western Cape derby was abandoned due to heavy rains. Province were seemingly in the driver’s seat on 86-1 after 9.2 overs when a second downpour saw the players head off to the changerooms.

There was enough time for Proteas batter Tony de Zorzi to return to the Province line-up after an injury and he immediately made an impression with 51 not out off 32 balls. Province captain Kyle Verreynne was unbeaten on 28 off 15 balls.