by Erika Southey
18 November 2016
The VBK Knights won the toss and elected to bat.
Multiply Titans Skipper Albie Morkel got an early breakthrough two balls into the first over; dismissing Patrick Kruger for a duck. Next to go in the second over was Letlotlo Sesele (2) off the bowling of David Wiese.
VBK Knights’s captain van Biljon joined by David Miller became a formidable force. Miller took to his bat with gusto and smashed the ball around for several sixes of which a few landed outside the ground. Adding several boundaries to his tally Miller scored 120 of just 61 balls. The strategy was to keep him on strike. It became a frustrating and expensive couple of overs for the Titans bowlers. Morkel changed strategy and went in to bowl. It paid off and he got the wicket of van Biljon (28).
Thereafter three more wickets fell to the bowling of Junior Dala, Malusi Siboto and Wiese. Miller carried the Knights to 185/6 in their innings; setting a hefty score for the Titans to chase.
Grant Mokoena and Heinrich Klaasen started building a good partnership; when Mokoena misread the ball from Marchant de Lange which got him out on 20 runs. The look from Heino Kuhn after a shot off the bowling of Tshepo Ntuli said it all. He left the crease on 16 runs.
Klaasen responded by hitting several boundaries before going down to Duanne Olivier. A big upset for the Titans was the dismissal of big hitter Morkel (13) by Kruger. Somewhat of a revenge for Morkel dismissing him for a duck earlier?
With five wickets down; the match was down to the wire. A couple of big hits by Wiese and Farhaan Behardien ate away at the buffer the Knights had. De Lange got a breakthrough and bowled Wiese out. Behardien (30) was run out on the next ball. Two dismissals the Titans could ill afford.
The Titans found themselves on 182/7. A dot ball by Shadley van Schalkwyk put the Titans on the back-foot, needing 2 runs off 1 ball. It was up to Siboto and spin bowler Shaun von Berg to get the Titans over the finish line. Pressure was on von Berg facing the last ball.
Upset! A wide by van Schalkwyk turned the match in favour of the Titans who won by 3 wickets.
What a humdinger of a match; having fans on the edge of their seats. Keeping a cool head Behardien and Wiese was instrumental in taking the Titans to the win.
As Albie Morkel said “it’s still early days”.
The matches so far proved that this is going to be a riveting CSA T20 series.