Titans to take on Cobras in the final

2013-11-12 00:00

HEINO Kuhn struck his second century in five days to see the Titans through to a five-wicket win against the Dolphins at Kingsmead yesterday, thereby seeing the team from Pretoria qualify for Friday’s Momentum One Day Cup final against the Cobras in Cape Town on Friday.

His innings of 102 from 117 balls was the foundation of the Titans run chase as they hunted down 238 to win, reaching 240-5 with nine balls to spare, bringing to an end what has been a spirited one-day campaign by the Dolphins. Kuhn shared in partnerships of 55 for the second wicket with Cobus Pienaar (28) and 71 with Graeme van Buuren (47*) for the fifth wicket.

Earlier, the backbone of the Dolphins total of 237 all out was an eighth wicket partnership of 84 between Daryn Smit (53) and Kyle Abbott (42). The same pair had added a record-breaking, undefeated 90 for the same wicket earlier in the season, against the same opposition, in a washed out match at Kingsmead and their heroics this time round gave the Dolphins bowlers something to defend.

In sunny conditions, Dolphins captain Morne van Wyk called correctly and as had been the formula in the previous match against the Cobras last Friday, wanted first strike on what looked a decent batting strip. Opening with Cameron Delport, the pair knocked up the first opening partnership 50 of the competition, from 53 balls. Delport (27) departed soon after as the Dolphins stuttered somewhat, failing to capitalise on the steady platform. The Titans also has a card up their sleeves, opening their attack from both ends with the spin of Roelof van der Merwe and Shaun von Berg.

Imraan Khan (6) and Vaughn van Jaarsveld (3) went in quick succession, with van Wyk all the while edging toward his fifty. It was not to be as he played a lazy shot on 48, caught at backward point by Francois le Clus. Cody Chetty looked good for his 20 and Khaya Zondo, after a few lusty blows, fell for 15, caught at slip. Robbie Frylinck (8) tried to up the tempo with six over long off, but the Dolphins were slipping gears and 200 looked to be a good score.

Smit and Abbott played intelligent cricket, changing the strike and keeping the scoreboard ticking. Their partnership steadied the ship and gave the Dolphins some respect on the scoreboard. For the Titans, CJ de Villiers claimed 3-40 and Von Berg chipped in with 2-41. Van der Merwe, Ethy Mbhalati and Van Buuren finished with a wicket apiece.

Needing early wickets, the Dolphins unleashed their fast men – Abbott and Onions first up - with Craig Alexander and Robbie Frylinck following. However, wickets were hard to come by and they did not come quick enough, with steady partnerships enabling the Titans to knock off the runs.

Credit must be given to the Dolphins for fighting to the end but van Buuren’s six over mid-wicket off an Alexander full toss in the 48th over was the death knell. Mangoliso Mosehle (18*) finished the match in style, dispatching Abbott for a massive six over deep mid-wicket toward the scoreboard. Wickets for the Dolphins were shared between Abbott, Onions, Zondo and Smit, with a run out added.

Kuhn was man of the match.

It was encouraging for the Dolphins to reach this far into the one day competition after many barren seasons and it bodes well for next season, the side knowing how to win at least. Focus now shifts to the Sunfoil four-day series for the Dolphins, starting on Thursday 21 November, when the Cobras come to Durban.

Scores in Brief

Dolphins 237 (Smit 53, Van Wyk 48, Abbott 42; De Villiers 3-40)

Titans 240-5 (Kuhn 102, Van Buuren 47*)

Titans won by 5 wickets

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