Titans beat Cobras by six wickets

2014-01-10 09:28

Cape Cobras: 96/4 (Amla 48, Smith 23, Ontong 12*, Richards 2/12, Van der Merwe 2/18)

Titans: 89/4 (Behardien 41, Morkel 22*, Kleinveldt 1/21, Hendricks 1/18, Kemp 2/10) Titans won by six wickets

Farhaan Behardien’s 23-ball 41 powered the Titans to their first win of the Ram Slam T20 challenge after slipping up against the Dolphins on Sunday.

Behardien was not there to seal the deal, but an expensive 14-run penultimate over conceded by Rory Kleinveldt changed the game.

It was at the hands of Albie Morkel, who was handed a life on four when he was dropped second ball by Richard Levi, that the Titans secured a six-wicket victory.

Behardien himself was fortunate, as he was caught by JP Duminy off a Beuran Hendricks no ball. It was an excellent victory by the hosts, who were 22/3 in the third over after Faf du Plessis, Mangaliso Mosehle and Henry Davids all fell cheaply to indiscriminate shots. Chasing a revised target in 10 overs had much to do with that. The Cobras innings was terminated by rain after 13.1 overs.

A star-studded Cobras side batted at first, but had a rather slow start when Levi was trapped in front by Roelof van der Merwe. It highlighted his weakness against any sort of spin and does his T20 World Cup chances no good. It was in Sri Lanka in the 2012 T20 World Cup where his stocks plummeted and they haven’t risen since, despite some good domestic limited overs form.

Hashim Amla had none of those problems, even though he was gifted a life when Ethy Mbhalati overstepped in the fourth over when Amla was caught behind. Before that, he had creamed two consecutive boundaries and promptly sent the free hit sailing over the mid-wicket boundary.

The way in which Amla handled the Titans’ spin attack and his rate of scoring, making a 29-ball 48, won’t make for good news for internationals. While he can and will attack loose bowling, his strike rate has been a bit of a concern. Last night he was unshackled without resorting to ungainly shots.

The Titans did well to tie up the other end and they slowly came back into the game. Left arm seamer Rowan Richards made a telling impression when he snared Amla and Duminy in successive balls.

The hook shot was again Amla’s downfall, and Duminy had no response to an inswinging Yorker. From a lofty 67/1 at the end of the seven-over power play period, they were 71/3 after eight overs.

Van der Merwe tightened the noose when he had Graeme Smith play a shot to Heino Kuhn at deep midwicket, but the rain came and washed away the Cobras’ innings after 13.1 overs. They did not do justice to their good start and they paid for it.

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