Titans overpower SWD to secure T20 Knock Out semi-final spot

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Donovan Ferreira. (Photo by Louis Botha/Gallo Images)
Donovan Ferreira. (Photo by Louis Botha/Gallo Images)

The Titans overpowered the South Western Districts to become the first side to reach the CSA Provincial T20 Knock Out Competition semi-final in Kimberley earlier today. 

The comfortable 54-run victory was sealed thanks to an outstanding middle-order display from 23-year old Donovan Ferreira, who recorded a maiden T20 fifty, before the Titans bowlers combined well to restrict their opponents for a convincing win. 

Ferreira smashed three sixes and four fours on his way to an unbeaten 29-ball 55* to help catapult his side’s innings from 86/4 to a total of 192/5 after 20 overs. 

The returning Theunis de Bruyn had an instant impact with the bat, laying the platform for Ferreira’s destructive innings with a crucial knock of his own, scoring 48 runs off 33 deliveries (4 fours, 3 sixes). 

Having won the toss and elected to bowl first, SWD - the only Division Two side remaining in the competition - had made a promising start with the ball, led by the tournament’s leading wicket-taker, Herschell America (3/32). 

America began by removing opener Neil Brand (6) before his supporting cast helped limit the Titans to 44/2 in the powerplay.  The right-arm seamer then returned in the 11th over to strike in quick succession to send De Bruyn and Dayyaan Galiem (11)  back to the hut, bagging his 9th and 10th scalps of the campaign. 

Reeling at 86/4, the Titans had to count on their middle to lower-order to rescue their innings and they did just that. Ferreira and Sibonelo Makhanya (26) brought up a 56-run stand for the fifth wicket, before Ayabulela Gqamane (21*) joined Ferreira at the crease for a 50-run partnership in just 3.1 overs to take the Titans to a healthy final score. 

In their reply, the SWD made a dream start at the crease. Leus du Plooy, in his first game back from adventures abroad, played a starring role for the team from the Western Cape with a 9th career T20 fifty. 

Du Plooy expertly dispatched nine boundaries, including one six en route to 55 off 33 balls in his 82-run opening stand with Hanno Kotze (24) to leave the Titans fearing the worst with 11 overs remaining and 112 runs needed for victory. 

That’s when stand-in captain, Aaron Phanguso (2/18) took the game by the scruff of the neck and delivered a captain’s performance with the ball. 

The veteran spinner had Kotze stumped with the second ball of the 9th over, removed Jean du Plessis (0) the very next ball before pressuring the in-form Du Plooy into a scrambling run and was caught short of the crease to depart and leave SWD on 85/3. 

Things didn’t get better for skipper Du Plessis and his men from there, with wickets falling at regular intervals, including an incredible four run outs in the innings. 

Despite contributions from Jhedli van Briesies (22) and Heath Richards (15), the SWD chase whittled down to 138 all out with 2.9 overs to spare to wrap up their memorable journey in the competition. 

To go along with Phangiso’s wickets, Simon Harmer (1/19), Corbin Bosch (1/32), Okuhle Cele (1/26) and Neil Brand (1/2) all picked up a wicket apiece to secure their spot in Thursday’s semi-final against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins or the Gbets Warriors. 

- CSA media

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