Warriors stun Titans to reach One Day Cup final

Jon-Jon Smuts (Gallo Images)
Jon-Jon Smuts (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Anrich Nortje led an impressive performance with the ball that helped the Warriors upset the Titans and reach the One-Day Cup Final with a crushing eight-wicket win at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Tuesday.

The fast bowler took three for 45 with good support coming from Ayabulela Gqamane and the rest of the attack as the hosts were bowled out for an underwhelming 230 after being asked to bat first.

Lesiba Ngoepe and Gihahn Cloete then shared in a calming 115-run opening stand – both hitting half-centuries in the process – to get the visitors almost halfway to their target, before Jon-Jon Smuts arrived at first drop and finished the job with a swashbuckling 74 (60 balls, 11 fours, 1 six).

The captain batted with a similar authority to the openers that did not allow the usually indomitable Titans a sniff as the Warriors won with 91 balls to spare.

They will now meet the winner of Wednesday’s second semi-final between the Cape Cobras and the Dolphins away from home.

That game will be played on Friday and the men from Eastern Cape were full value for getting there after a magnificent performance away at the champions.

After winning the toss and bowling, they constantly took wickets, which did not allow the home batsmen to settle.

The top five all scored between 19 and 27, but none of them managed to kick on as the Titans slumped to 188 for seven in the 38th over and in serious danger of being bowled out.

Farhaan Behardien (57 off 67 balls, 4 fours, 1 six) finally found support in Junior Dala (7) to take their side to some sort of challenging total – the pair sharing in a record 44-run ninth wicket stand – before being bowled out in 49.4 overs.

But the Warriors were ruthless in reply as the in-form Cloete made 56 (50 balls, 7 fours, 1 six) and Ngoepe blasted 69 (64 balls, 6 fours, 2 sixes).

After they fell, it was Man of the Match Smuts and Yaseen Vallie (25 not out) who completed the job to give their side an upset win.

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