The Momentum One-Day Cup served up its first high-scoring thriller of the season on Friday night, as The Titans held their nerve to beat the Highveld Lions by a solitary run on a quick Bidvest Wanderers track.
The home side needed 19 off the final over with Chris Morris and Aaron Phangiso at the crease, yet Phangiso managed back-to-back fours off Titans all-rounder David Wiese before Morris hit the penultimate ball of the innings for six.
That left three needed off the last ball, but a swing and a miss from Morris ensured that the Titans, who lost out so narrowly to the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras last Friday, came away from this tight game with the points.
After being inserted by home captain Stephen Cook, the Titans raced out of the blocks with Henry Davids and Jacques Rudolph taking 106 runs off the first 13 overs of their innings.
Lonwabo Tsotsobe removed both batsmen in consecutive overs and two further wickets led to a period of consolidation for the Titans, before Farhaan Behardien (59) and Wiese (42 from 33 balls) lifted the rate as the innings moved into the final 10 overs.
However, a sensational spell at the death by Hardus Viljoen saw him take 4 for 8 in two overs as the Titans were unexpectedly bowled out for 301 with three balls left unused.
The Lions reply was guided by a steady knock by Cook (67) up front and an even better one from Rassie van der Dussen (92) in the middle, but there was always a feeling that too much work was being left for the end.
With Van der Dussen unable to see the job through as he mistimed a hook shot, Morris’ fireworks at the end were not quite enough as the Lions lost their third straight game in the competition.
As the editor of Cricket Badger he is intent on building the website to give quality coverage of the domestic game around the world.
James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
James is a published author and a writer/video contributor to many cricket publications.
He's unsurprisingly a complete cricket badger!