File photo: Albie Morkel smashed six sixes to fire up Titans’ chase © Getty Images
Players/Officials: Wayne Parnell
Series/Tournaments: Ram Slam T20 Challenge | South African Domestic Season
Warriors‘ Wayne Parnell committed a crucial error off the last ball of the innings to cede the high-scoring thriller to Titans in Benoni. Titans needed 12 runs in the last over but Farhaan Behardien, who hit the first ball for a boundary, was bowled by Parnell off the second. The incoming batsmen, Mangaliso Mosehle, missed his first delivery, but managed to score a crucial boundary of the next before running a tricky double off the penultimate delivery. That brought the equation down to two off one. Mosehle was caught off the last delivery, but Parnell had overstepped, and the batsmen ran the one run to complete the chase.
The win was set up by a 105-run partnership for the third wicket between Behardien and Albie Morkel, who smashed six sixes in his 25-ball 49. The top order had given the start Titans needed, and Morkel and Behardien scored at a scorching pace – Morkel hitting five of his first 13 balls he faced for sixes – to bring up the century of the partnership in 55 balls. Morkel was bowled by Juan Theron off the last delivery of the 19th over, allowing Warriors a way back and Parnell was well on his way to help them sneak a win, but the last-ball error cost the team dear.
Warriors had been put to bat and top-order contributions meant they kept the scoring rate up before Christiaan Jonker and Davy Jacobs helped them rocket to 197. The two smashed 54 runs off the last four overs.
A 145-run partnership between Hashim Amla and Stiaan van Zyl set the platform for Cobras‘ comfortable win against Lions in Paarl. Cobras didn’t have the best of the starts as they lost Graeme Smith, who opened in place of Richard Levi, in the second over. Amla and van Zyl made steady progress in the next three overs before Azhar Mahmood was hit for consecutive boundaries by Amla in the sixth. Van Zyl, on the other hand, chose to open up against spinner Imran Tahir, launching him for a six and a four in the 10th over.
The peak acceleration, though, came between overs 13 and 17 as the two batsmen racked up 66 runs. Amla, after crossing his half-century in 41 deliveries in the 15th over, went after Chris Morris in the 16th, hitting the bowler for three sixes. By the time he was dismissed in the 18th over, Amla had progressed to 84 off 51. Van Zyl remained unbeaten and saw Cobras through to 187.
Much depended on Quinton de Kock to provide the initial thrust to Lions’ chase, but he was dismissed for 24 in the fourth over by Vernon Philander. The only notable stand, thereafter, was between Alviro Petersen and Neil McKenzie – the two added 46 for the third wicket – but once it was broken, Lions lost the momentum. They finished 15 short of Cobras’ total to lose their third match in a row, with Robin Peterson accounting for three batsmen.