Lungi Ngidi rips through Warriors as Titans romp home
A superb all-round display from the defending champs allowed them to pick up their third win on the trot and consolidate their place at the top of the Ram Slam log in the process.
Batting first the Titans powered their way to 172/4 after a poor start thanks to solid contributions from the middle order‚ with the Warriors then all out for 111 thanks to another top order collapse after a fast start. Lungi Ngidi returned superb figures of 4/14 to help seal the win.
“One of the things we focus on is to start well in competitions‚ it makes it a lot easier at the back end‚ so three wins we will take it with two bonus points. Unlucky we missed the last one but we had to make up for it tonight and we did that‚” said Ngidi.
“We are a very relaxed team‚ we never panic or jump ahead of the situation. We were actually saying 120 on this wicket is par and as bowlers we believed we could defend that.
“So with the batting we just played the situation and got more and more momentum and with the bowling we didn't come out well up-front but the captain brought us in and all he asked for was to lift the intensity a bit. Then we took a few wickets and once we had our foot on their throat we didn’t let go.”
After winning the toss and electing to field the Warriors got off to a fantastic start thanks to opening bowlers Basheer Walters and Andrew Birch not giving an inch as the Titans limped to 26/2 in the first six overs.
Walters had Henry Davids (1) out with his second ball of the second over‚ caught by captain Jon-Jon Smuts at short cover after going through the shot early and offering an easy chance.
Sisanda Magala then bowled the fourth over and after being thrashed for four over extra cover by Quinton de Kock‚ got his revenge with the next ball as de Kock (7) tried to repeat but got a top edge with Walters doing the rest.
The introduction of spinners Smuts and Colin Ackermann then allowed the Titans’ new batsmen Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram to settle as they targeted going at 10 an over off the next four to take them to 66/2 by the innings halfway mark.
Going back to pace then proved the trick as Solo Nqweni came into the attack and ended a positive 62-run stand having Elgar caught by Magala for 34 with the Titans 71/3 in the 11th over.
Markram then followed soon after‚ popping a simple return catch back to Kelly Smuts in his only over to depart for 45.
At 89/4 in the 13th over the Titans would have been eyeing at least 150‚ but Farhaan Behardien (43 not out) and captain Albie Morkel (33 not out) had other ideas. They put the Warriors’ bowling attack to the sword with a cracking unbeaten 83-run stand off 46 balls to power the Titans to a strong total.
All the bowlers came in for a bit of tap in the last few overs with Aya Gqamane’s only over going for 14‚ Birch going for 11 and Walters for 10 off their last overs. Magala's last two cost 33‚ however Walters with 1/15 and Birch with 0/23 still finished with impressive figures after their four overs.
The Warriors’ chase then got off to a perfect start as Gihahn Cloete (32) and Jon-Jon Smuts (20) went wild. smashing 50 off the first five overs.
An epic collapse then ensued as the Warriors lost six wickets for seven runs in four overs‚ effectively ending their challenge at 57/6 after nine overs.
Some lower order hitting from Christiaan Jonker (12)‚ Birch (24) and Magala (19) then made the score a bit more respectable getting the Warriors over the hundred-run mark.
Ngidi was the pick of the Titans’ attack. After seeing his first over go for 14 runs‚ he stormed back picking up four wickets off his next eight balls for no runs including the last two of the game. He was backed up well by Markram who claimed 3/21 in four overs.
“I am very happy. After the start I had going for 14 in my first over I was looking down the barrel of the gun‚ but the captain gave me another chance – I knew I had to fight back and did exactly that‚” Ngidi said.
The Titans are next in action on Sunday against the Cape Cobras in Centurion‚ while the Warriors take on the Dolphins in Durban next week Wednesday.
Friday night’s Ram Slam T20 results:
Warriors v Titans - Titans won by 61 runs
Highveld Lions v Cape Cobras - Lions won by 7 wickets
Dolphins v Knights - No result