About the Match
Titans finished on top of the table this season with 32 points and will take on Warriors, who finished in the 4th place with 18 points, in the 1st Semi-Final match at Centurion on 13th December. The Warriors recently defeated Cape Cobras by 18 runs in the last league match and will try to make it to the next stage with a better performance. When they met Titans earlier, they lost the match by 56 runs through D/L method and this is a good opportunity for redemption. The Titans lost to Dolphins recently by a big margin of 89 runs and will fight hard to survive this challenge to keep their campaign going.
Chasing 169 runs against Dolphins, the top-order collapsed like a pack of cards with players like Dean Elgar, Vandiar, Heinrich Klaasen and David Wiese getting out cheaply in the first half of the innings. They were all-out for a measly 79, losing the contest by 89 runs. Earlier, pacer Morne Morkel took 2-25, stifling the opponents along with Junior Dala and spinner Shaun von Berg who took 2 wickets each. However, their efforts went in vain as the batsmen failed to impress and get the required runs.
Against Cobras too, the batsmen could muster only 132 runs batting first; Farhaan Behardien top-scored with 43 while Henry Davids scored 30 runs. Chris Morris and Malusi Siboto tried to keep the scoreboard ticking but with no support from others, they couldn’t build a solid total. Spinner Tabraiz Shamsi and pacers Junior Dala and Chris Morris took 2 wickets each to stifle the opponents, but they couldn’t defend the total, in the end, losing the match by 3 wickets.
They did well to finish first in the league and can prove to be a formidable force to reckon with in the upcoming match.
Captain JJ Smuts led the charge while batting first against Cobras in the last match; he scored 48 off 30 and Colin Ingram along with Christiaan Jonker took the innings ahead to 168 runs. Colin Ackermann also pitched in with 20 runs, and then the bowlers struck hard with regular breakthroughs to stifle the Cobras and win the match by 18 runs. Colin Ingram and Jonker took 3 wickets between them while BD Walters, Andrew Birch and Sisanda Magala took 1 wicket each.
They also defeated Lions recently by defending 133 runs successfully in a rain-affected game. Smuts who is in good form posted 69 off 52 and Christiaan Jonker scored 30 runs. The middle-order is quite strong with players like Ackermann, Ingram and Jonker, who can help them stabilize the innings whether batting first or during the chase. Later, Smuts, Ackermann, and Birch took a wicket each to restrict the Lions; Sisanda Magala dismissed 2 opponents and they won the match by 4 runs through D/L method.
The Warriors came back with a bang to qualify for the semi-finals, and they will leave no stone unturned to keep the winning momentum going.
Both teams have in-form batsmen and bowlers, who could come out all guns blazing to help their team make it to the finals. While the Warriors will be confident coming into this game, Titans cannot be taken lightly despite their consecutive losses. Although the contest could go down to the wire, we feel that Titans with their strong team coupled with the momentum gathered during the league games are better placed to conquer the Warriors.