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|Tony de Zorzi||12||13||1||0||92.31|
|Theunis de Bruyn||7||11||0||0||63.64|
There is a spectacular disparity between the top three and bottom three teams at the ladder in the ongoing Momentum ODI Cup. With almost half the tournament gone, the Warriors appear to be running away with Dolphins and Titans closely behind them. The upcoming clash between the Titans and Warriors which is to be played on 8th March should provide us with a clear picture of the things to come. A win for Warriors will push them further ahead of the competition - making their qualification almost certain, however, a loss will diminish the gap between the first and the third spot setting things for the second half of the tournament.
Languishing at the bottom of the table not long ago, the Titans have suddenly not only bounced back into the contention but also have put them in the race to finish first in the league stage. After starting off the competition on a high, the Titans lost their way - losing twice in two matches before finally bouncing back with two massive wins over Cape Cobras and Warriors in back to back matches.
Coincidentally, their last match was against Warriors wherein they emerged victorious by a big margin. Batting first on a batting paradise, Aiden Markram continued from where he left and smashed yet another century - his second in a row to guide Titans to a humongous total of 369. Tony de Zorzi, unfortunately, missed out on a hundred as he was dismissed for a well-made 99 and contributed in an important first wicket partnership of 234. It was a complete batting display from Titans with no visible flaws and they'll be looking to keep it same when they meet Warriors once again on Friday.
It was always going to be a tough total to chase for the Warriors and the opening spell by Chris Morris only made it tougher. Morris picked up Cloete for a personal score of 22. Junior Dala dealt more damage a few overs later by picking up Breetzke. Although there was some fight shown by Warriors' batsmen thereafter, the Titans never looked like losing it.
Heinrich Klaasen, Farhaan Behardien, Gregory Mahlokwana, Junior Dala, Theunis de Bruyn, Tony de Zorzi, Heino Kuhn, Aiden Markram, TL Moreki, Chris Morris, Alfred Mothoa.
Warriors had a terrific start to the tournament where they were lossless for a long time before eventually losing two games - one of which was against Titans, their last match. However, they're still at the top of the table with four wins in six matches totaling to 18 points.
Chasing a tall total of 370, the Warriors needed to get going right from the word go, but their in-form batsman - Graham Cloete was accounted for by Chris Morris in the seventh over of the match. JJ Smuts, Breetzke, Ngoepe, and Queshile all tried hard with useful knocks, but keeping up with the required run rate proved to be a colossal task even for the experienced Warriors' batsmen.
Earlier with the ball, it wasn't the kind of performance their skipper was hoping for. Although Sipamla started off by keeping things tight at one end, Birch allowed Zorzi and Markram the freedom they were looking for as Warriors failed to create any sort of pressure. Stuurman was their most expensive bowler as he gave away 65 runs in just 6 overs. Barring Sipamla, who conceded just 40 and picked up three wickets in his 10 overs, none of the bowlers were able to have an impact which is evident by looking at the collective performance of the remaining bowlers wherein they picked up three wickets, but gave away 329 runs in 40 overs combined.
Gihahn Cloete, Matthew Breetzke, JJT Smuts, Yaseen Vallie, Sinethemba Qeshile, Marco Marais, SSB Magala, Andrew Birch, Lutho Sipamla, Glenton Stuurman, Colin Ackermann.
With both teams flying high with excellent performances of late, it is certainly expected to be an interesting game. Aiden Markram would have expected a call to the South African ODI unit after scoring heavily in the series so far, but it hasn't happened which could be a blessing for the Titans. Markram has been in fabulous form and will be looking to play yet another big innings and garner more attention. With the formidable batting lineup - rich in experience and talent, and Chris Morris in fine form, the Titans are better placed to emerge on top in the upcoming encounter.
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