The Northerns Titans continued their charge for first place on the CSA T20 Challenge log as they easily chased a 149 goal against the Central Gauteng Lions to win by seven wickets with 11 balls left at St George’s Park on Thursday.
Quinton de Kock started bowling from the start and raced to 22 of 11 balls before Bjorn Fortuin (4-0-23-1) caught him.
The chase was then brilliantly led by Captain Theunis de Bruyn, who fluently stroked 63 balls that were not out of 51, and Heinrich Klaasen, who accelerated to 44 after 33 deliveries as they broke the chase with a third wicket score of 106 from just 71 balls.
Malusi Siboto took 2/21 in 3.1 overs as he and Fortuin were the only Lions bowlers not to make it.
After choosing to bat first, the Lions got off to a great start with Reeza Hendricks (41 out of 37) and Kagiso Rapulana (31 out of 25) added 58 for the first wicket in 8.3 overs.
Tabraiz Shamsi (4-0-25-2) then set off a slump with the wickets of Hendricks and the dangerous Shane Dadswell (0) on consecutive deliveries, while the Lions dropped over to 101/6 in the 16th.
Sisanda Magala gave them some hope, however, when he fired a quickfire 33 that didn’t consist of just 18 deliveries.
Shamsi was supported by excellent spin bowling by Aaron Phangiso (4-0-18-1) and Dewald Brevis (3-0-18-1).
Northerns are now just one point behind the log-leading Western Province side.
In the afternoon game, another sensational innings by Tristan Stubbs took the Eastern Province to 156/6 after choosing to bat first, but the Warriors would pay for poor fielding and sloppy bowling as the Boland Rocks passed that score by three wickets and two balls to Reserve.
Stubbs continued to push for higher honors as he drove 47 out of 30 balls, with Wihan Lubbe (35 out of 25) and Diego Rosier (31 out of 22) providing valuable help.
Boland’s spinners, led by leggie Shaun von Berg (4-0-26-3), were excellent – Imran Manack took 1/21 and Siyabonga Mahima gave up just 22 runs in their quota of overs.
The Warriors sent both Malan brothers off in the first two overs, but Boland was then let off the hook when the catches were dropped, giving Clyde Fortuin and Farisco Adams, who both scored 27 from 17 balls, some momentum.
Young Michael Copeland put in an impressive mature innings of 40 and Christiaan Jonker hit 30 for 25, before Hardus saw Viljoen de Rocks take home 18 no out on 8 balls.
Jon-Jon Smuts (4-0-16-1) led a good bowling show from the spinners, with Tsepo Ndwandwa winning 2/33 and Lizo Makhosi 1/16 in three overs.