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Saturday, December 17, 2016

Titans Crowned T20 Champions

The Multiply Titans became the first team to win back-to-back T20 Challenge titles when they won the 2016 competition by six runs over the Warriors at Supersport Park in Centurion on Friday.

Full scorecard: Titans v Warriors
The Titans restricted the Warriors to 149 for six with Lungi Ngidi (4-0-27-2) and Tabraiz Shamsi (4-036-2) making the breakthroughs when needed while Junior Dala (4-0-25-0) created the squeeze in the middle overs.
This was in reply to the Titans' 155 for six, who were sent into bat by Jon-Jon Smuts.

Statistics stated that the team chasing in a day/night game at Centurion won seven of the last nine matches, which gave Smuts the conviction to bowl first without hesitation.
The visitors would have felt vindicated halfway through the innings as they had restricted the home side to 76 for three.
Jonathan Vandiar (10) struck just one boundary before offering a catch to Ayabulela Gqamane off Basheer Walters (3-0-15-1) before Heinrich Klaasen (19) was brilliantly dismissed with a teamwork catch on the boundary.

Klaasen, who struck two boundaries and a six, launched Colin Ingram (4-0-24-1) towards the long-on boundary where Colin Ackermann snatched the ball out of the air before flicking it to Qaasim Adams who was in support, before going over the rope.
Aiden Markram stood tall throughout the innings before being caught by Ackermann at mid-off from the bowling of Gqamane (1-0-8-1) after striking four boundaries from 25 deliveries.

Highlights of the T20 Challenge final between Multiply Titans and Warriors from SuperSport Park
Captain Albie Morkel (21) and Heino Kuhn (17) were brilliantly run out by Lesiba Ngoepe and Walters respectively to leave the Titans on 126 for six at the start of the 18th over but David Wiese (24 not out), batsman of the match, and Malusi Siboto (4 not out) added 29 unbeaten runs for the seventh wicket off 18 balls to get the home side over the 150-run mark, which included taking 19 runs off the final over bowled by Sisanda Magala (4-0-40-0).

Farhaan Behardien's excellent run with the bat came to an end in the final when he was caught by Ackermann off Kyle Abbott (4-0-27-1) for just 11.
In response, the Warriors started badly, losing Clyde Fortuin (0) and Smuts (16) with the total on 16 after just 2.2 overs, this despite the Titans losing Morkel five balls into the chase.
Ackermann and Ingram (12) steadied the ship somewhat with a stand worth 27 off 22 balls before Ingram edged Ngidi, who was named bowler of the match, to Klaasen behind the stumps.

Ackermann then found a solid partner in Christiaan Jonker as the pair looked set to drive the Warriors close to the finishing line but then madness ensued.
First Ackermann tried to sweep Shamsi, only to lob the ball to Siboto at short fine leg, who then dropped a Dolly of a catch.
The very next ball Jonker went for an aggressive sweep and hit the ball from Shamsi straight to Dala on the square-leg boundary to depart for 33 off 25 balls with three fours and a six.

Qaasim Adams (17) struggled to move the ball around despite adding 34 off 29 with Ackermann but then was trapped in front with Shamsi's final ball to end any hope of the Warriors crossing the line.
The final nail was knocked into the coffin when Ackermann, just two balls later, launched a rank long-hop from Ngidi straight down the throat of Dala on the cover boundary fence.

Magala (14 not out) and Ngoepe (8 not out) tried valiantly to get their team across the line but good bowling from Wiese (4-0-31-1) and Siboto (2-0-15-0) shut the Eastern Cape franchise out for their second title in a row and hand Mark Boucher his first trophy as head coach.
Smuts ended up as the leading run-scorer of the tournament with 371 runs at 41.22 while Hardus Viljoen of the bizhub Highveld Lions ended as the leading wicket taker with 19 wickets at 16.63.

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