Davids stars as Titans finish strongly
Nashua Titans skipper Henry Davids fell just eight runs short of a gritty century before the Chevrolet Knights forced their way back into the game to have the home side 321 for 7 at the close of play on day one of their Sunfoil Series match at Sahara Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Thursday.
On a hot and humid highveld day which took its toll on both teams, the visitors bowled their way back into the game in the final session, taking four late wickets after the Titans had reached 232 for three shortly after tea.
After winning the toss, the home side put on 52 for the first wicket, before Mangaliso Mosehle was bowled in the 19th over by Quinton Friend for 32, which included six boundaries.
Pieter Malan and skipper Henry Davids took the total to 96 for one wicket at lunch, and went on to post a 118-run partnership off 27.3 overs before Malan was out, falling to Dillon du Preez just before the drinks break with the score on 170 for two.
Malan was caught by Rilee Rossouw after scoring a well-played 65 which included seven fours and a six.
Farhaan Behardien joined his skipper in the 47th over as the pair pushed past 200 in the 60th over, rotating the strike with singles and putting the bad balls away to the fence in a 62-run partnership which took the Titans to 232 for three.
Davids fell short of a well-deserved hundred, going down to the gentle medium pace of Malusi Siboto in the 67th over, caught by Johan van der Wath for 92, including 14 fours and a six.
A Michael Erlank double-blow was to follow however, as Heino Kuhn's dismissal, LBW for 10, was followed 17 runs later when Behardien's studious innings was ended in the same way - LBW to the offspinner for 37 from 96 balls with five fours and a six.
The re-introduction of Dillon du Preez resulted two more quick wickets for the visitors, as he accounted for Roelof van der Merwe, caught and bowled for 10, and followed that up by trapping Shaun von Berg LBW for a duck to leave the Titans on 288 for seven in the 84th over.
Graeme van Buuren thumped a lively 47off 57 balls, and together with CJ de Villiers pair put on 33 unbeaten runs for the eighth wicket, to see the Titans out of danger and into day two in a strong position. Van Buuren will resume on 47 not out, with De Villiers on 11.
Dillon du Preez finished with figures of three for 37 off 17 overs, while Michael Erlank's two wickets came at a cost of 43 runs from 11 overs. Friend and Siboto both finished with one wicket apiece.
NASHUA TITANS: Pieter Malan, Mangaliso Mosehle, Henry Davids (capt), Roelof van der Merwe, Heino Kuhn (wk), Ethy Mbhalati, Farhaan Behardien, Graeme van Buuren, Juan de Villiers, Shaun von Berg, CJ de Villiers
CHEVROLET KNIGHTS: Gihahn Cloete, Michael Erlank, Rudi Second (wk), Rilee Rossouw, Ryan Bailey, Obus Pienaar, Pat Botha, Johan van der Wath (capt), Dillon du Preez, Quinton Friend, Malusi Siboto