Brilliant Davids sinks Cobras
A dominant display from the Nashua Titans' batting order helped them chase down the target of 278 set by the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras and secure a four–wicket victory in the Momentum One Day Cup at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Wednesday.
Full Scorecard – Titans v Cape Cobras
The Cobras had earlier reached 277 for six in their allotted 50 overs, thanks mainly to a magnificent 106 off 134 balls by opener Andrew Puttick which laid a solid foundation for the visitors’ innings.
Roelof van der Merwe’s figures of 10-0-45-2 were the best of the Titans bowlers, but some sound death bowling reined the Cobras in and they fell about 20 runs short of the target they might have hoped for.
It might have proved immaterial in any event, as the Titans took the attack to the Western Cape outfit from the start.
A magnificent 92 off 95 balls by opener Henry Davids set the Titans on course, and some clean ball-striking from David Wiese (40 off 36) at the end ensured the Titans cruised to their first victory of the competition.
Cobras captain Justin Ontong had earlier won the toss and decided his team would bat first. Opener Richard Levi (19 off 20) looked dangerous in the early stages before holing out off the bowling of Rowan Richards (3-0-22-1) to leave the batting side 23 for one.
Puttick and Dane Vilas (62 off 53) then wrestled control of the match from the Titans with a second-wicket partnership of 127.
Vilas fell in the 28th over, but Puttick went on to record his ninth List A century.
The Cobras were 220 for three in the 42nd over, and at that stage must have been eyeing a total in excess of 300.
But the Titans bowlers pulled things back, and the Cobras eventually had to settle for 277. The target of 278 still looked a formidable one, especially for a batting side that had failed so dismally against the Lions on Friday.
The Titans’ reply began with a maiden over from Beuran Hendricks (10-0-68-3), but exploded into life soon after.
The opening pair of Davids and Heino Kuhn (41 of 42) played with sublime aggression and took the Cobras’ bowlers apart to reach 78 without loss after the first powerplay.
Davids raced to his half century off just 43 balls, and continued along beautifully to help bring up the hundred for the Titans in the 14th over.
The Cobras got a much-needed breakthrough in the following over, dismissing Kuhn to end a fantastic opening stand of 104.
The wicket stemmed the flow of runs, and the fielding side began to apply a bit of pressure on the Titans. But Davids and new-man Mangaliso Mosehle (43 off 46) didn’t panic, and managed to break the shackles after a slow start to their partnership.
Mosehle struck a lusty blow off Alistair Gray (10-0-49-1) in the 29th over to clear the fence, only to perish the very next delivery. However, he departed with his team at 175 for two, firmly in command of proceedings.
But from a position of dominance, the innings began to stutter.
Captain Martin van Jaarsveld (10 off 10) was clean bowled by Hendricks, and then, two balls later, Davids was run out just eight runs short of a richly deserved century to send shudders down the spines of those in the Titans dressing room, with the score at 195 for four.
The talismanic Wiese then walked to the crease and allayed any fears the home side may have had. He bided his time before taking the game away from the Cobras with some wonderful attacking strokeplay.
Although he and Farhaan Berhardien (27 off 41) were dismissed near the end, the damage had been done. Paul Harris then struck an emphatic six to guide the Titans home for a comfortable four–wicket victory with 20 balls to spare.
NASHUA TITANS – Martin van Jaarsveld (capt), Farhaan Behardien, Henry Davids, CJ de Villiers, Paul Harris, Heino Kuhn (wk), Ethy Mbhalati, Mangaliso Mosehle, Rowan Richards, Roelof van der Merwe, David Wiese.
NASHUA MOBILE CAPE COBRAS – Justin Ontong (capt), Alistair Gray, Beuran Hendricks, Justin Kemp, Charl Langeveldt, Richard Levi, Dane Piedt, Andrew Puttick, Yaseen Vallie, Stiaan van Zyl, Dane Vilas (wk).