Titans overpower Warriors
Martin van Jaarsveld led from the front while Paul Harris shone with the ball as the Nashua Titans opened their MiWay T20 Challenge campaign with a clinical 29-run win over the Chevrolet Warriors at Buffalo Park in East London on Friday.
Van Jaarsveld played a true captains innings to guide the Nashua Titans to a challenging 174-5 while Harris stifled the Warriors fightback with a T20 Challenge career best 3-22 off four overs.
Coming in with his team struggling at 24-2, Van Jaarsveld was in devastating form as he belted eight fours and three sixes in compiling 77 off 44 balls.
This after Makhaya Ntini put the Titans on the back foot in the third over when taking the wickets of Henry Davids and Roelof van der Merwe off successive balls. Davids was the first to go when he was bowled by Ntini for seven before the Mdingi Express had Van der Merwe caught by wicketkeeper Arno Jacobs for a duck.
Van Jaarsveld then joined New Zealand-bound opener Jacques Rudolph at the crease. The pair looked to be getting the Titans back on track before the visitors were unfortunate to lose their third wicket with the score on 43/3. Rudolph was looking in good form on 22 but unlucky to get run out when Warriors bowler Lyall Meyer deflected the ball on to his stumps.
Farhaan Behardien then joined his skipper at the crease and together the pair got the Titans past the 50 mark off 31 deliveries. Van Jaarsveld got to his fifth T20 Challenge fifty off 32 balls with four fours and one six. The two stepped up the tempo before Van Jaarsveld was caught by Craig Thyssen at point, off the bowling of Andrew Birch, for a well played 77.
Behardien and David Wiese got the Titans to 150 (off 104 balls) before Birch struck again when Wiese was caught by Kelly Smuts at long-on for six.
The Titans then closed out on a challenging 174/5, with Behardien unbeaten on 54, his second T20 fifty, and Mangaliso Mosehle on three.
Ntini finished with 2-36 while Birch picked up 2-25 also off four overs.
Chasing a commanding total, the home team got off to the worst possible start when opener Jon Jon Smuts was stumped off the second ball of Warriors innings. After hitting a four through the covers, Smuts was stumped by wicketkeeper Mosehle off the bowling of Van der Merwe.
Veteran Proteas star Ashwell Prince was then joined by Arno Jacobs and together the pair put on 31 runs before Jacobs went for 15 when caught at mid-wicket by Harris to give CJ de Villiers his first wicket.
Prince and East London-born Justin Kreusch then patiently got the Warriors past the fifty mark off 41 balls (six fours). Former Proteas spinner Harris then got the wicket of Kreusch for 16 to leave the Warriors struggling at 63/3 after 10 overs. Harris got his second victim eight runs later when Kelly Smuts was caught on the boundary by Behardien.
Prince was then joined by the big-hitting Craig Thyssen and together the pair put on 18 runs before Prince was caught at on the boundary by Van Jaarsveld to give Harris his third and final wicket of the match.
After hitting a couple of lusty blows, Thyssen was next out 16 with the Warriors in dire straits on 111/6.
Wickets continued to fall and the Warriors were finally all out for 145-7 off their 20 overs. Nicky Boje was not out 27 while Simon Harmer was out last ball for 16.
Chevrolet Warriors – Ashwell Prince, Jon-Jon Smuts, Justin Kreusch, Arno Jacobs (wk), Craig Thyssen, Kelly Smuts, Nicky Boje (capt), Simon Harmer, Lyall Meyer, Andrew Birch, Makhaya Ntini.
Nashua Titans – Martin van Jaarsveld (capt), Farhaan Behardien, Henry Davids, CJ de Villiers, Paul Harris, Mangaliso Mosehle (w/k), Rowan Richards, Jacques Rudolph, Alfonso Thomas, Roelof van der Merwe, David Wiese.