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Cricket | RAM SLAM T20 Challenge

Alfonso Thomas © Gallo Images

Thomas leads Titans into final



Alfonso Thomas nabbed a five-wicket haul before the Nashua Titans secured a narrow four-wicket win over the Chevrolet Warriors in their RAM SLAM T20 Challenge eliminator at Buffalo Park in East London on Wednesday.

Full Scorecard: Warriors v Titans

Thomas finished with the remarkable figures of 4-1-24-5 as the Warriors, after being asked to bat, stuttered to 127 for nine.

Farhaan Berhardien then struck a quick-fire 41 not out off just 26 balls with a four and three sixes as the visitors reached 130 for six with one ball left in their innings to secure a place in the final against the bizhub Highveld Lions at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Sunday, April 7. The win also secured the Titans a place in the Champions League Twenty20.

The Titans began the last over of the match needing six runs to win and Behardien made sure of the victory when he slapped the penultimate ball of the match, bowled by seamer Rusty Theron (1-17), over the covers for four.

Seamer Thomas was the pick of the Titans’ attack thanks to his career-best figures and he was well supported by paceman Morne Morkel who chipped in with 3-32 after conceding 16 runs off his first over.

Davy Jacobs was the one Warriors’ batsman to trouble the Titans thanks to 51 off 43 balls with two fours and two sixes but he played a lone hand against a Titans’ bowling attack which made full use of a very slow pitch which did little to aid adventurous stroke-play.

Thomas’s opening spell produced figures of 2-1-3-2 while he nabbed three wickets in the last over of the innings as he had Craig Thyssen (12) caught behind before he trapped Simon Harmer (0) leg-before and he bowled Theron (0).

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Samit Patel (19) and Jacobs then combined for a third-wicket stand of 29 before Patel hoisted a delivery from left-arm spinner Roelof van der Merwe out to deep cover where Eden Links took a juggling catch.

Adrian McLaren battled his way to 20 off 24 balls and his frustration eventually told when he glanced a Morne Morkel delivery to David Wiese at short fine leg with the fielder taking a well-judged leaping catch. Morne Morkel struck three balls later when he had Jacobs caught at long-on as the hosts slipped to 98 for four in the 17th over.

McLaren and Jacobs had added 34 runs for the fourth wicket, the best partnership of the innings, but Morne Morkel was not done yet and he yorked Wayne Parnell (6).

The Titans made a solid start to their innings as they reached 21 without loss but seamer Lundi Mbane took two wickets in four balls when he bowled Heino Kuhn (5) and Herschelle Gibbs (0) as the Warriors clawed their way back into the contest.

The Titans were making heavy weather of their run chase and they stumbled to 47 before Henry Davids (23) chopped a delivery from left-arm spinner Samit Patel (1-18) on to his stumps.

AB de Villiers and Behardien then combined for a fourth-wicket stand of 47 but, with the score on 94 in the 16th over, De Villiers was dismissed for 31 when he lofted a delivery from seamer Ayabulela Gqamane to Thyssen at deep square leg.

Mbane finished with 2-9 off two overs.

CHEVROLET WARRIORS – Christiaan Jonker, Davy Jacobs (capt), Colin Ingram, Adrian McLaren (wk), Samit Patel, Craig Thyssen, Wayne Parnell, Simon Harmer, Rusty Theron, Ayabulela Gqamane, Lundi Mbane.

NASHAU TITANS – Henry Davids (capt), Heino Kuhn (wk), Herschelle Gibbs, AB de Villiers, Farhaan Behardien, Albie Morkel, David Wiese, Roelof van der Merwe, Morne Morkel, Eden Links, Alfonso Thomas.

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