Ram Slam T20 Challenge wrap up
Lungi Ngidi returned career-best figures as the Titans continued their superb start to the Ram Slam season with a punishing 61-run bonus point win over the Warriors at Buffalo Park in East London on Friday.
The Proteas fast bowler claimed 4/14 in just 2.2 overs as the hosts lost six wickets for seven runs at one stage – first collapsing from 50 for none to 57 for six, before eventually being dispatched for 111 in 14.2 overs.
Aiden Markram was also amongst the wickets, claiming three for 21 in his four overs, having opened the bowling, while Tabraiz Shamsi ended with two for 25.
The Warriors had been chasing 173 thanks to another sensational batting recovery from the defending champions, who slipped to nine for two after they lost the toss and were put into bat.
Without AB de Villiers, they began their recovery through bright young star Markram, who ended up top-scoring with 45 off 32 balls.
De Villiers’ replacement Elgar struck a more patient 34, but the flourish, as the Titans have so often become accustomed to, was provided by captain Albie Morkel and Farhaan Behardien, who blazed an unbeaten 43 off 24 balls.
The skipper was with him at the end not out on 33 – the pair having shared an 83 stand that came at over 10 to the over.
Jon-Jon Smuts (20) and Gihahn Cloete (32) provided the home side with a flying start of 50, before the wheels fell off.
Ngidi, who conceded all his 14 runs in his first over, removed Smuts and Colin Ackermann (0) within three balls, Shamsi strike twice in his next over and Markram followed suit, with the former returning to end the game with the first two balls of his third over.
The Titans moved to 14 points at the summit and remain the team everyone is chasing.
In Johannesburg Mangaliso Mosehle’s half-century paved the way for the Highveld Lions to record their first victory of the Ram Slam season as they cruised to a seven-wicket win over a poor Cape Cobras side.
The visitors were sloppy in the field, taking wickets off no balls and spilling catches at crucial junctures as they remained winless after two games.
After winning the toss and batting, the Cobras posted a competitive 169 for six at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium, which was built around a half-century from captain JP Duminy, who also made 55 (31 balls, 3 fours, 2 sixes).
There were also starts for Hashim Amla (36), Wayne Parnell (33) and Temba Bavuma (28), but none of their batsmen scored with the fluidity that would have taken them closer to a stronger total of around 200.
Kagiso Rabada impressed with the ball by taking two for 19, while there was also two for 25 from skipper Aaron Phangiso.
Reeza Hendricks provided the home side with a good start thanks to his 42, but the Cobras then had chances to fight back into the game when Mosehle was dismissed by Mthiwekhaya Nabe via a no ball when he was only on 10.
Omphile Ramela, who went on to make an unbeaten 30, was also handed a lifeline when Richard Levi dropped him at slip when he was on two – just two of the many chances that were wasted by the Cobras.
Mosehle was eventually dismissed for 55 off 36 balls (4 fours, 3 sixes) as the hosts won with seven deliveries to spare.
In Durban the Dolphins and the Knights along with the big fan turnout were left frustrated by the rain as their Ram Slam encounter was washed out at Kingsmead.
After heavy rain during the week, the forecast had been clear for matchday, which began with clear skies on the east coast, but ended with more wet weather and a share of the spoils for the two sides.
The covers were only brought on 40 minutes before the start, but from then onwards, were brought on and off several times leaving umpires Johan Cloete and Lubabalo Gcuma with little choice but to call off the game around 8.30pm.
It was a disappointing end for the close to 6 000 fans who turned up for the first home match of the season for the Dolphins.
They are again in action again on Sunday when they travel to the Highveld Lions, while the Knights only play again next Friday, when they come up against the Warriors.
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