Knights thump limp Ti­tans

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - STU­ART HESS

The Knights an­nexed their third MTN one-day ti­tle last night.

It was a per­for­mance built on at­tack­ing in the manda­tory 10-over Power Play at the start of each in­nings, with the ball they ripped out the Ti­tans’ top or­der; with the bat, led by Morne van Wyk’s un­beaten 85, they smashed a limp Ti­tans at­tack to the tune of 69 runs.

De­spite an hour-long break af­ter a storm, and a re­vised tar­get of 152, the Knights had no prob­lems achiev­ing their win, with eight balls to spare.

Van Wyk’s de­ci­sion to bowl, was cer­tainly vindi­cated by two ex­cel­lent open­ing spells from Johan van der Wath (3/47) and Ryan McLaren (3/23).

The Knights’ catch­ing was sub­lime. Van Wyk poached four, three one-handed ef­forts, with the grab to dis­miss Al­bie Morkel prob­a­bly the best.

The Ti­tans’ in­nings never truly got go­ing. Three wick­ets up front in­side the first eight overs meant AB de Vil­liers and Faf du Plessis had to be cau­tious.

Du Plessis, looked like a man in form, as has been the case through­out the com­pe­ti­tion. His 111 not out was his third hun­dred in the MTN40 this sea­son.

But It was the Knight’s who grabbed the ini­tia­tive fol­low­ing a sprightly in­nings from Fer­haan Be­har­dien. Du Plessis was left to play a loan hand as a pro­ces­sion started in the 29th over; Be­har­dien was caught at mid­wicket by Ros­souw, Morkel went first ball, Van der Merwe made just nine, David Wiese four and Man­gal­iso Mosehle two.

With last man Morne Morkel in, Du Plessis un­leashed a des­per­ate late in­nings at­tack, that saw him take 17 runs off the 38th over, and then 13 off the 39th dur­ing which he reached his cen­tury – the fourth of his limited overs ca­reer. The na­tional se­lec­tors would cer­tainly have taken note and if con­sis­tency over the sea­son wasn’t enough, this in­nings, un­der pres­sure, in a fi­nal must have led to a tick be­ing put next to his name.

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