Ram­pant De Kock lights up New­lands

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - ZAAHIER ADAMS

Ti­tans 177/3 (De Kock 85, Davids 51, Paterson 1/32) Cape Co­bras ris 2/40)

Ti­tans won by nine runs

168/6 (Pollard 44, Levi 32, Mor- ON a chilly evening that was in­ter­rupted by show­ers, Quin­ton de Kock stood out like a shin­ing light. The Proteas wicket-keeper lit up the grand old ground with a py­rotech­nics dis­play that the home sup­port­ers could not help but ap­plaud.

Af­ter get­ting a taste of the con­di­tions by play­ing out a maiden first over de­liv­ered by Dane Paterson, De Kock switched gears and went into over-drive. His next 20 balls yielded 50 runs as he raced to his half-cen­tury. It was a bat­ting ex­hi­bi­tion of the high­est qual­ity with De Kock smash­ing seven fours and two sixes in that pe­riod.

The way he switched be­tween con­ven­tional pull shots and in­no­va­tive flicks over his shoul­der was a sight to be­hold. The Co­bras bowl­ing unit had no an­swer to the ram­pant De Kock as he belted a fur­ther four bound­aries be­fore fail­ing to clear Sy­brand En­gel­brecht on the boundary when a cen­tury was there for the tak­ing.

De Kock’s dis­missal brought a close to a scin­til­lat­ing open­ing stand of 127 off 83 balls with Henry Davids. There was no re­lief for the Co­bras, though, as Davids con­tin­ued the car­nage bring­ing up his mile­stone off only 41 balls.

Although the in­nings pe­tered out af­ter a 30-minute rain de­lay with the Co­bras man­ag­ing to re­strict the Ti­tans to a to­tal be­low the ex­pected 200, it was still a tall or­der for the home side.

The Co­bras re­quired one of their big guns to repli­cate De Kock’s hero­ics, but un­for­tu­nately for the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons, both Richard Levi and Kieron Pollard got their en­gines go­ing with­out man­ag­ing to play a much- needed match-chang­ing in­nings.

Levi belted a few bound­aries in the pow­er­play overs be­fore be­ing caught on the square-leg fence by Farhaan Be­har­dien off Lungi Ngidi just when he was well-set. Pollard pro­vided some hope late on when he clubbed Ju­nior Dala for three con­sec­u­tive sixes in the 18th over. But just when the great es­cape looked on course, Chris Mor­ris re­turned to trap Pollard plumb in front of his stumps with an in-swing­ing yorker.

The Co­bras in­abil­ity to get the score­board mov­ing af­ter the pow­er­play when the Ti­tans spin­ners Tabraiz Shamsi, Davids and Graeme van Bu­uren were op­er­at­ing was cru­cial. They con­ceded just 40 runs in their col­lec­tive eight overs in com­par­i­son to the Co­bras spin­ners leak­ing 41 runs in only four overs.

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