Rampant De Kock lights up Newlands
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.