Record-breaking Titans thrash Lions
A record 183 from Aiden Markram and an opening partnership of 222 with Henry Davids set up the Multiply Titans' 169-run victory over the bizhub Highveld Lions in their Momentum One-Day Cup match at Bidvest Wanderers in Johannesburg on Friday.
Full scorecard: Lions v Titans
The visitors, who won the toss and elected to bat, scored 415 for three off their allotted 50 overs, the highest team total in the competition, eclipsing the 400 for five by the same team against the BuildNat Cape Cobras earlier this season.
Markram also became the highest individual scorer in the history of the Cup.
The home side’s efforts to chase down the daunting target they required for victory were in vain, as they were bowled out for 246 in the 34th over.
Their quest for the runs began most inauspiciously, losing two wickets for a mere four runs - Rassie van der Dussen, caught by the keeper, Heino Kuhn, off Lungi Ngidi and Reeza Hendricks, caught at first-slip by Albie Morkel off Eldred Hawken.
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Mangaliso Mosehle and Dominic Hendricks set about rebuilding after the faltering start, compiling 86 for the fourth wicket. But a flurry of three wickets off 24 balls for 33 runs was not what the doctor ordered.
Hendricks (21), waltzed down the track to Tabraiz Shamsi and was deceived by the flight and was stumped. Shamsi then claimed his second scalp.
Mosehle (74, 44-balls, 8x4, 5x6) was caught on the square-leg boundary by Markram. That man Markram was at it again, bowling Dwaine Pretorius neck-and-crop.
The Lions were then in a fight for survival.
A determined partnership of 53 for the sixth wicket between Wihan Lubbe and Wiaan Mulder, who came together with the score on 123 for five, provided a stay of execution.
However, it all went pear-shaped. David Wiese induced Mulder to go fishing outside his off-stump, got the edge and Kuhn took what was no more than a regulation catch.
The Lions, with barely their heads above water, were 176 for six.
Do-or-die efforts by the tail-enders, Nono Pongolo (35) and Beuran Hendricks (20), only prolonged the agony.
Shamsi finished with five for 74, his career best in List A cricket.
Earlier, the Titans, who won the toss and elected to bat, made slow but steady progress with Markram - yet to open his account - dropped by the keeper, Mosehle, off the fourth ball of the first over.
However, as the innings progressed the batsmen grew in confidence. And as the partnership with Davids edged towards 100, the latter was also dropped by Mosehle on 36.
The lapses in concentration by Mosehle proved to be - not unlike shopping down the Champs Elysée - extremely expensive.
Markram then went on to post his maiden List A half century - a handy contribution as the 100-run partnership came up after 120 balls in 83 minutes.
Davids, now well into his stride, was playing some glorious cuts and drives, and went on to post his eighth List A 100 (119 balls, 10x4, 4x6) and regained his place as the top run scorer in the competition.
The team’s double hundred came up after 190 balls, Markram contributing 82 and Davids 117.
In an effort to break the partnership Dominic Hendricks employed eight bowlers. Eventually his ploy bore fruit. Beuran Hendricks, the most economical bowler in the attack, achieved the breakthrough.
Davids, looking to clear the man at extra cover, only succeeded in finding the hands of Van der Dussen.
It was a masterclass performance from the diminutive opener, striking 11 fours and six huge sixes, propelled to all points of the compass, in his 108-ball 128.
Davids’s dismissal brought Kuhn to the crease, who added 34 off 23 deliveries, which took the score past the 300 mark.
Markram brought up his 150 off 121 balls, which included 16 fours and three sixes. But those that live by the sword perish by the sword.
Markram, having surpassed the previous best score by Reeza Hendricks of 181, cashed in his chips. Going for one big hit too many, he failed to clear the boundary and was caught by Dominic Hendricks at fine leg off the bowling off Dwaine Pretorius.
The stylish batsman’s 206-minute sojourn at the crease included 18 fours and five sixes off 138 deliveries.
Farhaan Behardien (62 not out) and Albie Morkel safely negotiated the final overs.
BIZHUB HIGHVELD LIONS: RR Hendricks, HE van der Dussen, M Mosehle (wk), DA Hendricks (capt) WJ Lubbe, D Pretorius, PWA Mulder, Z Pongolo, AM Phangiso, BE Hendricks, C le Roux
MULTIPLY TITANS: AK Markram, H Davids, T de Zorzi, HG Kuhn (wk), F Behardien, JA Morkel (capt), D Wiese, EL Hawken, MP Siboto, T Shamsi, L Ngidi