Ricochet News

T20 Challenge: Warriors slump late to lose T20 final

By Marc Jacobson - Dec 19, 2016
T20 Challenge: Warriors slump late to lose T20 final

The Titans reclaimed their second consecutive T20 Challenge title when they beat the Warriors by a mere six runs in the final at Centurion, Pretoria, on Friday night.

The Titans batted first and posted a below-par total on the highlands of 155/6 and at this point, the Warriors seemed to be firm favourites to claim the title. The Eastern Cape side, however, fell just short with a total of 149/6. Prior to the occasion, the Warriors last played in a T20 final in the 2010/11 season, while last winning it in the 2009/10 campaign.

The match was tightly contested the whole way through, with the Warriors scoring in consistent tandem with the run rate after a slow start, while the Titans kept nipping at the wicket-chase.

There was never a certainty throughout the final spells who was going to come out on top, but one would have deemed the Titan’s to be favourites after breaking the 48-run partnership between Christiaan Jonker and Colin Ackermann – which was the highest partnership on the day.

Warriors’ batting stalwarts, JJ Smuts and Colin Ingram, went out relatively early on – making 16 and 12 respectively. Both were nicked behind to be caught by Titans wicket-keeper, Heinrich Klaasen; with Smuts’ wicket falling from a late pull-back retract shot that managed to nick the ball for his own demise.

The Jonker/Ackermann partnership did show some illuminating signs for the Warriors’ chase, but had slumped late in the innings for the final chase-breakthrough. The Warriors had to rely on tail-enders, Lesiba Ngoepe and Sisanda Magala to score the winning runs, but the enormity of the occasion deemed too steep for them to hit home.

A telling factor to the conclusion to each side’s innings was the final overs of play of both innings’ respectively - where the Titans scored a mammoth 19 runs off the final over with the Warriors only managing to score five. At the beginning of the 19th over the Titans had a projected score of 136/6, while the Warriors having had 144/6 at the same stage.

The expensive last over with Magala on strike may have come back to bite them, as they were successful after 95% of the match, but were unable to polish the match off.

Top scorers for the Titans were Aidan Markram (33) and David Wiese (24*0, with the Titans’ Lungi Ngidi (2/27) and Tabraiz Shamsi (2/36) being most effective with the ball.

For the Warriors, Kyle Abbott, Basheer Walters, Ingram and Ayabulela Gqamane all took a wicket apiece, with Ackermann (34) and Jonker (33) making the most with the bat.  

Image: Titans players celebrate after winning the T20 Challenge Final at Centurion on Friday.