Andre Russell showed the rest of the Ram Slam T20 competition that the Titans can be beaten as he led the Knights to a bonus point victory in Benoni on Sunday. While this was good news for the two play-off contestants, the Dolphins and the Cobras, one of whom who will hope to beat the Titans in next weekend’s final, the bad news is that few players could hope to replicate the West Indian’s performance. After taking 4/11 in his four overs to limit the Titans to 136/9, Russell hammered an unbeaten 66 from just 23 deliveries to take the Knights to a four-wicket win inside 16 overs.
Unfortunately for the Knights, Russell’s heroics could not influence their final position on the table as they finished bottom on 14 points – two behind the Lions. Russell began his one-man demolition in the fourth over when he caught and bowled Mangaliso Mosehle, and his spell at the death prevented the Titans from blasting their way out of trouble as he dismissed Albie Morkel, Chris Morris (21 off 11) and Sammy Mofokeng. Duanne Olivier had prevented the Titans opening pair from getting away when he dismissed Henry Davids for a duck, while Tshepo Ntuli grabbed the key wicket of Quinton De Kock (28).
The Titans innings was given a kiss of life by Graeme Van Buuren’s 57 from 41 balls, but his dismissal just when the home side wanted to launch proved poor timing. Nevertheless, the Titans were on track to record a ninth win on the trot when the Knights sunk to 54/4 in the ninth over, which became 72/5 in the 11th. But Russell intervened to make sure that his stay in South Africa closed on a high note, as he thrashed seven sixes to give the Knights a morale-boosting win at the end of a tough campaign.