Albie Morkel returned to Momentum One-Day Cup action with a bang as he thumped four sixes in an unbeaten 63 that saw the Titans to a comfortable victory over the Cape Cobras at Newlands on Friday. After taking 2/17 in seven overs as the Nashua Cape Cobras were bowled out for 213, Morkel struck an unbeaten 63 in 52 balls to finish off the chase and give the Titans a five-wicket win. With the Sunfoil Dolphins losing to the Warriors in Port Elizabeth, the result moved the Titans up to second place and put them in pole position for a home play-off – and gave them an outside chance of overhauling the Cobras at the top of the table.
The Unlimited Titans now have 17 points from seven games, while the Cobras have 25 from eight. The Cobras’ success in the competition has come from their strength at the top of the order, but Morkel struck two major blows by dismissing both Andrew Puttick and Richard Levi in his first two overs. Stiaan Van Zyl attempted to provide the foundation as the innings was rebuilt, hitting 65 from 108 deliveries, but regular wickets in the middle overs meant that the hosts never gained real momentum.
Ethy Mbhalati also played a key role on his return from injury, dismissing Justin Kemp (34) and Sybrand Engelbrecht (33) just as they were threatening to get going, while Henry Davids picked up 2/32 from a full complement of 10 overs as the Cobras were dismissed in 49 overs. The hosts were well and truly in the game when Mthokozisi Shezi (2/26) grabbed a couple of wickets to reduce the Titans to 39/3 after nine overs, but Davids hit 54 and found enough support from Qaasim Adams to put the visitors back on track.
After Adams (31) was dismissed by Robin Peterson, Grant Thomson (36 not out) played the anchor role as Morkel did what he does best – finish the game with some aggressive hitting. That included two fours and then consecutive sixes off the same Engelbrecht over to see the Titans home in style from just 43.5 overs.