Roelof Van Der Merwe returned to form with an aggressive 89 to help the Titans make the most of a rain-affected first day of Sunfoil Series action against the Knights at SuperSport Park. Van Der Merwe was one of the standout performers with the bat in the early stages of the competition, but had not crossed 20 in any of his last three matches. On Thursday he ensured a strong end to the season when he hit three sixes and 12 fours in a 98-ball innings, giving The Unlimited Titans a boost on their way to a total of 274/4 in just 67 overs.
Equally helpful was Henry Davids’ third straight half-century, as the Titans captain played the less glamorous role of anchoring the innings with an unbeaten 86. Morning rain meant that no play was possible until after lunch, but the Titans were still confident enough in the conditions to elect to bat first, and barring a minor wobble they dominated throughout. Theunis De Bruyn made a brisk start as he returned to the opening slot in the absence of Dean Elgar, as the Titans took 65 off the first 16 overs before Kyllin Vardhan was run out for 16.
De Bruyn fell six overs later when he was bowled for 56 by Shadley Van Schalkwyk, and when Graeme Van Buuren was dismissed by Malusi Siboto for just 12, the Titans were looking a little unsteady at 110/3. However, Davids and Van Der Merwe took control as they put on 150 for the fourth wicket in under 30 overs, which helped the Titans make up for the time lost to rain. Van Der Merwe missed out on a hundred when he was caught behind off the bowling of Siboto, but Davids pushed through to the close of play with Qaasim Adams (two not out) for company.