It was so near but yet so far for the Chevrolet Warriors as they came up just short against the Nashua Titans at Axcess St Georges’ in their Momentum One Day Cup match. Chasing a testing target of 274, they ended five runs shy despite some tail-end heroics.
With just two wickets in hand, the Warriors needed nine runs off the final over. Basheeru Walters had a lusty swing and a miss, and the next three balls all produced singles. Urged on by a crowd of close on two thousand, and the famous band, Craig Thyssen went for glory off the penultimate ball but his shot fell just short of the long on boundary and was safely pouched by Henry Davids. Walters still had the chance to win the match, but could not clear the boundary fielder and the match ended in a confusing run out.
It was a stop / start performance by the Warriors. Both openers were undone by the ball coming back into them, Michael Price being out second ball. The experienced duo of Colin Ingram and Ashwell Prince had to rebuild the innings, and put on 54 in twelve overs. Prince dominated the partnership before David Wiese got his third delivery through Ingram’s defences. Two overs later Prince failed to clear Rowan Richards at long on, leaving Davy Jacobs and Wayne Parnell to repair the damage.
Already needing to score at a run a ball, Parnell took up the challenge manfully. While looking to go for his shots from the start, he played with more responsibility as his innings developed . The pair added 98 and were well on track to take their team home before disaster struck again in the form of a clutch of wickets. Parnell was first to go, picking out a fielder at deep backward square leg. Parnell scored 48 off 61 balls (5 fours 1 six). Jacobs could have gone in similar fashion in the same over, but his top-edged attempted hook fell safely. Jacobs drove CJ de Villiers for six in the following over, but was trapped in front a few balls later for 63 (59 balls, 5 fours 1 six). Hopes waned as Jacobs was followed in quick succession by Simon Harmer, run out after getting into a tangle with Thyssen, and Adrian Birch.
Thyssen and Walters were faced with the seemingly hopeless position of scoring 68 off 49 balls. After an over or two to play themselves in, Thyssen got stuck into Paul Harris in the 44th over, which produced sixteen runs. The pair kept up with an asking rate which hovered around eight to the over, but it proved to be just too far for them.
Richards rounded off a weekend in which he took seven wickets, returning the best figures of three for 50 in his ten overs. Albie Morkel had an expensive start, and it was significant that he was not used at the death as Martin van Jaarsveld turned to Richards and CJ de Villiers.
Earlier, the Titans were indebted to Heino Kuhn (59) for helping them through a poor start which saw the in-form Davids and Mangaliso Mosehle both out for ducks, but the innings-changing partnership came from Morkel (66) and Farhaan Behardien (99 off 97 balls, a performance which earned him the Man of the Match award). Birch took the early wickets, and ended with three for 53.
The Titans have moved back into second place on the completion of the first round of fixtures. With the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras winning in Paarl, the Warriors slip back into last position on the log.