The bizhub Highveld Lions bowlers Chris Morris and Cliffe Deacon rocked the Nashua before Henry Davids rescued the innings and powered the hosts to 116 for four at lunch in the Sunfoil Series match at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Thursday.
The Titans won the toss and elected to bat.
Morris struck twice in the first five overs and took 2-21 in a hostile first spell as he used vicious bounce to unsettle the Titans top-order.
Deacon rocked the top-order with two quick strikes and left the Titans in disarray on 30 for four.
An invaluable and brisk half-century partnership by David Wiese and Davids helped the hosts to stabilize the innings as the pitch flattened out in the second hour of the morning session.
Davids, on 51, and Wiese, on 44, will resume after the break.
Their 50-run partnership for the fifth wicket came off 62 balls and in 47 minutes.
Davids completed his half-century off 69 balls with nine fours shortly before the break.
Both Davis and Wiese batted with a measure of luck, as several shots found the gap between third slip and gully off the edge and travelled to the vacant third-man boundary for fours.
The Lions employed an attacking field with three slips and a gully in an attempt to get to the brittle Titans tail.
Jacques Rudolph has had a frustrating season and was recently replaced by Dean Elgar in the South African test team after a string of mediocre scores.
The left-hander needed a big ton to restore his confidence, but Morris clearly did not read the script.
Morris, in his first over of the day, had Rudolph caught behind by the wicketkeeper, Dominic Hendricks, for four.
Morris struck again in the fifth over of the day. He induced an edge from the Sunfoil Series-debutant, Francois le Clus, and Le Clus was caught behind for 2.
Both openers were defeated by the bounce created by Morris.
The wicket looks flat, but it is also a bit too-paced.
Some deliveries bounced alarmingly, while a few kept low in the first hour on Thursday
Heino Kuhn was trapped in front by Deacon when he misjudged an in-swinger. He contributed seven.
Deacon struck again in his next over when Mangaliso Mosehle played too early and presented Deacon with an easy return-catch.
Mangaliso’s departure for a duck had the Titans in trouble on 30 for four in the twelfth over.
Deacon, with 2-11 in seven overs, was the pick of the attack.
Morris finished with 2-21 in an impressive seven-over spell.
Hardus Viljoen came in for some stick and conceded 44 runs in an expensive 7-over spell.
Nashua Titans: Henry Davids (capt), Jacques Rudolph, Mangaliso Mosehle, Heino Kuhn, Francois le Clus, David Wiese, Roelof van der Merwe, Shaun von Berg, Ethy Mbhalati, CJ de Villiers, Rowan Richards.
bizhub Highveld Lions: Stephen Cook (capt), Dominic Hendricks, Temba Bavuma, Neil McKenzie, Zander de Bruyn, Thami Tsolekile, Brett Pelser, Cliffe Deacon, Chris Morris, Hardus Viljoen, Eddie Leie.