The Nashua Titans collapsed after lunch on Thursday as the bizhub Highveld Lions, spearheaded by Chris Morris, limited them to 195 and briefly grabbed the initiative in the Sunfoil Series match at Willowmoore Park in Benoni. In reply, the Lions limped to 21 for two at tea after a double-strike by Ethy Mbhalati.
The Titans, on 116 for four at lunch, lost their final five wickets for 57 after lunch as Morris, Cliffe Deacon and Hardus Viljoen swept through the lower order with contemptuous ease.
Only a superb defiant 93 off 106 balls by the belligerent David Wiese, who led the counter-offensive with a flurry of front-foot boundaries, kept the Titans-scoreboard ticking before they were dismissed for 195.
The Lions moved merrily to 14 without loss after four overs, but in the fifth, Mbhalati removed Stephen Cook and Temba Bavuma.
Cook attempted a hook shot off Mbhalati and was caught at fine leg by CJ de Villiers for ten.
Bavuma followed three deliveries later for a duck after he was bowled through the gate.
The Titans batsmen Heino Kuhn, on 51, and Wiese, on 44, resumed on 116 for four after lunch.
Their highly enterprising 100-run partnership came off 122 balls in only 89 minutes, and they looked set to strengthen their hold on the innings.
But the reintroduction of Morris and Deacon gave the Lions a double-breakthrough as the Titans unravelled.
Morris bowled Davids for 62 to reduce the Titans to 138 for five.
Davids faced 84 balls and struck eleven crisp fours.
The removal of Wiese’s established partner, opened the door to the vulnerable lower-order, and Viljoen gleefully accepted the opportunity.
Deacon bowled Roelof van der Merwe for three as the Titans were reduced to 141 for six.
Viljoen grabbed Shaun von Berg’s wicket when he trapped him in front for 8.
Viljoen bowled CJ de Villiers with a delivery that kept low and the Titans slumped to 171 for eight.
While the bowlers went on the rampage and removed the lower-order, the belligerent Wiese hit out and struck sixteen fours and a six in his 93 off 106 balls.
His attractive knock finally came to an end when he attempted to lift the leg-spinner Eddie Leie over the square-leg boundary and holed out to Thami Tsolekile at deep square leg.
Viljoen finished off the innings when he had Rowan Richards caught behind for a duck.
Morris finished with 3-35 in eleven overs. Deacon nipped out three for 32 in thirteen overs.
Viljoen, who had earlier suffered at the hands of Wiese and Davids, captured 3-63 in 12.2 overs.
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.