The Nashua Titans claimed a convincing six-wicket victory over the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras in the RAM SLAM T20 Challenge at Sahara Willowmoore Park on Thursday.
Needing just 117 for victory, the hosts chased down the target with ease, despite being without Henry Davids and Farhaan Behardien, as Jacques Rudolph led the charge with a solid 49 off 56 balls. The Nashua Titans got over the line with eight balls to spare. Rudolph’s efforts earned him the RAM SLAMMER of the day award.
Tumelo Bodibe, in to replace Davids, fell early in the Nashua Titans' chase, when he was bowled by Beuran Hendricks in the second over.
Roelof van der Merwe added 16 off 22 balls before he was caught by Charl Langeveldt off Hendricks' bowling with the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras veteran making good ground before pouching the catch, but the Nashua Titans were still in firm control at 57-2.
Rudolph and Martin van Jaarsveld then combined for a 35-run partnership before Rudolph was dismissed by Azhar Mahmood, but the Nashua Titans were still on course needing 25 off 24 balls.
Langeveldt struck in the 18th over, bowling Van Jaarsveld for 24 off 21 balls, but Albie Morkel and David Wiese saw their side home with ease and the Nashua Titans leap-frogged the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras into second place on the RAM SLAM T20 Challenge log.
Earlier it was a fine bowling effort from Ethy Mbhalati, picking up two for 15, which helped the Nashua Titans keep the lid on the scoring in the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras innings. His performance earned him the award of the RAM Deliverer of the day. The visitors’ total was only elevated thanks to a blitz by Dane Vilas, with the wicketkeeper hitting 59 off 44 balls.
The hosts won the toss and chose to bowl first and Mbhalati struck as soon as he was brought into the attack in the third over. He picked up the prize wicket of Richard Levi 2 (10 balls) with the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras’ danger man getting a top edge to Martin van Jaarsveld as the Nashua Titans’ quick started his spell with a wicket-maiden.
Stiaan van Zyl 2 (18 balls) followed two overs later, getting a top edge off Mbhalati with Alfonso Thomas taking a good catch on the fence and the visitors found themselves in a spot of bother on 14-2.
Vilas stood firm, while his partners crumbled around him, as Owais Shah departed for 17 off 29 balls. The Englishman pulled Albie Morkel square and just didn’t quite have the elevation to get over Eden Links, who did very well to take a good catch on the boundary.
Azhar Mahmood and Vilas then combined for a 35-run stand before Mahmood chased after a wider ball from David Wiese and was caught by Van Jaarsveld to leave the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras reeling at 80-4 after 16.1 overs.
Vilas then launched a late charge as he and Qaasim Adams combined for a 15-run over off veteran death bowler Thomas to help lift the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras closer to the 100-mark.
The pair took 11 runs off the penultimate over as they managed to scrape past the 100-mark on a pitch which looked sticky and rather challenging.
It was the first time a match was played on this specific strip and Thomas admitted that it was a good toss to win and that conditions were challenging and two-paced at times.