A nerveless Alfonso Thomas conceded just three runs off the final over of the match to hand the Nashua Titans a priceless, seven-run win over the bizhub Highveld Lions in their RAM SLAM T20 Challenge encounter at Supersport Park on Tuesday evening.
Thomas, who ended with fine figures of two for 28 in a high-scoring derby, had eleven runs to play with in the final over, and he proceeded to knock Chris Morris’s timber back with his first ball, before having Dwaine Pretorius caught at long-off with his penultimate delivery.
The bizhub Highveld Lions, who needed a win to secure their place in the final, had to settle for 171 for six, as a charged-up Nashua Titans’outfit lifted themselves to second on the standings. This was despite another germ of an innings from young Quinton de Kock, who plundered 73 off just 40 balls at the top of the bizhub Highveld Lions’ innings, to give the visitors real hope.
De Kock drilled four sixes and six fours in a sparkling display of hitting but, when he and Neil McKenzie (29) fell off successive balls, the bizhub Highveld Lions faced an almighty challenge to get over the line.
Earlier, the Nashua Titans had Henry Davids to thank, as they posted 178 for five. The Nashua Titans captain blazed 50 off 27 balls, while Roelof van der Merwe clubbed a whirlwind 30 off just 22 balls, as the Nashua Titans went through the gears midway through their innings.
Davids reached his half-century off 26 balls, before falling to the very next ball, caught at long-off, off the bowling of Aaron Phangiso.
Martin van Jaarsveld (22 off 19 balls) and Albie Morkel (40 not out) then ensured that the Nashua Titans posted a formidable total, which was ultimately just enough to pip a gallant bizhub Highveld Lions outfit.
Morkel also took three wickets to lift the Deliverer of the Day award, while De Kock’s stunning knock landed him the RAM Slammer of the Day award.