The Nashua Titans continued their good run the in RAM SLAM T20 Challenge and ascended to the top of the log when they beat the Chevrolet Knights by eight wickets at Chevrolet Park in Bloemfontein on Tuesday.
Chasing just 133 for victory, the Pretoria franchise cruised to victory as a 87-run partnership between Roelof van der Merwe and Scott Styris set the foundation for a convincing win.
The Titans had won the toss and elected to bat first, a decision which proved to be a good one as Morne Morkel bagged four wickets to help restrict the hosts to the modest total of 132-7.
Despite losing their skipper Henry Davids for 4 early on in the chase and Heino Kuhn also falling early, van der Merwe and Styris consolidated as Styris notched up an unbeaten 57 off 43 while van der Merwe chipped in with 45 off 49.
The Knights had earlier struggled in their innings and were pegged back early after being stuck in to bat with Morkel being superb up front, picking up two wickets in his first two overs.
Michael Erlank, replacing Loots Bosman at the top of the order, was the first to fall caught by Davids at the end of the second over as Morkel started his wicket crusade.
Danger man Rilee Rossouw followed soon after, edging through to Heino Kuhn behind the stumps and the hosts were struggling at 7-2 after 3.1 overs.
PJ van Biljon managed to hang around for a little while, contributing
26 off 29, before he was brilliantly caught and bowled by van der Merwe, but the Knights struggled to get the ball off the square and get runs on the board.
Dean Elgar was the next to go, caught by van der Merwe after Davids had brought imself into the attack and after 13 overs, the Knights looked stuck at 66-4.
Ryan McLaren couldn't quite replicate his pinch-hitting prowess from his international stint and it was Morkel who struck again, foxing McLaren with the slower ball and Mangaliso Mosehle took a good catch above his head to send McLaren on his way for 8 off 11.
Things continued to fall apart for the Knights as confusion between Obus Pienaar and Johan van der Wath resulted in a run out. Van der Wath jetting off for a single and attempted the second and Pienaar ended up run out as the hosts stuttered to 104-5.
Morkel continued his fierce form and picked up his fourth wicket of the match as Gihahn Coete fell, holing out to Albie Morkel.
Van der Wath clung on until the end, whacking 19 off 12 balls to help spare his side some blushes, but the visitors won easily in the end.
The win means that the Titans are at the top of the log until the bizhub Lions and Sunfoil Dolphins square off on Thursday. If the Lions lose, the Titans will earn themselves a home-final and Champions League qualification to boot, while they will have to take part in a playoff match should the Lions win. The Knights have been eliminated from the contest and have no chance to make the playoffs.
RAM Deliverer of the day: Morne Morkel
RAM Slammer of the day: Scott Styris
CHEVROLET KNIGHTS: Michael Erlank, Rilee Rossouw, Dean Elgar, PJ van Biljon, Obus Pienaar, Gihahn Cloete, Nicky Boje, Johan van der Wath, Ryan McLaren, Shadley van Schalkwyk, Malusi Siboto
NASHUA TITANS: Henry Davids, Heino Kuhn, Roelof van der Merwe, Mangaliso Mosehle, Scott Styris, Farhaan Behardien, Albie Morkel, David Wiese, Alfonso Thomas, Eden Links, Morne Morkel