JUAN DE VILLIERS made an impact with both bat and ball as The Unlimited Titans took control of their Sunfoil Series clash against the Chevrolet Knights on day two at SuperSport Park.
De Villiers hit 59 over the first part of the day to extend the Titans' first-innings total to 366, and then weighed in with the last two wickets in the final half-hour of the day as the Knights were reduced to 212 for eight in reply.
Friday’s events were a knock to the Knights’ title challenge after they had begun the day in a good position with the Titans on 268 for seven, and they will need a strong rearguard to pull off the victory that would keep the pressure on the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras.
De Villiers was yet to get off the mark at the start of day two, but added 81 with David Wiese (45) to keep the Titans innings ticking along.
It was similar to the Titans’ lower-order heroics last month at the Diamond Oval, when their last pair put on 106 to give the Titans a first-innings lead on their way to a seven-wicket win.
On this occasion De Villiers was the last man out when he was caught behind off the bowling of Werner Coetsee.
Wiese then made an impact with the ball as he dismissed both Knights openers cheaply, before Marchant de Lange claimed his first franchise wicket after a lengthy injury lay-off when he had Rilee Rossouw caught for 23 to leave the visitors on 46 for three.
Rudi Second (38) and Obus Pienaar led a short revival before Shaun von Berg ripped through the middle-order, dismissing both batsmen as well as Gerhardt Abrahams.
Coetsee took the attack back to the Titans as he hit nine fours and a six in an unbeaten 57 from 61 balls, but De Villiers’ double-strike at the end of the day meant that the Knights captain is running out of partners.