Titans: 164 all out (Davids 74, Parnell 5/62, Paterson 3/36)
Cape Cobras: 172/5 (Ramela 84*, Tshiki 47, Mbhalati 2/43)
Cape Town - The Titans may have endured a tough day in the searing heat at Boland Park, but they will be consoled by the fact that one hand is virtually on the Sunfoil Series title.
After being sent in on an uncharacteristic green Boland Park pitch, the title-chasers found themselves in a heap of trouble at 91/7 yesterday. Wayne Parnell was once again in imperious form for the Cobras as the left-armer fully utilised the conditions to his advantage to claim his third successive five-wicket haul.
Equally, the returning Dane Paterson showed up his more illustrious bowling partner, Proteas Test opening bowler Vernon Philander, by landing the ball consistently in the correct areas. Paterson slowed down the pace to ensure his accuracy was spot on to allow the helpful pitch to do the rest. Aided by good catching behind the wicket, the Cobras had the Titans on the run shortly after the lunch interval.
But it is during these tough times that championship-winning teams require their senior players to step up. Captain Henry Davids has not had the best of seasons with the bat, but over the past two matches the skipper has battled valiantly for his team’s cause. Last week against the Highveld Lions Davids hit an invaluable 90 when all was falling around him, and again yesterday in the familiar surroundings of Boland Park where he was raised, he put together another defiant 74 (8x4, 1x6).
The 55-run partnership Davids shared with tailender Tabraiz Shamsi for the eighth-wicket was particularly crucial as it allowed the Titans to edge over the 150-mark, which earned the Hennops River side that all-important batting bonus point.
The Titans have picked up two further bowling bonus points to inch even closer to the title, especially with the second-placed Highveld Lions being skittled for just 68 in Port Elizabeth yesterday. The only team that can now still theoretically haul in the Titans are the Knights, who are currently chasing the game in Durban with the Dolphins (203/3) holding them at bay.
Although the Cobras have nothing at stake in this match, the individual contributions of Parnell and captain Omphile Ramela will certainly keep them close to the national selection panel’s thoughts when South Africa ‘A’ squads are to be selected for winter tours.
Original source: Parnell rocks title-chasing Titans