Two outstanding centuries by Andrea Agathangelou and Rivaldo Moonsamy carried the Multiply Titans to a convincing 104-run victory over the Warriors in their Momentum One-Day Cup match at Sahara Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Sunday.
The bonus point win meant the Titans quickly rebounded from their defeat at the hands of the Cobras in their last game and also joined the Cape side at the top of the log with 14 points from four games.
Having won the toss and elected to bat first, Agathangelou and Moonsamy added 169 for the second wicket to lay the foundation for their excellent total of 312 for seven on a dry, tricky pitch.
While Agathangelou, who is enjoying a good 50-over campaign, was fluent throughout, going to his half-century off 59 balls, Moonsamy has struggled in the competition so far and took his time to get settled.
In a very mature innings, the 21-year-old scored just five runs off the first 20 balls he faced, but became increasingly confident and completed his maiden century off just 93 deliveries, with 11 fours and four sixes.
Moonsamy was eventually run out for a superb 107 off 98 balls, certifying just what a great talent he is, while Agathangelou cruised to a rock-solid 113 off 124 deliveries, proving that he is another quality option at the top of the order for the Titans.
The other opening batsman, debutant Bafana Mahlangu, made 10 before he was caught off spinner Simon Harmer, and Heinrich Klaasen fell for just nine when he was caught off Sisanda Magala.
But five and six is where Farhaan Behardien and Albie Morkel have performed with great consistency for the Titans and they were both able to hit sixes in the closing overs as they helped the home side post the second highest total of the season.
Behardien was caught in the deep off Andrew Birch for 20 and it was Morkel who added the finishing touches to the innings with his 30 not out off 22 balls.
Lungi Ngidi is one of the more fearsome fast bowlers on the domestic circuit and he struck early for the Titans, dismissing Lesiba Ngoepe for four in the fourth over, while Morkel showed that he is still a canny customer with the new ball, deceiving and bowling the dangerous Colin Ackermann for just two.
Gihahn Cloete and Yaseen Vallie (29) then rallied for the Warriors with a third-wicket stand of 71 in 12-and-a-half overs, but Grant Thomson is a Willowmoore Park local and he used the right variation to induce a return catch from Vallie to break the partnership.
Wrist-spin is very much today’s flavour in limited-overs cricket and the Titans then employed both Tabraiz Shamsi and Shaun von Berg to further increase the pressure on the Warriors batsmen.
Leg-spinner Von Berg removed Warriors captain and T20 international Jon-Jon Smuts for nine, and with seamers Thomson and Junior Dala both able to take a couple of wickets, the Warriors were out of the game by the time Shamsi received his reward for some fine bowling by taking the last three wickets.
Cloete was the best of the Warriors batsmen and bashed 82 off 74 balls, with 13 fours and a six, before hitting out at Dala and being caught in the outfield by Behardien.
Sisanda Magala (30) and Aya Gqamane (23*) added 49 for the last wicket and delayed the Titans’ victory, but there was no denying their dominance and intensity deserved the bonus point win.