With 52 runs required to win, and five overs in which to get them, Aiden Markram looked poised to take the Multiply Titans to victory against the Warriors on Friday night.
But when the in-form star fell, leaving 29 balls and just two wickets in hand, no one could have foreseen what happened next.
“When Tshepo and I went out to bat we looked down and out, but we’ve been practicing our batting. We didn’t expect it to go that well, but we always had that belief that we would pull it through,” the hero of the night, Junior Dale explained.
Dala bludgeoned 37 off just 14 balls, as he took the Titans to an outrageous victory – and the top of the Momentum One-day Cup (MODC) standings.
It was certainly Dala’s greatest moment with the bat, and one which was on the back of some hard work behind the scenes.
“So I was glad that the nine months of hard work led to what happened on Friday.”
That being said, Dala is still not banking on his cameo seeing him move up the order. And he was quick to note that his exploits would have been unlikely without Markram taking them close.
“I think it was a once in a lifetime thing. It might happen again. With that being said, I think Aiden set the game up well for us. We knew that if we got boundaries, the bowlers would be under pressure,” he said of the charge to victory.
After a slow start to the competition, the Titans have gone through the gears, and are now primed for a title tilt.
They meet the WSB Cape Cobras next, who are on a bit of a charge themselves.
“The way we’ve tried to approach the MODC is by not looking too far ahead,” the fast bowler said.
“Yes, we want to win, but we want to play our best cricket and that’s what we are focusing on. Hopefully we win on Wednesday, but we also want to play the right brand of cricket.”
Dala added that they were aiming to rectify the things that hadn’t gone to plan in the past fortnight, and that the loss of Markram back to the Proteas would be absorbed.
“Our top six has all played for the Proteas. Yes Aiden is gone and he’s done phenomenally well for us in the past two weeks, but we’ve got Theunis de Bruyn, Heino Kuhn, Jon Vandiar and Tony de Zorzi has been batting very well. So we’ve got the personnel to get us through,” he maintained.
Despite a change in fortunes, the Titans are not getting ahead of themselves. They know the job is far from complete.
“The coach has told us to stay humble, keep doing what we’re doing, focus on doing the right things and going through the right processes and don’t think too far ahead.”
It has been a very interesting competition, and the Titans are determined to be there when it reaches its conclusion.
The Titans host the Cobras on Wednesday, with the match starting at 1:30pm.
Multiply Titans squad to face the WSB Cape Cobras: Farhaan Behardien, Junior Dala, Heinrich Klaasen (c), Theunis de Bruyn, Tony de Zorzi, Dean Elgar, Heino Kuhn, Gregory Mahlokwana, Imraan Manack, Rivaldo Moonsamy, Tshepo Moreki, Chris Morris, Alfred Mothoa, Jonathan Vandiar