Road to the semi-finals

The Multiply Titans head into the final week of the Momentum One-Day Cup with some very happy memories to look back on from the round-robin stages.

After a slow start in the competition, they burst into life on their road trip, thanks to a world record partnership of 272 between Farhaan Behardien (111) and Aiden Markram (169). That partnership, which was the highest List A sixth wicket partnership in history, was the start of an incredible run of form for Markram.

Released from the initial Proteas ODI squad for the Sri Lanka series, he responded by notching169, 139 and  a 43-ball 85, as he put himself firmly back in the World Cup frame.

Markram wasn’t alone in stand out performances, however. Theunis de Bruyn carted a career-best 183 from 142 balls in the last round-robin fixture against the VKB Knights on Saturday, as he made a startling return to the side.

Stand-in skipper Dean Elgar, Heino Kuhn and Jonathan Vandiar have also notched centuries in the round-robin stage, while Tony de Zorzi opened his campaign with an unbeaten 115 against the Knights.

Diego Rosier also chipped in with a whirlwind 92 not out from just 62 balls against the WSB Cobras at Centurion. There have also been important contributions from Heinrich Klaasen and the now departed Chris Morris.

In the bowling ranks, Junior Dala has been the archetypal spearhead, with a maiden five-wicket haul against the Dolphins, as well as two other four-fers to show for his searing pace this season.

He has justified the licence to attack that he was given at the start of the competition, and his bowling has become a focal point of the attack. Of course, he may well look back on his cameo with the bat with more relish, given its sheer audacity.

With the Titans seemingly done and dusted, needing 52 from 29 balls, Dala spanked a remarkable 37 from only 14 balls, to snatch victory from the depths of despair.

In the long run, that victory may well have ensured that the Titans enjoy home ground advantage in the semis and the final, if they can get past the Cobras in the semi-final on Wednesday.

That is the priority now, and the Titans will welcome back some crucial players, as they head into the must-win phase of the competition.

With plenty of pleasant memories to look back on, they have all the motivation they need to make some fresh ones in the knockout phase of the Momentum One-Day Cup.