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Warriors thrash Titans to reach One Day Cup Final

The Warriors exacted revenge from last season’s disastrous 236-run Momentum One Day Cup final loss to the Titans, by knocking out the defending champions in the penultimate game of this year’s tournament.

Warriors batsman Gihanh Cloete scored 56 in the semi final against the Titans. Picture: Twitter/@OfficialCSA

JOHANNESBURG- The Warriors exacted revenge from last season’s disastrous 236-run Momentum One Day Cup final loss to the Titans, by knocking out the defending champions in the penultimate game of this year’s tournament.

Chasing a modest total of 231 for victory, after the bowlers, led by captain Jon-Jon Smuts who took 1/45 in his allotted 10 overs, to strangle and stifle the Titans' momentum. Anrich Nortje was the pick of the Warriors bowlers taking 3/45, with every bowler contributing in the wickets column.

The Titans did, however, start their innings with the bat positively, with openers Tony de Zorzi and Henry Davids putting on an opening stand of 47 before Andrew Birch removed De Zorzi for 27. Davids went shortly after that, caught behind off the bowling of Nortje to give him his first victim.

Heinrich Klaasen threatened with a fluent 26, but Smuts had him caught by Gqamane at short cover, and the Titans slumped to 115/4 in the 25th over. At the other end, Farhaan Behardien was showing his abilities with the bat and was the glue that was keeping the Titans' innings together. Behardien went on to his 31st half century in the domestic 50 overs format, and the fifth of this campaign, but unfortunately was running out of partners at the other end.

Junior Dala was the last man out, caught in the deep and the Warriors’ chance at redemption was increasingly possible. Their run chase elevated that possibility of redemption to reality, as Gihahn Cloete and Lesiba Ngoepe shared an opening stand of 115, with both men recording their half centuries in the process. Cloete and Ngoepe were severe on the bowling of Alfred Mothoa and Albie Morkel, with the captain conceding 21 runs in his three overs.

There was some solace for the Titans as they were able to remove both Cloete and Ngoepe, but not before most of the damage had been done. Smuts then came in and bludgeoned a better-than-run-a-ball 74 to guide the Warriors to an emphatic eight-wicket victory and book their place in their second consecutive Momentum One Day Cup final.

They will play the winner between the Cobras and the Dolphins who are in action on Wednesday afternoon at Newlands in Cape Town.

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