Pietermaritzburg — A clinical display of free-hitting by Theunis de Bruyn helped fire defending champions the Titans to a handsome eight-wicket win over the Dolphins in their CSA Challenge T20 clash at the City Oval on Saturday.
The Proteas batsman plundered 10 boundaries – five sixes and five fours – in a sizzling 32-ball 72 not out as the visitors chased down a probing 186 with seven deliveries to spare.
De Bruyn shared in a fixture record unbroken 109 for the third wicket alongside Jonathan Vandiar, which helped their side move to 13 points from six games, a return that kept them well in the hunt for the play-offs.
Defeat for the hosts, meanwhile, left plenty of work to do in the remaining four games, despite a much-improved effort compared to recent games.
Grant Morgan’s side, who sit second bottom on the log with eight points from six games, were asked to bat first after losing the toss and they responded with a strong 185 for four.
This after half-centuries from the evergreen Morne van Wyk and Cody Chetty, who struck 55 (41 balls, 6 fours) and 56 (36 balls, 5 fours, 2 sixes) respectively.
The pair had put on 89 for the second wicket, with the fit-again Andile Phehlukwayo striking a crisp unbeaten 31 off 19 balls alongside Robbie Frylinck (26 off 15 balls) that propelled the home side to by far their biggest score of the season.
All the bowlers travelled, except for rookie Gregory Mahlokwana after he landed one for 23 in three overs.
The Dolphins were then rarely given a sniff by the ruthless champions.
Henry Davids (42) and Tony de Zorzi (24) put on 64 in 8.2 overs for the opening wicket, before both fell to Prenelan Subrayen (2/28) within the space of six deliveries.
Then came the punishing De Bruyn-Vandiar stand that flattened the home bowling and gave Mark Boucher’s men a convincing win.