Durban, Feb 26 (IANS) The Momentum Multiply Titans missed out on the Betway T20 Challenge play-offs after falling to a seven-run defeat to the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in their final round-robin match here on Friday.
Chasing a moderate 152 for victory, the Centurion-based outfit never really got going until late in their innings, although they could only muster 144 for six at Hollywoodbets Kingsmead Stadium, where the locals ended their five impressive games with five wins to qualify directly for Sunday’s final.
In the final, they will play either the Imperial Lions or the Dafabet Warriors, who ended second and third respectively and will now meet in what is effectively a semi-final on Saturday.
The heroes for the KwaZulu-Natal outfit were in-form David Miller and their bowlers. The explosive Proteas batsman top scored in the match with an unbeaten 49 off 35 balls, which included three fours and two sixes.
After the Dolphins won the toss and batted, Sarel Erwee struck 33 off 20 balls, but wickets fell around him leaving his side four down by the 12th over.
But Miller then consolidated, before opening up later in his innings to take Imraan Khan’s side to a competitive total.
Lungi Ngidi finished as the pick of the bowlers with three for 20 in four overs.
The Titans’ chase just never got off the ground, and after the early loss of Aiden Markram (3), they only managed to reach halfway on 51 for two.
Dean Elgar (25) scored the bulk of the early runs, but they did not come quickly enough, and the quick wickets of Sibonelo Makhanya (15) and Chris Morris (6) further hampered the Centurion-based team.
Dayyaan Galiem was their one stand-out batsman ticking the scoreboard over with his 45 off 39 balls, but his dismissal added to the pressure.
The Titans eventually needed 37 from the last 12 balls and although Heinrich Klaasen (29 not out) did his best at the death, it was not enough for his side.
Robbie Frylinck (2/26) finished as the pick of the bowlers, while Kerwin Mungroo picked up two for 29. Prenelan Subrayen was also excellent with his none for 15 in four overs.
In an earlier match on Friday, a strong half-century by Reeza Hendricks helped the Imperial Lions complete their regular season with a powerful seven-wicket win over the Six Gun Grill Cape Cobras.
The right-hander recorded his 27th career 50-plus score on his way to 75 off 59 balls (6 fours, 2 sixes) to anchor his side during their chase of 145 at Hollywoodbets Kingsmead Stadium, which they achieved with three balls to spare.
Earlier, a much-changed Lions team restricted their opponents to 144 for six, thanks to two wickets apiece by Lutho Sipamla (2/27), playing his first match of the campaign, and Bjorn Fortuin (2/29). Malusi Siboto and Wiaan Mulder, who were all handed first appearances by coach Wandile Gwavu, collected one for 33 and one for 16 respectively in a solid showing with the ball.
The Cobras, needing to win the game with a bonus point to have any chance of reaching the play-offs, won the toss and batted, but struggled to go big as they had done in their previous two matches.