Ken Borland
Sports Journalist
2 minute read
24 Feb 2021
3:47 pm

Warriors stun Titans to keep T20 Challenge hopes alive

Ken Borland

Despite losing their first three matches, the Warriors have given themselves a chance of making the playoffs.

Wihan Lubbe launched an assault by the Warriors middle-order in their T20 Challenge match against the Titans. Picture: Gallo Images

A superb middle-order effort by the Warriors took them from 33 for four to 157 for nine which proved to be enough to beat the much-touted Titans with a bonus point in a shock T20 Challenge result at Kingsmead on Wednesday.

The match appeared to be proceeding according to script for the Titans as they had the Warriors four down after seven overs, with Lizaad Williams taking two of the wickets.

But Wihan Lubbe counter-attacked, hitting ace spinner Tabraiz Shamsi for three successive boundaries as he scored 35 off 29 balls to shift the momentum.

The 20-year-old Tristan Stubbs then hammered a pugnacious 44 off 31 balls and Aya Gqamane also punished the Titans bowling at the death with a superb 37 off just 17 deliveries.

Chris Morris was again the most economical Titans bowler, taking two for 26 in his four overs, but everyone else conceded expensive overs which proved crucial as they let things slip when they were in a commanding position.

The Titans have a talented batting line-up but they have failed to really fire in this tournament and they were very disappointing again on Wednesday, limping to 114 for nine.

The Warriors began with spin from both ends and it would have a major impact as both JJ Smuts and Lubbe took wickets to reduce the Titans to 36 for two inside the first seven overs.

But Aiden Markram scored 31 off 28 balls to take them to 63 for two at the halfway stage, allowing them to have a real push for victory.

But instead the Titans just collapsed in a heap with Mthiwekhaya Nabe ripping through the middle-order in brilliant fashion with four for 21.

Pacemen Marco Jansen (4-0-21-2) and Anrich Nortje (4-0-20-1) were also outstanding.

The Warriors, despite losing their first three matches, have given themselves a chance of making the playoffs, should they beat the Knights on Thursday and the Titans suffer a third successive loss when they play the Dolphins on Friday.

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