Ken Borland

By Ken Borland


Another century for Klaasen as Titans take the lead in One Day Cup

Down the road at the Wanderers, the Central Gauteng Lions earned a three-wicket win over the KZN Dolphins.

Heinrich Klaasen continued his rampant form of late as he roared to a career-best 153 off just 127 balls, leading the Northerns Titans to a 32-run win over the Free State Knights in their CSA One Day Cup match at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Sunday.

The victory means Northerns also raced to the top of the log after winning all four of their games thus far. They lead the North-West Dragons, who have won three out of five, by two points.

Having been sent in to bat, Northerns racked up a formidable 341/6, built around Klaasen’s ferocious innings, which included nine fours and seven sixes. His second successive century in the 50-over competition has not only rushed the Titans to the top of the log, but will keep him in the conversation for the Proteas team.

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Free State, led by Migael Pretorius (10-2-40-2) bowled well up front and reduced Northerns to 15/2 in the first four overs. So Klaasen’s first job was to repair the innings, which he did in tandem with Neil Brand, who made a fluent 87 off 104 deliveries.

The duo put on 167 for the third wicket in 31 overs and Klaasen then unfurled some great attacking strokes in the company of Sibonelo Makhnaya (37).

Free State’s chase was off to a blazing start as they scored 82 runs in the first 10 overs. But the erratic Northerns bowlers also managed to pick up four wickets in that time, three of them to fast bowler Bosch, who also conceded 42 runs in his first five overs.

Four more wickets fell in the middle overs and the Knights had to rely on the go-go-gadget skills of their veteran skipper Pite van Biljon to keep their small hopes of victory alive. The 35-year-old was tenacious to the extreme, running hard and fighting his way to a brilliant 127 not out off 110 balls, with 14 fours and four sixes, an innings full of fine strokes and shot-selection.

Fast bowler Junior Dala was able to bowl only four overs due to injury, leaving Northerns with a makeshift attack, but left-arm spinner Brand, who picked up the extra overs, kept chipping away and finished with 4/61 in 10 overs, as Free State were bowled out for 309 in the 45th over.

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Down the road at the Wanderers, the Central Gauteng Lions used a three-wicket win with three overs to spare over the KZN Dolphins to jump into third place in the standings, two points behind North-West.

Sent in to bat, KZN crashed to 21/4 as Sisanda Magala (10-1-42-2) and Malusi Siboto (10-0-29-2) used the new ball well. It was Andile Phehlukwayo, with a feisty 100 not out, and Eathan Bosch (68) who lifted the Dolphins to 224/8, despite Codi Yusuf taking 4/26.

On a tricky pitch, the Lions slipped to 117/5 after opener Josh Richards scored 44, but Dominic Hendricks dug in for 43 and wicketkeeper Connor Esterhuizen made a great debut with 52 off 58 balls to all but finish the chase with Sisanda Magala (28* off 24).

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