Tabraiz Shamsi sparkled with impressive figures of 4/32 to help the Titans to a home Ram Slam T20 Challenge final on Saturday afternoon in a comprehensive eight-wicket victory over the Warriors last night in Pretoria.
Titans skipper Albie Morkel won the toss and chose to field and the move proved to be the correct one as Titans restricted the Warriors to a modest total of 143 after 18.1 overs with Shamsi stealing the show with the ball in front of a capacity crowd in Centurion.
The other stars of the night for the Titans were Proteas batting superstar AB de Villiers (54) and Test opener Aiden Markram (56), who returned with well-taken half centuries as the home team reached their target inside 16 overs and 28 balls to spare.
When De Villiers arrived on the crease to join Markram, the home side was sitting on 44/2 after five overs following the early dismissals of Quinton de Kock and Heinrich Klaasen and they put together a stunning partnership of 101 from 63 balls.
Having been set a target of 144 for victory and wait for the winners of the second semi final between the Dolphins and Cape Cobras taking place in Durban on Thursday, Titans started their chase on shaky ground after De Kock was caught at mid wicket by Jon-Jon Smuts from the bowling of Andrew Birch for just one run.
It got concerning for the home side when Klaasen was caught by Jerry Nqolo on the mid wicket boundary from the bowling of Cape Cobras loanee Wayne Parnell in the sixth over.
Klaasen’s dismissal saw De Viliers join Proteas Test opener Aiden Markram on the crease and the two embarked on the rebuilding job and they helped the Titans to easily cross the line.
Titans started the match without meeting their stipulated transformation targets of fielding six black players after opener Henry Davids got injured during the warm-up and he was replaced by Klaasen.
With no other black player in the squad, Titans played the match with only Farhaan Behardien, Malusi Siboto, Shamsi, Junior Dala and Lungi Ngidi and they will have to submit a medical report to Cricket South Africa (CSA) explaining the situation with Davids.
Shamsi claimed the wickets of Christiaan Jonker, Colin Ackerman (48), Gihahn Cloete and Jerry Nqolo while Junior Dala ended with the two scalps of Andrew Birch and Sisanda Magala.
Albie Morkel, Ngidi, Chris Morris and Aiden Markram accounted for Parnell, Smuts, Lesiba Ngoepe and Colin Ingram, who was the other notable contributor with the bat for the visitors with 41 runs, respectively while Siboto finished empty-handed.