Centurion Theunis de Bruyn will remember the final day of the 4-Day Domestic Series match against the Warriors at SuperSport Park on Monday with some fondness, but there was little else to cheer for the Multiply Titans as the match petered out into a draw.
De Bruyn began the fourth and final day, with the vast majority of the weekend’s play having been washed out, on 55 not out, with the Titans on 131 for four replying to the Warriors’ first innings of 307, and played some marvellous strokes as he went to his seventh franchise century in beautifully-controlled fashion, off 142 deliveries with 17 boundaries.
The Titans will rue the lack of support for the elegant Proteas batsman though, as the home side were bowled out for 267 in the 71st over, meaning they lost the bonus-point battle to the Warriors, by 13.34 points to 14.11.
Rivaldo Moonsamy (26) shared a promising partnership with De Bruyn in the opening hour, adding 52 for the fifth wicket before the wicketkeeper/batsman was trapped lbw in off-spinner Simon Harmer’s first over of the day.
Chris Morris chopped on off Sisanda Magala for 16 and then when De Bruyn’s three-and-a-half hour innings ended with him tickling Harmer to leg-slip, the Titans had slipped to 229 for seven. But Shaun von Berg added some valuable runs with a run-a-ball 31 before he was last man out, lbw and struck a painful blow to the ankle bone by a fast, swinging yorker from Anrich Nortje.
Von Berg did not take the field in the 31 overs the Warriors faced before the teams shook hands on the draw.
Nortje was fast and aggressive, finishing with four for 67 in 18.3 overs, and will be one to watch this season for the Warriors. Harmer also bowled well, taking four for 71 in 22 overs.
The Titans will again be disappointed with their bowling in the Warriors innings as they allowed the visitors to rattle up 166 for two in 31 overs.
Opener Ed Moore, who scored a determined five-hour century in the first innings, this time showed his ability to score quickly as he raced to 73 off 84 balls, before being bowled trying to slog-sweep left-arm spinner Dean Elgar.
Moore was a worthy man of the match and there was also time for Yaseen Valli to collect another half-century as he finished on a shot-filled 69 not out.
Morris, the outstanding bowler of the first innings with six for 66, picked up another wicket when he had Clyde Fortuin caught down the leg-side by Moonsamy for six. He also had Moore dropped at third slip by De Bruyn on 0, and the Titans could not get another breakthrough until the 28th over, by which time Moore and Valli had added 140 off just 153 deliveries, killing off the home side’s remote chances of pulling off a win.