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Ken Borland

Davids & Van der Merwe do the damage

Posted on February 27, 2012 by Ken


Henry Davids and Roelof van der Merwe were the men who did most of the damage as the Nashua Titans hammered the New Age Impi by nine wickets with 26 balls to spare in their MiWay T20 Challenge match at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Sunday.

Van der Merwe destroyed the New Age Impi middle-order as the Titans bowled them out for just 131, before Davids hit a whirlwind 55 off 35 balls to rush the “visitors” to victory.

The New Age Impi experiment has battled to get off the ground with the composite side crashing to their fifth straight defeat and only a meagre crowd coming to watch in Benoni, where the Titans of course play often.

Apart from Davids, Jacques Rudolph and Van der Merwe also enjoyed themselves with the bat, retiring to the changeroom with 47 not out and 30 not out respectively after the bonus-point victory was completed.

Left-handed Rudolph anchored the innings as he scored his runs off 39 balls, with three fours and two sixes, while Van der Merwe lashed three fours and a six from 20 deliveries.

But it was Davids who stole the show with a top-class innings, a delightful display of footwork and superb timing as he stroked seven fours and two sixes.

It was like the old pro against the interns as he moved around his crease and found the gaps at will, notching a 26-ball half-century before chipping offspinner Khaya Zondo to midwicket, where Paul Collingwood took a fine catch diving forward.

That left the Titans on 78 for one in the 10th over and in complete control, Rudolph and Van der Merwe completing the formalities as they added 59 in 39 balls.

The New Age Impi seamers were unimpressive and captain Collingwood needed to turn to the slower bowlers, with left-arm spinner Siyabulela Simetu continuing the good impression he has made in the competition as he took the new ball and conceded just 23 runs in his four overs.

The Impi had won the toss and elected to bat first for the first time in the campaign, and Zondo and Collingwood had given the innings a solid foundation as they put on 51 for the third wicket off 41 balls.

The Impi’s problems, as is so often the case, began with a run out, and Van der Merwe was the architect, defeating the batsmen’s efforts for a second run as he rushed in from the midwicket boundary and scored a direct hit at the bowler’s end to remove Collingwood for a bright 28 off 18 balls.

Zondo was still there, though, having come in first-wicket down and watched as another Englishman, Luke Wright, also scored 28 off 18 balls to give the Impi a quick start.

But 92 for three quickly became 99 for six as Ryan ten Doeschate chopped on off David Wiese for just a single, and Van der Merwe removed Zondo and Richard Cameron off successive deliveries.

Zondo, who scored 33 off 31 balls, backed away to try and cut the left-arm spinner, but was off-balance and only succeeded in edging a catch to sharp wicketkeeper Heino Kuhn, who had earlier stumped opener Adrian McLaren for four in Van der Merwe’s first over.

Cameron then chipped his first ball straight to extra cover and, although Ryan Canning ensured that there would be no hat-trick for Van der Merwe, he could not find the boundary as he was the last man out for 17 off 21 balls.

Van der Merwe finished his quota of overs with excellent figures of three for 28 and his fantastic fielding netted him another run-out, dismissing Simetu for five in the penultimate over.

The 27-year-old has not played for South Africa in over 18 months, but continues to send good messages to the national selectors, having now taken five for 91 in 14 overs in this season’s T20 Challenge.

Off-spinner Eden Links also had a profitable afternoon with two for 21 in his four overs, while seamer Wiese came on in the 12th over and was not easy to get away as he took one for 13 in three overs.

The Titans will be unhappy that their fielding at the start of the innings was not up to scratch, a couple of catches going down, but, led by the indomitable Van der Merwe, they eventually got the job done in some style.

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