The fact that both teams have to settle for two points is obviously unsatisfactory when one considers their precarious positions at the bottom of the log and the fact that all other tied matches in the competition have had super overs in order for one team to get the four win points. Neither team were aware that there would not be a tie-breaker.
Match referee Barry Lambson confirmed that the playing conditions did not allow for a super over to be played “due to time constraints” as the start of the match was delayed by two-and-a-half hours because of rain. This time, the all-pervasive influence of television was not to blame as they found time for a televised presentation after a string of advertisements.
The chances of playing at all looked remote at the scheduled starting time of 12pm, but by the end of the match the weather had totally cleared up, although metaphorically a cloud will remain over the game.
The eight-overs-a-side match featured perfect final overs by both Rusty Theron and David Wiese.
Wiese’s was the more impressive because it secured the tie for the Titans after they had unravelled in the field in the sixth and seventh overs, leaving the Warriors with just six runs to win off the last six balls.
Wiese made the perfect start by removing Simon Harmer (24 off 13) off the first ball and Jon-Jon Smuts, who had anchored the chase with 37 off 22 balls, was then run out off the second ball after confusion with Yaseen Vallie and a pinpoint throw from the outfield by Eden Links.
Vallie and Theron could only manage three singles, plus there was a wide, leaving the Warriors to score one run off the last ball to win. But with wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen standing up and making a fine take, Wiese beat Theron outside off stump to snatch a share of the spoils for the Titans.
The Titans had posted 79 for five in their eight overs after being sent in to bat, and looked well on course to defend that when they restricted the Warriors to 39 for three after five overs. But a host of errors in the sixth and seventh overs, including Harmer being dropped as Shaun von Berg and Theunis de Bruyn collided in the covers, changed the course of the match.
Captain Darren Sammy also contributed a fine over, conceding eight that included an edged boundary, Ethy Mbhalati again bowled skilfully and Junior Dala delivered a brilliant first over, that cost just one run and included the wicket of Warriors captain Colin Ingram (4).
Henry Davids had given the Titans innings a positive start as he scored 23 off 11 balls, hammering three fours and a six off Basheer Walters in the second over before the bowler had the last say, having him caught in the covers.
But the Titans run-rate then nose-dived as Aya Gqamane, brought on to bowl the fifth over, removed Wiese (1) and De Bruyn (16) with his first two balls and spinner Smuts was bang on target as well.
Theron conceded just four runs in the last over and trapped Sammy lbw for 16 as he showed the sort of skills that suggest he perhaps should be performing again on a higher stage.