Albie Morkel produced one of the great innings in a final as his phenomenal unbeaten century took the Unlimited Titans to a five-wicket win with 17 balls to spare over the Nashua Cape Cobras to claim the Momentum One-Day Cup title at Newlands last night.
Morkel finished with an exceptional 134 not out off just 103 balls, making his first List A century when it really counted. The powerful left-hander took his time to get settled, before he and fellow centurion Dean Elgar turned what looked like a procession for the Cobras into a horror defeat.
Richard Levi had scored 104 off 113 balls to lead the Cobras to a commanding 285 for eight after they chose to bat first and there seemed little hope of a Titans win when the visitors slumped to 60 for four in the 15th over.
But Elgar (100) and Morkel added a magnificent, record-breaking 195 and even though Elgar’s 119-ball innings came to an end when he mistimed a pull off Rory Kleinveldt when 31 runs were still required, Morkel did not stand on ceremony and rushed the Titans home in a blaze of boundaries.
Morkel hit eight fours and seven sixes and seemed to succeed with every stroke he played; not only was he in the zone, but his reading of the match situation was superb and his ability to remain composed under pressure was impressive.
Elgar’s century was his second in succession after his match-winning effort in the playoff and the gritty left-hander has become a master of pacing a limited-overs innings.
Levi and Puttick put on 180 off 198 balls for the Cobras’ first wicket and the home side looked on course for well over 300.
But Tabraiz Shamsi produced a super display of controlled wrist-spin to slow their progress, trapping Levi leg-before as the Cobras scored just 115 runs in the last 20 overs.
Puttick was run out for 69 but there was little intent from the other Cobras’ batsmen before Dane Vilas lifted them to a competitive, if ultimately disappointing total with his 40 off 25 balls.
Kleinveldt and off-spinner Sybrand Engelbrecht dented the Titans’ ambitions with a couple of wickets each, but the brilliance of Morkel and Elgar gradually saw the Cobras’ confidence melt away.