Johannesburg — Aiden Markram has used the opening rounds of the CSA One-Day Cup to soothe his wounds after South Africa’s T20 World Cup exit, and again illustrated what an important batter he is for the national side.
Whether his international future still includes Test cricket remains to be seen. Markram played no part for the Titans in the Four-Day series, but that was understandable given his omission from the tour party for the trip to Australia.
And while he had a poor World Cup, the first two matches in the One-Day Cup has shown that in the limited overs formats, he remains a batter capable of destroying opposition attacks. On Friday he top scored for the Multiply Titans making 80 in their defeat to the Lions in the competition’s opening fixture.
On Sunday at SuperSport Park against the Dafabet Warriors, Markram scored 89 providing the Titans innings with acceleration at a crucial stage starting in the 42nd over. The Titans, runners-up in the competition last season, had played steadily up to that point, with Markram himself taking 16 balls before hitting his first boundary, a six slapped over midwicket off Tristan Stubbs’ part-time off spin.
Dewald Brevis, playing in his second domestic 50-over game, scored a run-a-ball 45 that included some exquisite shotmaking, particularly straight down the ground. Worryingly he was dismissed by a bouncer again, and clearly opposition bowlers will look to target that part of the young man’s game even more.
His opening partner Jiveshan Pillay was more sedate, facing 107 balls to score 69, hitting five fours and two sixes in the process.
Markram, having settled in well, started to unleash some characteristic drives through the cover region, while anything the Warriors bowlers dropped short was powerfully dispatched through and over the leg-side. The 27-year-old hit eight fours and three sixes, and with Donovan Ferreira adding 23 off 20 and Corbin Bosch 27 off 21 balls, the Titans posted 296.
The Warriors were reduced to 49/3 in the 13th over, putting the brakes on their run chase. It required a careful rebuilding involving the talented Jordan Hermann, who made 55 off 64 and further half centuries from Stubbs, who scored 63 off 70, and Lesiba Ngoepe, who notched up 55 off 59 balls to get their innings back on track.
Although Stubbs and Ngoepe, who shared a 115-run partnership for the fifth wicket, did provide impetus for the visiting team’s innings, it came a little too late and the Warriors fell short by 22 runs.
In Potchefstroom, Heino Kuhn’s innings of 96 helped the North West Dragons to a comfortable 109-run win against the struggling ITEC Knights. Kuhn struck six fours and a six, sharing a partnership of 120 runs for the third wicket with opener Lesego Senokwane who made 76, which provided the backbone of the Dragons innings of 268.
The Knights could never get going with the bat, finding themselves tied down by good seam bowling from Eldred Hawken, Kerwin Mungroo and Delano Potgieter. It was the latter who proved to be the most successful of the home team’s bowlers, as he claimed 4/27 in nine overs.