Victory means the Knights finished fourth and will head to Durban to face the Dolphins in the first semi-final tomorrow
MOMENTUM ONE-DAY CUP
Knights (7 wickets)141
RESULT: Knights won by 3 wickets
You’d have been forgiven for thinking you were watching a certain Australian leg-spinner had you turned up yesterday morning at SuperSport Park.
All that was missing was the long blonde hair. Everything else; big spinning leg-breaks, googleys, sliders, brilliant control of line and length, clever field placements were all on show. Except the bloke bowling was named Shaun not Shane. It proved all too much for his former teammates at the Titans, however.
The Titans saw the very best of Shaun von Berg in the most crucial league game of the Momentum One-Day Cup, as he produced a spell of the highest quality against a batting line-up featuring four batsmen with international experience.
The toss was won by Knights captain Wandile Makwetu, who chose to field, but who then lost paceman Ottniel Baartman to injury after just one ball. That forced a change to the bowling plans, one of which was using Von Berg inside the first 10 overs. That would most likely not have been the case with a fully-functioning attack, but Von Berg turned Baartman’s misfortune to his and the Knights’ benefit.
Left-arm seamer Mbulelo Budaza, who bowled well to pick up 3/26, had dismissed the in-form Aiden Markram in the seventh over. A brief partnership of 29 between Tony de Zorzi and Theunis de Bruyn got the Titans to 58/1 after 13 overs, following which Von Berg got into his work.
A ripping leg-break spun past De Bruyn, who had charged down the wicket, offering Makwetu an easy stumping, and then off the next ball, Dean Elgar got a leading edge trying to turn one onto the leg-side, but offered Von Berg a comfortable return catch.
De Zorzi’s 61 off 72 balls was the lone innings of substance for the hosts and included seven fours, but he got no help from anyone else, and after he was out, caught by the wicket-keeper Makwetu, gloving an attempted pull off Jansen, Von Berg wrapped up the tail.
The 33-year-old leg-spinner finished with figures of 5/33 in 8.5 overs.
Andries Gous (25) and Jacques Snyman (35) knocked the stuffing out of the chase in the first 10 overs with an opening stand 59.
However, the remaining Knights batsmen played very poorly as they struggled their way to the win.
Victory means the Knights finished fourth and will head to Durban to face the Dolphins in the first semi-final tomorrow.
The Lions will host the Warriors at the Wanderers on Wednesday.