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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 October 2018

Abu Dhabi T20: Albie Morkel's Titans ready for double duty to win the tournament

South African side too good for Boost Defenders in Group B on the second day of the tournament on Friday

Tony de Zorzi top-scored for Multiply Titans with 34 in the victory over Auckland Aces on Saturday to set up a championship game in Abu Dhabi T20 against Lahore Qalanders. Pawan Singh / The National
Tony de Zorzi top-scored for Multiply Titans with 34 in the victory over Auckland Aces on Saturday to set up a championship game in Abu Dhabi T20 against Lahore Qalanders. Pawan Singh / The National

The Multiply Titans will have to deal with back-to-back games on Saturday if they are to win the first Abu Dhabi T20 Trophy tournament.

Victory in their second Group B game (3pm start) at the Zayed Cricket Stadium on Saturday against Auckland Aces will book their passage in the final with Group A winners Lahore Qalandars later in the night at 8pm.

The South African franchise made an important tournament debut on Friday with a 50-run win over Boost Defenders on Friday.

Their success was led by Tony de Zorzi, who hit an unbeaten 106 off 57 balls to spearhead the innings.

De Zorzi, the South African captain in the U19 World Cup in 2016, hit the ball all over the park as he set up a score of 218-3, which proved to be too much for Boost.

Boost had triumphed on Thursday, and a win on Friday would have put them in the final, and Titans were pleased to have stepped up and got the result that keeps their fate in their own hands.

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“Boost had a fantastic game yesterday. So, this is a good one for us to across the line,” said the Titans captain Albie Morkel after the game.

Titans didn’t need Morkel’s services on the night as the South African all-rounder didn’t bat or bowl on the night.

“Today, it was good to watch the boys,” he said. “It’s a long season ahead and definitely looking of what I thought of this team, and I’m very happy with what I saw today.

“The new guys in the team both Tony (de Zorzi) and Rivaldo (Moonsamy) making the way into our side, especially with tonight’s performances. Happy for them and hope this kick start their careers.

“It was tough conditions out there on the dewy conditions and the ball skidding nicely. Ryan Higgins and Colin Ingram put us under some pressure at one point and then to win by 50 runs is quite a good performance.”

Colin Ingram, left, and Ryan Higgins, right, gave Boost Defenders hope of beating Multiply Titans, but once they were both out the innings fell away. Pawan Singh / The National
Colin Ingram, left, and Ryan Higgins, right, gave Boost Defenders hope of beating Multiply Titans, but once they were both out the innings fell away. Pawan Singh / The National

The Defenders were on course initially as Ryan Higgins (45) joined by Colin Ingram (51) put on a 95-run partnership for the second wicket.

Higgins fell at 108 and then three more wickets fell in quick succession, including of Ingram’s, after a 28-ball knock. That left the Defenders tottering at 119-5 and eventually close the inning at 168-8 in 20 overs.

“We lacked a few areas where we did really well the other day (to defeat Auckland Aces by 35 runs),” said Ingram. “Tony de Zorzi played a brilliant knock to up under a lot of pressure.

It was a good wicket and I thought we were in striking distance when I was going well with Ryan (Higgins). But unfortunately we couldn’t keep going until the end.”