Warriors lose in SA domestic T20 challenge despite Smuts century

Eastern Cape Warriors’ batsman Jon Jon Smuts in action against Northern Titans in South African SuperSport Series title challenge AFP

Johannesburg: Jan 9, 2012

A defiant unbeaten century from Jon Jon Smuts of Eastern Cape Warriors could not prevent Northern Titans cementing their South African SuperSport Series title challenge with a 202-run triumph on Sunday.

Warriors needed 301 final-day runs to win with only four second-innings wickets standing and Smuts ran out of partners when on 143 after a 243-minute stand that included 23 fours off 173 balls.

The next best knock was 25 from skipper Colin Ingram after a feeble batting showing in which six Warriors did not even reach double figures at Willowmoore Park in eastern Johannesburg suburb Benoni.

Faf du Plessis, who is in the South Africa squad that faces visiting Sri Lanka in a five-ODI series this month, was the most successful Titans bowler with 4-47 and Albie Morkel and Marchant de Lange captured two wickets each.

Titans stay second in the standings a mere 0.30 of a point behind new leaders Western Cape Cobras with three rounds left of the national four-day championship title race.

Cobras rose two places after walloping previously unbeaten Central Knights by an innings and 54 runs within three days in Kimberley and boosting chances of a treble having already won the 50-over championship. (AFP)