There is pretty much only one reason why the Titans won the right to host this season’s domestic T20 final: Farhaan Behardien.
Behardien, affectionately known as “Fudge” to his team-mates, on Sunday scored a scarcely believable fifty off only 14 deliveries as his side beat the Warriors by six runs in East London.
His unbeaten 55, which included five sixes and four fours, is the quickest half-century in domestic T20 cricket and also the equal fourth-quickest in the world.
In a match reduced to five overs per side due to rain, Behardien had to rescue the Titans from the perils of 7/2 in the second over.
But the Proteas stalwart never looked flustered as he smashed the hosts’ bowlers to all parts in a magnificent exhibition of calculated hitting.
A target of 81 looked beyond the Warriors yet they looked in control when they reached 53/1 off three overs.
David Wiese, however, showed all his experience in claiming the vital wicket of Colin Ingram (19) as well as only conceding six runs in his only over.
As a consequence, Centurion can now look forward to a second successive final on Friday’s public holiday.
** The Warriors’ opponents in Tuesday’s play-off for the final will be the Highveld Lions, who finished third on the log with a 22-run win over the Cape Cobras in Paarl.
Geoff Toyana’s charges were indebted to opener Rassie van der Dussen, who tamed a difficult pitch with an excellent 56 off 44 balls.
Thanks to him, the Lions managed to scrape together 139/8 as Wayne Parnell impressed with figures of 3/22.
The Cobras initially looked steady until the leg-spinner Eddie Leie was introduced into the attack.
He decimated the middle-order in taking 4/26 as the Capetonians collapsed to 117 all out.