Dayyaan Galiem and Donavon Ferreira produced a top-class display of finishing with the bat as they steered the Northerns Titans to a thrilling four-wicket victory with two balls to spare over the KZN Dolphins in the CSA T20 Challenge final in Potchefstroom on Saturday.
The pair came together with the Titans on a wobbly 98/5 in the 14th over, chasing a testing 163 for victory, and put together an outstanding unbeaten partnership of 63 off 37 balls.
Ferreira is a highly-rated T20 finisher who earned a staggering R5.5 million from the Joburg Super Kings in the SA20 Auction, and he lived up to the hype with a fiery 40 off 25 balls. But Galiem has been a revelation in this tournament with his batting at the death and he scored the winning runs with a boundary when two were needed off three balls, finishing with 32 not out off 22 balls, a truly matchwinning effort by the all-rounder.
Northerns made a rocky start to their chase as fast bowler Daryn Dupavillon removed openers Dewald Brevis, who pulled a short ball straight to deep midwicket to be out for just two, and Jiveshan Pillay, who battled a lack of timing and scored 18 off 20 balls before Jon-Jon Smuts took a diving catch at cover to remove him.
Theunis de Bruyn played a vital innings of 32 off just 19 balls to provide a momentum-shift, but spinners Smuts (3-0-25-2) and Prenelan Subrayen (4-0-25-1) then began to weave a tight web in the middle overs.
When Ferreira and Galiem came together, Northerns needed a tough 65 off just 37 balls, but they showed tremendous composure and positivity to get the job done.
The KZN Dolphins had won the toss and elected to bat first, but suffered the shock of losing their key batsman, leading run-scorer Grant Roelofsen, to the first ball of the match, caught down the leg-side off Aya Gqamane.
But it was a long time before the Titans took their next wicket as Keegan Petersen (63 off 51) and Smuts (69 off 50) added 115 off 93 balls, a superbly composed partnership that went through to the 16th over.
Jason Smith then provided some long handle in the final over, hitting 21 not out off seven balls to boost the Dolphins to 162/3, a challenging target for the Titans.
Unfortunately Petersen’s match ended badly when he seemed to have ruptured a hamstring making a brilliant boundary save. He was stretchered off the field and is likely to be out for a long time, putting his participation in South Africa’s Test tour of Australia in doubt.
Galiem was also outstanding with the ball, having Smuts caught behind in the penultimate over and conceding just 18 runs in his three overs, while veteran spinner Aaron Phangiso was also excellent, going for just 23 runs in his four overs.