Tony de Zorzi lit up the Sheikh Zayed Stadium with a fabulous maiden hundred as the Multiply Titans eased past Afghanistan’s Boost Defenders by 50 runs to put themselves on the verge of qualification for tomorrow’s Abu Dhabi T20 final.
De Zorzi fed on a diet of sweeps and reverse sweeps, hitting 13 fours and four sixes.
He shared half-century stands for the second, third and fourth wickets with Rivaldo Moonsamy (32), Theunis de Bruyn and Chris Morris, with the latter smashing 46 not out off only 14 balls at the death.
Unfortunately for Boost, their target of 219 proved far too tough an ask even with captain Colin Ingram’s 51 off 28 balls. They subsided from 108-1 in the eleventh over and finished on 168-8.
Shaun von Berg claimed 3-23 from four overs of leg-spin.
It means the Titans leapfrog them to the top of Group B, and a win over Auckland Aces tomorrow afternoon (3pm) will secure a final berth against Lahore a few hours later.
If they lose, all teams will be on two points and top spot in the group will be settled on net run-rate.
While de Zorzi, who had never previously topped 44 in eight career T20 appearances, led the way for the Ram Slam champions of the last three years, Morris added late impetus in blistering fashion, hitting nine of his 14 balls to or over the boundary rope.
At 47-1 after six overs of their reply, Boost stayed just ahead on comparison in the power play and likewise after 10 at 96-1, needing 123 more with Ingram and English opener Ryan Higgins in partnership.
Higgins (45) and Ingram shared 95 for the second wicket, but the former was the first of four wickets to fall for 10 runs in four successive overs.
Von Berg struck twice in that collapse, including getting Ingram lbw reverse sweeping as the score fell to 118-5 in the 14th, leaving the game all but wrapped up for the Titans.