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Cricket: Styris half century helps Titans to victory

Former New Zealand international all-rounder Scott Styris hit an unbeaten 57 on Tuesday to help Titans go top of the South African Twenty20 Challenge table. Hosts Knights made 132-7 in Bloemfontein and Titans reached 133-2 with four balls remaining to win by eight wickets and move one point above Highveld Lions, who were not playing. Defending champions Titans completed their 10-match league schedule with 26 points while Lions can return to the top on Thursday by defeating fifth-place Dolphins in Johannesburg.

Cricket: Pakistan win toss, opt to bat

Pakistan won the toss and chose to bat in the fifth and final one-day international against South Africa at Willowmoore Park on Sunday. Pakistan fielded the same team that won the fourth match in Durban by three wickets to level the series at 2-2. South Africa made two changes. Fast bowler Morne Morkel returned to action for the first time since suffering a hamstring injury in the second Test match last month, replacing Rory Kleinveldt.

Cricket: Lions falter in thrilling South African T20 run-in

Leaders Highveld Lions lost and fellow title challengers Knights, Titans and Warriors won Friday to set up a thrilling climax to the South African Twenty20 Challenge mini-league. Lions, who suffered two defeats this week, have 25 points, title-holders Titans 22 and Knights 21 with one match left each and Warriors 20 with two games remaining. The team finishing first automatically qualifies for the April 7 final while those coming second and third play off for the other place in a match that will draw the curtain on the South African domestic season.

Cricket: South African T20 Challenge standings

South African Twenty20 Challenge table after Friday matches (played, won, lost, no result, net run rate, points): Highveld Lions 9 6 3 0 0.469 25 Titans 9 5 3 1 0.130 22 Knights 9 5 4 0 -0.022 21 Warriors 8 5 3 0 -0.082 20 Dolphins 8 2 5 1 -0.486 10 Cape Cobras 9 2 7 0 -0.133 8 Note: Team finishing first after double round qualifies for final and those coming second and third play off for the other place Remaining fixtures (all 1600GMT)

Cricket: Morkel stars as Titans hold off Lions in thriller

Former South Africa all-rounder Albie Morkel starred as Titans beat leaders Highveld Lions by seven runs Tuesday in a South African Twenty20 Challenge thriller. Morkel contributed an unbeaten 40, including three fours and two sixes, to help Titans reach 178-5 off 20 overs at SuperSport Park and he took 3-26 as Lions fell just short at 171-6 in reply. Victory lifted defending champions Titans two places to second, seven points behind Lions with two rounds left. The table toppers automatically qualify for the final and the second and third teams play off for the other place.

De Kock replaces Du Plessis in South Africa squad

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South Africa have called up Quinton de Kock to their squad for the two remaining one-day internationals against Pakistan. The 20-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman replaces Faf du Plessis, who will rest a lower back problem that has also ruled him out of the first four weeks of the Indian Premier League, where he plays for the Chennai Super Kings. "Faf has been troubled by low back pain over the past while," Proteas team manager Mohammed Moosajee said in a statement released by Cricket South Africa on Tuesday.

URGENT ¥¥¥ Cricket: Pakistan beat South Africa by six wickets

Pakistan defeated South Africa by six wickets in the second one-day international at SuperSport Park on Friday to level the five-game series 1-1. South Africa were bowled out for just 191 in 43.2 overs before Pakistan reached their target with 28 balls to spare. The home side won the first game by 125 runs in Bloemfontein last Sunday. The third game is in Johannesburg on Sunday. dj

Cricket: Elgar shines with bat, ball for Knights

Dean Elgar starred with bat and ball Thursday as Knights held off Warriors and rose to second on the South African Twenty20 Challenge table. Fresh from helping his country complete a 3-0 Test whitewash over visiting Pakistan, the left-hander scored an undefeated 61 off 60 balls as Knights made 114-4 in coastal city Port Elizabeth. Elgar struck two fours and four sixes during 69 minutes at the crease and Obus Pienaar (22) lended valuable assistance after openers Loots Bosman (1) and Gihan Cloete (2) flopped.

Cricket-South Africa give contracts to four new players

CAPE TOWN, March 12 (Reuters) - South Africa have given national contracts to four new players - Dean Elgar, Rory Kleinveldt, Marchant de Lange and Aaron Phagiso - in a bid to improve the national side's performance, Cricket South Africa announced on Tuesday. Ryan McLaren was re-awarded a contract after missing out over the last 12 months. Six players, including retired wicketkeeper Mark Boucher and spinner Johan Botha - who asked to be released from his contract last October - dropped off the list.

URGENT ¥¥¥ Cricket: Ingram sets up South African win

Colin Ingram hit an unbeaten century to set up a comfortable 125-run win for South Africa in the first one-day international against Pakistan at Chevrolet Park on Sunday. The left-handed Ingram made 105 not out as South Africa piled up 315 for four after being sent in to bat. Pakistan could only make 190 in reply. str/ak
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