MiWay T20 Challenge
Titans 'have T20 momentum'
Martin van Jaarsveld (File)
Pretoria - Titans captain Martin van Jaarsveld believes his team have the drive to carry them forward into the MiWay T20 Challenge final and the 2012 Champions League tournament.
“We’ve got really good momentum going at the moment and hopefully we can carry on with that and reach the final,” Van Jaarsveld said on Friday.
“We played in the first Champions League tournament in 2008 so it would be fantastic for us all if we made it again.”
The Titans face the Knights on Sunday in the one-off T20 semi-final and the winner not only qualifies for the final, against the Lions the following Sunday, but also the lucrative and more glamorous Champions League tournament in October.
Having already reached the playoffs, the Titans went into their last pool match against the Warriors on Wednesday looking for a bonus point to reward them with a home fixture.
“Against the Warriors, we already knew we were in the semi-finals so the pressure was off us,” said the skipper.
“We were in a good space because we knew we had licence to play without any fear - and that’s when a team is most dangerous.”
The hosts would be relying on their more experienced players, Van Jaarsveld said, to steady the nerves and pave the way to victory against the Knights.
“In a big game like this, we rely on the senior players because they’ve been there before,” he said.
“Their confidence and demeanour sets an example to the younger players and I’d really like to see our big guns performing on the day.”
Van Jaarsveld said the Titans would try and recreate the same conditions which would allow them to play freely and give them a psychological advantage.
“We want to try and be in that space again which made us dangerous against the Warriors on Wednesday, otherwise the players get tight," he said.
“We don’t want to be in a position where the expectations are too high and we end up putting too much pressure on ourselves.”
The Titans and the Knights both won seven of their 12 pool games to finish in second and third places, respectively, on the log.
The home side, however, lost to the Knights in Centurion in their only T20 encounter this season, after the return game in Bloemfontein was rained out.
Van Jaarsveld said the result of that game, which the Titans lost by five wickets, would have no bearing on Sunday’s match.
“On the day, we didn’t do much wrong,” he said.
“There wasn’t much between the two sides but the toss was important, and they won the toss and just got their noses in front.
“It would just be nice if I could win the toss on Sunday, for a change, and take it from there.”