One Day Cup

No Lions panic as they face star-studded Titans

2019-02-26 19:15
Enoch Nkwe
Enoch Nkwe (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Highveld Lions coach Enoch Nkwe says he is not panicking despite their winless start to the One-Day Cup campaign as they prepare for a round five derby clash with the Titans in Potchefstroom on Wednesday.

The hosts have failed to win any of their first four matches of the tournament with two games lost and a further two having to be abandoned on account of the weather.

The results have left them second bottom on the table with four points thus far, although the format of the competition - with the top four qualifying for the play-offs rather than the top three as was the case in recent years - still leaves plenty of room for optimism.

"I know on the log it says we've played four, but we had those two rained out games which didn't help us at all," Nkwe said. "Out of the two games actually played we saw some good cricket, so from my side I’m fairly patient in terms of the results.

"We've just got to keep believing in the things we are trying to achieve as a team and ensure that we're ready when we hit that corner, to be able to grab that opportunity and get on a roll. We have to continue doing what we know has been working and look to improve on the areas that we haven’t quite nailed down."

The Lions coach also insisted that he was not one to become overly worried about their position.

"Experience tells me that you never panic," he stated. "It takes just one game to get the ball rolling and to build some momentum. Whether it happens on Wednesday or Friday, we just have to ensure that when that opportunity arises, we get on top of it. We want to win every game and we need to make sure bring our A game to each and every one of the remaining matches."

Nkwe did admit the game was massive for the Lions, but more so because it was against their rivals at Senwes Park.

He added: "This game is massive. It’s the derby and no one is going to hold back. We know that the Titans are a massive outfit and we have to make sure we’re ready for the challenge."

Titans coach Mark Boucher's side has only played two games so far, winning one and losing one. He believes not much can be made of their season thus far and hopes they can just continue to build on that solo victory they had against the Knights.

"We've only played two games so far, one was won convincingly and the other was a high-scoring game that we should have won, but pretty much choked at the end," he said. "We lost our way there and that proved costly.

"But our squad is a strong one and we've been strengthened by a couple of our Proteas coming back as well. I've always said that our four-day squad is very different to our one-day team, which is a lot more experienced and guys seem to prefer white ball cricket to red ball cricket.

"So I'm happy where we are considering the amount of cricket we've played lately. It's difficult to judge where we are because of the amount of cricket we've played."

Looking ahead to the game, Boucher felt the Lions will be an even bigger threat considering their start to the term.

"The weather hasn’t helped them, which is not ideal, especially after winning the four-day competition," he concluded.

"They will be desperate for the win. We understand that they're a very dangerous side and we’ll be treating them accordingly."

The Titans squad is: 

Heinrich Klaasen (Capt), Farhaan Behardien, Junior Dala, Theunis de Bruyn, Tony de Zorzi, Dean Elgar, Heino Kuhn, Aiden Markram, Tshepo Moreki, Chris Morris, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi, Jonathan Vandiar

Read more on:    highveld lions  |  titans  |  one day cup  |  enoch nkwe  |  cricket


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