Cape Town - Assistant coach Mandla Mashimbyi is keen for the Titans to kick on and gain more consistency when they host the log-leading Warriors in their next One-Day Cup assignment at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Friday.
The two sides met on the weekend in Port Elizabeth where Mark Boucher’s side were 55-run winners in a high-scoring affair over Rivash Gobind’s team.
They will be targeting much of the same again and know that victory could potentially put them top of the standings. This after a fairly quiet start to the competition that saw them win three out of their opening five games.
“It’s been a bit of an inconsistent campaign for us so far, but we’re in an okay position at this stage,” Mashimbyi said. “We won our last game in PE and it’s vital for us now to take the momentum from that game forward.
“The good thing is that there’s been plenty of positives along the way, even in amongst our losses.
“The things we haven’t been good at we’ve worked on and hopefully we can kick on and peak at the right time.”
The Titans endured a poor four-day season by their high standards and are looking to now make amends in the shorter formats.
Their coach says that the past has been put behind them and they are only looking forward for the remainder of 2018/19. “What happened earlier in the season in the red ball competition is history,” he added. “We’ve put that behind us and are looking ahead.
“I think we’ve got a really good team, a good mix of the old and new, and I'm fully confident in the abilities of this side. I think we can go a long way.”
Key to the Titans’ recent resurgence has been the wonderful form of their returning Standard Bank Proteas, and, in particular, Aiden Markram. The star batsman recorded scores of 139 and 169 in the last two games and will have to be closely watched by the Warriors.
However, their assistant coach, Mfuneko Ngam, says they cannot worry only about Markram. “We cannot put all the focus on him,” he said. “He is in excellent form, but if we focus on him, the next guy in their line-up can step up because they have such a formidable line-up. We have to be prepared for all of them.”
The Eastern Cape franchise have won four out of six so far this term and Ngam says he has been pleased by the way they have progressed.
“We’re very pleased with how the guys have gone about their business, especially the new players,” he beamed. “Someone like (Sinethemba) Qeshile he keeps on scoring runs with the bat. Jon-Jon (Smuts) has batted beautifully as well. And with the ball, Lutho (Sipamla) and (Sisanda) Magala are bowling excellently. We’re really excited about that.”
Looking ahead to the game, Ngam admits they are hungry to bounce back after the weekend defeat. “We need to strike back after that defeat,” he added. “Even though we lost, we fought hard and gave them a really good game.
“So, we not too disappointed, but I think for this one it will be about doing the basics right again. If we can do that, hopefully we can come out on top.”
The Titans squad is: Farhaan Behardien, Gregory Mahlokwana, Imraan Manack, Junior Dala, Theunis de Bruyn, Tony de Zorzi, Dean Elgar, Heinrich Klaasen (capt), Heino Kuhn, Aiden Markram, Tshepo Moreki, Chris Morris, Alfred Mothoa, Grant Thomson, Jonathan Vandiar.
The Warriors squad is: To be confirmed