Cricket

Lions wary of wounded Titans ahead of derby

2018-10-26 21:39
Enoch Nkwe
Enoch Nkwe (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Highveld Lions coach Enoch Nkwe is expecting a strong reaction from the wounded Titans when the two teams meet in their 4-Day Domestic Series Jukskei derby at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom from Monday.

The defending champions are hurting after losing to the top-of-the-table Cape Cobras this past week and will arrive at the second home of their rivals desperate to make amends.

Nkwe's side, on the other hand, enjoyed another productive few days when they claimed a stunning win over the Knights in Johannesburg, meaning they will enter the contest in the North West on a high.

"The Titans are very competitive, and we know the team and franchise they are," the Lions boss said. "They are the champions and will be hurting after losing at home.

"We need to make sure we still apply our fundamentals well and every opportunity that comes our way, we pounce on that.

"Every game against the Titans is always huge. Just like any other sporting code between the two sides. This will be no different, there will be that little bit extra on the field from both sides and we look forward to it."

The Lions produced a wonderful performance to beat the Knights by an innings and 22 runs in the last few days. It was a result that delighted the coach after they moved second on the table, but he was not too fussed about positions at this stage of the campaign.

"Collectively as a team it was a very good performance," Nkwe added. "But there's a lot to work on and several areas where we can improve.

"I think as a coach a good start is something you always hope for, but you can’t plan for it. Now that it's happened, we fortunate to have won two out of three. We'll be trying to build on that when we start out again in the derby from Monday.

"I must also point out that we’re not going to get ahead of ourselves. We need to ensure that we are just improving every week."

Titans coach Mark Boucher, meanwhile, took full responsibility for their defeat in Centurion - a match in which they were bowled out for 122 in the first innings.

"It wasn't ideal in the first innings and to be honest with you, I got the conditions and probably the selection wrong," he conceded. "So, I'll take it on the chin.

"But I'm very proud by the way in which the guys fought back. A lot of other teams would have probably just rolled over, but we hit back brilliantly."

Boucher was also hopeful they would be able to turn the tables in Potch.

"The Lions are also just coming off a win, so we'll have to be at our best," he concluded. "I think for us it's not about who we're playing at the moment.

"It's more about overcoming our own little battles within our space. The plans are all there and we now need to implement them effectively."

Read more on:    highveld lions  |  titans  |  enoch nkwe  |  cricket
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