Titans captain, Henry Davids, has paid tribute to his team for the manner in which they fought to secure the Sunfoil Series title over the weekend. Needing victory to guarantee themselves the title, the Pretoria-based franchise found themselves heading towards defeat after two days of play against the Cape Cobras in Paarl. They had been bundled out twice for scores of just 164 and 256, leaving their hosts needing what looked an easy 136 for victory.
Davids says: ‘Friday evening we were all shell-shocked after being bowled out in 50 overs or so. Everyone was quiet, not many people spoke and we said that we’re going to have to rely on other results going our way to win the trophy. We left it at that, but then when we returned on Saturday morning, the emotion was still there but something was different. When we got together in our huddle, I said to the guys: ‘You can sit there and mope and look at the scoreboard and all that. But what has happened has happened. For me, I want each one of you to go out there and give it your all.’ I didn’t want to gift the game to the Cobras and I told the guys that as well. We needed to fight there until the last ball. There was a nip in the wicket and I knew if we got four quick wickets, we could be in with a chance.’
And so it worked out that the Titans, spearheaded by Rowan Richards’ 7/40, bowled out of their skins to dismiss the Cobras for 125 and claim a famous 10-run victory. Only three bowlers were used – Richards, Ethy Mbhalati (1/49) and Tabraiz Shamsi (2/27), with Eldred Hawken unable to participate due to injury. Davids says: ‘I must say that even at six down they were still the favourites, but we managed to pull it off. Not often do you defend 140, especially with two seamers as well. So it was really special. Rowan was exceptional, he bowled himself almost into a wheelchair. He led us and everyone else was exceptional. So it turned out to be an awesome weekend and it was the best win I’ve ever been involved in during my career.’
It was the second title the Titans have won this season after they won the Ram Slam T20 Challenge back in December. Davids says: ‘We have a rich history in trophies, so I’m really proud to have won two titles. We were a bit disappointed with the Momentum One-Day Cup, but we have two trophies and you can’t complain. We still want to get better. But we’ll go away now and really enjoy this break before coming back hopefully stronger next season.’