The Highveld Lions have the task of picking themselves up from the disappointment of a narrow defeat in midweek when they host the Titans at Senwes Park in Friday’s televised Ram Slam T20 encounter. The Lions appeared set to pull off a coup when they went into the final four balls of their chase against the Dolphins needing just seven runs, but they couldn’t quite finish the job and ultimately lost by one run. Given how sweet victory over an opponent boasting the star talents of centurion Kevin Pietersen would have been for a relatively young squad, a narrow loss brought an excruciating disappointment that must be overcome swiftly with such a brief turnaround between the games.
Coach Geoffrey Toyana says: ‘It was a tough one for us and everyone was quite hurt – I thought we played really well for 37 overs, but then in three overs we went for 64 runs at the end of their innings. But it’s a young side and I’m proud of my boys. We need to move on and hopefully have a good day against our neighbours in Potch.’ Toyana expects to name an unchanged squad after impressive outings from his charges in the first two games of the competition, while the Titans have added Graeme Van Buuren to their squad after their loss to the Dolphins over the weekend.
A feature of that game was the success of the Dolphins spinners, who claimed five Titans scalps out of eight, and Rob Walter’s side know that they will come up against a quality spin duo in Aaron Phangiso and Eddie Leie in Friday’s clash. However, rather than putting too much focus on the batsmen’s abilities against spin, Walter has pointed out the need to play according to the conditions on offer at Senwes Park. He says: ‘We just need to be more adaptable to the conditions when we’re batting,” he said. The pitch on Sunday wasn’t the standard SuperSport Park pitch and we just didn’t adapt quick enough to that, and played shots relative to what the pitch there is normally like.’ Friday’s game starts at 18:00, and will be broadcast live on SuperSport 2.
Titans squad: Albie Morkel (capt), Farhaan Behardien, Ruben Claassen, Junior Dala, Henry Davids, Quinton De Kock, Marchant De Lange, Heino Kuhn, Grant Mokoena, Chris Morris, Mangaliso Mosehle, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi, Graeme Van Buuren.