As the Titans continue their Momentum One-Day Cup fightback against the Knights at the Diamond Oval on Friday, coach Rob Walter feels they would do well to cast their minds back to late October. Three months may be a long time in a busy franchise season, but rewinding through the domestic T20 Challenge and two sections of Sunfoil Series cricket that have passed since the first half of the one-day tournament was played will unearth some positive memories for the Titans. After the joint defending champions suffered two defeats and a washout at the start of the One-Day Cup to find their backs against the wall, two resounding victories at the end of the month left them in striking distance of the top three on the table.
“I think it’s important for us to remember the way that we finished the last two rounds of the competition – we won one game with a bonus point and then chased down a substantial score in Port Elizabeth. We know that we’re right in touch, and that if we have a good second half that it will get us into a playoff at the very least,” Walter said. The Unlimited Titans are currently fourth, six points off the Lions in third place but with a game in hand, and could rightly claim to have the form batsman in the country in their ranks for Friday’s game. Not only did Theunis De Bruyn rack up 349 runs in the first half of the One-Day Cup, but he will go into Friday’s encounter with an unbeaten double-hundred and a 161 for South Africa A behind him.
Dean Elgar, David Wiese and Marchant De Lange have also been made available to the Titans from the South Africa A squad, while Reeza Hendricks will take his place in the Chevrolet Knights side. Sarel Cilliers’ team have a lot of work to do if they are to make the playoffs, having won just one of their opening six games to sit fifth on the ladder. “There’s still a little bit of scope, so hopefully we can turn this one around. We had a good T20 campaign and I believe we can take the positives from that into this competition,” Cilliers said.
Batsman Tumelo Bodibe and all rounder Duanne Olivier are missing for the Knights, while the Titans expect Albie Morkel back from injury some time next week. Friday’s game starts at 15:00, and will be broadcast live on SuperSport 2.
HEAD TO HEAD – Knights vs Titans
Matches Played 25
Knights Win 10
Titans Win 14
Photo credit: Lee Warren/Gallo Images