The Warriors may have lost six out of seven Sunfoil Series matches this season, but coach Malibongwe Maketa is determined to change the script when they welcome the Titans to Port Elizabeth on Friday. The Eastern Cape side have had a woeful first-class campaign, with the Achilles’ heel being their wretched form with the bat. Their latest outing yielded a second successive innings defeat, this time to the Cape Cobras and Maketa admits they are in a hole at the moment.
He says: ‘Once again same old story. I know we’re saying the same thing every week, so it’s very disappointing. Mentally it’s extremely tough for us at the moment and we have to find a way to get over it. We’re still in the same place where we’re looking for that person, Mo (Yaseen Vallie), has been flying the flag alone, we’re looking for others to join him in terms of first-innings runs.’ Vallie is their only batsman who has scored 400 runs this season and the coach conceded that even their senior players were struggling. Maketa says: ‘The senior guys are not performing, so everyone is under the same cloud of really looking for answers. It’s affected everyone. Again, we’re repeating ourselves and hopefully it will happen this week.’
Despite the woes of the Warriors, the Titans boss, Rob Walter, is not ready to write them off. His side will go into the clash as overwhelming favourites, but they do need to be cautious at the same time. He says: ‘I know they haven’t registered a win, but it doesn’t make them a bad team. So we can’t take them lightly because anyone can really beat anyone.’
The Titans drew with the Dolphins last week to extend their lead at the summit after their closest rivals, the Highveld Lions, lost to the Knights. Walter says: ‘After all is said and done, we did gain three-and-a-half points in the end, which is good, but it’s nothing that allows us to settle down and think this (title race) is done and dusted, because it definitely isn’t. I think this is going to go all the way, this year’s Sunfoil Series. I expect it will go down to the last game, so it’s pretty exciting stuff.’
Titans squad: Henry Davids (Capt), Qaasim Adams, Marchant De Lange, Dean Elgar, Eldred Hawken, Heino Kuhn, Ethy Mbhalati, Grant Mokoena, Albie Morkel, Mangaliso Mosehle, Rowan Richards, Tabraiz Shamsi, Grant Thomson