The Multiply Titans go into the last two matches of the Sunfoil Series confident that the fatigue that may have developed during this long season has been undone ahead of their crucial match against the WSB Cape Cobras in Paarl from Thursday.
Defeat in their last game – against the Warriors in East London – has left the Titans in fourth place on the log, but a week’s break and the fact that they are only 5.66 points behind the log-leading Eastern Cape side means they have renewed energy as they go into their game against the Cobras.
“Having lost our previous game is not ideal and now everyone is very much in contention, but we’ve tried to take positives from that loss. Last season we also lost our third-last game but then won the next two. At the end of the season guys might feel ready to go on holiday, but we’ve had a couple of team things together even though we haven’t played for a week.
“It was just to focus on getting the team back together, make sure we’re all thinking along the same lines and that we play for each other. After all the work put in by the players, the staff and the franchise, we owe it to each other to give it one last big push and I have no doubt the team will give it their all over the next fortnight,” coach Mark Boucher said on Wednesday.
“I can see the loss really hurt and maybe it came at a very good time. Because there’s a good vibe in the team again, they’re in a happy space. But it’s what happens on the field that really counts.”
Boucher believes the team is nicely settled now with Heinrich Klaasen back to take over the captaincy, but with the bowling attack operating smoothly, it is the batting that has to give the bowlers more to work with.
“We’ve played good cricket at times but the intensity has been down recently. We basically haven’t scored enough runs and then it’s always difficult to put pressure on teams. So the batsmen need to ensure we put pressure on the Cobras, we need to start the game well because we don’t want to be staring down the barrel after day one or two.
“We’ve seen the pitch, it looks a normal Paarl wicket, with a bit of grass, but it’s dry and it might turn later on. But we have all bases covered in our attack, the bowling hasn’t been the issue, we have the most bowling bonus points [32 compared to the next-best 26 of the Warriors] and we believe we can bowl teams out twice,” Boucher said.
The Multiply Titans squad to face the WSB Cape Cobras:
Heinrich Klaasen (Capt)
Tony de Zorzi
Shaun von Berg