Sports

Titans aim to bounce back in Benoni

Cape Town – Titans assistant coach Mandla Mashimbyi is looking forward
to facing the Cape Cobras on Wednesday, saying the mood in
camp remains a positive one despite their unlucky loss to the Warriors at the
weekend.

The defending champions lost by four runs on the DLS Method,
having dominated their opening game, with weather playing a big part in the eventual
outcome.

Now they will be aiming for a better result at Willowmoore
Park in Benoni, where Mashimbyi is expecting a tough tussle with their old foes
from Cape Town.

“They’ll come out punching and wanting to win,” he said. “So
will we after that first game and we will need to make sure we get that first
win under the belt. All the focus and energy is geared towards the game.
Everyone wants to get some momentum going.”

In the opening match, the Titans lost despite putting 216 on
the board, thanks in the main to Theunis de Bruyn’s 74. But the Warriors raced
to 60 for none in six, which put them ahead on par scores and handed them the
win.

“There were definitely a lot of positives to take out of
that game apart from the rain,” Mashimbyi reflected. “It was sad the way it
ended, but that was out of our control.

“We probably controlled 85 to 90 percent of the game, except
for those few overs they batted. But everyone is upbeat, it’s early days and we
look forward to bouncing back in Benoni.”

The Cobras, meanwhile, had no weather to help them in their
first win over the Highveld Lions, but instead it took an incredible
final over by Dane Paterson to rescue them in Johannesburg.

The fast bowler conceded just two in the final six
deliveries to hand them a five-run win and captain Rory Kleinveldt wants to
make it two wins on the road before they return home for round three.

“Winning the first two games will put us in an excellent
position,” he stated. “It’s always good to win away from home. We’d now like to
obviously carry this momentum to Benoni and then take it with us back home when
we play the next game after that one in Paarl.

“Hopefully we can continue where we left off against the
Lions.”

The Cobras were also poor in front of their own fans during
the 50-over competition and Kleinveldt is seeking an improvement in that aspect
of their game.

“We have to try and improve on our home form,” he added. “We
struggled a bit in the One-Day Cup at home, hopefully we can turn
that around in the T20 competition.”

The Titans squad is:

Matthew Arnold, Junior Dala,
Theunis de Bruyn, Tony de Zorzi, Henry Davids, Donovan Ferreira, Eldred Hawken,
Rubin Hermann, Gregory Mahlokwana, Farhaan Behardien (capt), Tshepo Moreki,
Diego Rosier, Grant Thomson, Shaun von Berg

The Cobras squad is:

Aviwe Mgijima, Akhona Mnyaka,
Dane Paterson, David Bedingham, George Linde, Hashim Amla, Janneman Malan,
Jason Smith, Kyle Verreynne, Lizaad Williams, Rory Kleinveldt (capt), Simon
Khomari, Tladi Bokako, Vernon Philander

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