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Cricket | RAM SLAM T20 Challenge

Matthew Maynard © Gallo Images

Titans coach praises bowlers



Despite posting a formidable total after they were sent in to bat, Titans coach Matthew Maynard praised the bowling efforts of his side after they won the T20 Challenge final against the Highveld Lions at the Wanderers at the weekend.

“We had four games in the competition where we were fantastic, and again the bowlers won this game for us, not the batsmen,” Maynard said.

“As the competition has gone on, our bowlers have got better and better.

“People talk about the longer form of the game and say bowlers win you matches, but I believe the shorter the format of the game, the more important it is that your bowlers hit their areas.”

The Titans made 187/6 in the last domestic match of the season, and dismissed the Lions in the 19th over to win by 45 runs, lifting the T20 title for the first time in four years.

The visitors had the Lions top three back in the hut with just 24 runs on the board after four overs.

Proteas allrounder Albie Morkel was responsible for the first of a succession of killer blows, picking up a wicket with his third and sixth deliveries.

“The Morkel over was key. The fourth over of the innings was a massive over to put the Lions behind,” Maynard said.

“But then [Faf] Du Plessis took two wickets in his first over as well. Those were the two big points for me.”

The Titans had faced a selection headache earlier in the week, with a number of Proteas returning from the test series in New Zealand.

Maynard opted for consistency in an effort to maintain their winning formula.

“We had a couple of players who were very keen to play and we had a couple who were just mentally tired because they had a long time in New Zealand," he said.

"I think unless you're 100 per cent switched on, even two per cent off, you're not on your game.

“I've seen it, when the guys have had to go back into county cricket, they're not mentally right for it and they struggle.

“I was more than happy coming here with the side that got us through to the final.

"Jacques Rudolph was probably the unlucky one to miss out, because he contributed a lot earlier in the season before he went to New Zealand.

“The rest of the guys deserved the opportunity that got us there.”

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