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Cricket | Momentum One-Day Cup

David Wiese © Gallo Images

Titans plan to put ‘bad dream’ behind them

The Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras will go into their second match in the Momentum One Day Cup against the Nashua Titans as favourites in spite of their middle-order batting wobble in their previous match on Sunday.

There is no doubt that the Titans were caught in the perfect storm against the Lions at Centurion on Friday night . The experienced Henry Davids, excused from training on Monday to attend the birth of his child, said: “You can only write off matches like that as a bad dream. Everything just went wrong for us.”

Certainly, the defeat by 269 runs was one of the heaviest in the history of List A cricket, but the Titans need to put that behind them going into their next match.

They will do so lacking a lot of experience with both bat and ball. Jacques Rudolph, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis and Morne Morkel are all doing duty in Australia, and add to that the absence of Albie Morkel due to injury, and there are many holes to plug.

All-rounder David Wiese has been doing a lot of work in the off-season, and this was evidenced by an excellent innings in the Champions League T20 semifinal.

He has an impressive record at first-class level, hits the ball a long way, and is a useful seamer. Another talented player is wicketkeeper Mangaliso Mosehle, who has also not being shy to put in the hard work to get where he wants to be. The results have not yet come to light although he has undoubted potential.

The Cape Cobras travelled directly from Pietermaritzburg after their amazing win over the Dolphins on Sunday.

Coach Paul Adams admits his finger nails will not need clipping for a while after all the drama. Charl Langeveldt has been keeping his hand in while playing for Boland in the Provincial competition, and bowled tidily up front. It was his unexpected contribution with the bat that made the difference.

“There is no substitute for experience,” said Adams. “The boys went out to bat and enjoy it, while backing themselves. They stayed in the moment and ignored the scoreboard pressure.”

Adams said that the outcome of Sunday’s game illustrated the effect of the latest changes to the 50 over rules. Field changes such as the maximum of four players outside the circle make it more difficult to defend, and the reduction in the overs worked in the Cobras' favour as they were able to take their batting Power Play at the death.

A young player to shine was Beuran Hendricks. The left-arm seamer was a thorn in the flesh of the Dolphins, and his dismissal of David Miller pegged the Dolphins back. Adams was impressed by the way Hendricks swung the ball to the left-handers, although the Titans did not feature a single left-handed batsman in their last game. Also impressive was the skills he showed at the back end of the innings, a major improvement on his previous form.

Questions have also been asked about Richard Levi. Known as a big hitter, he did show in the One Day Cup Final last season that he is more than just a slogger. Adams feels that while Levi has the ability to get the innings off to an explosive start, he does have the opportunity in the 50 over format to lay a platform.

The weather on Wednesday is expected to be cloudy but warm. Showers are predicted for the evening, and the captains will have to consider their options should the weather intervene. Play starts at 3pm.


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