Fri, 23 Aug 2019

Unhappy Titans look to bounce back on home turf

26 Apr 2019, 04:13 GMT+10

Cape Town - Assistant Titans coach Mandla Mashimbyi was not too happy after their latest CSA T20 Challenge assignment and hopes for a better outcome when they welcome the Knights to SuperSport Park in Centurion on Friday.

The reigning champions suffered a three-wicket loss to the Cape Cobras on Wednesday, a result that saw their semi-final hopes take a blow.

Mark Boucher's side have been left fourth on the table - the final qualifying spot - but would have been hoping for better heading into the final two rounds of regular season action.

As it stands, a home semi-final looks unlikely unless they can win their remaining two matches at the weekend. The match against the last-placed Central Franchise will be followed by a Jukskei derby date with the Highveld Lions, who are four points above them.

"We were not happy with what happened on Wednesday and hope to bounce back," Mashimbyi stated. "There's still eight points on offer so that has to be what we focus on.

"The most important game now is Friday and we can't be looking anywhere else.

"We have to make sure we cross the line with that one and then look ahead to the weekend after that. Hopefully we'll be able to win both games and go into the play-offs with a bit of momentum behind us."

What the Titans do have in their favour is the knowledge that they are in the familiar surroundings of their Centurion fortress for the next few days.

"I think that's a blessing in disguise for us," Mashimbyi explained. "We love playing at SuperSport Park.

"We just have to make sure we plan accordingly and make sure we execute. We also need to make sure we play the key moments better.

"I don't thing we did that on Wednesday in Paarl, which meant we put ourselves under pressure, and that ultimately came back to bite us. It's an area we need to work on. Hopefully we learn from it and cover all bases come Friday."

Their opponents, the Knights, have endured a forgettable campaign thus far. All five of their home matches were washed out by the weather and they are yet to win even one game thus far.

However, as things stand, they still have an outside of sneaking into the play-offs but must beat their hosts and then the Warriors, both on the road, in their remaining games.

"I don't think there's any easy teams here," Mashimbyi added. "They'll also be very dangerous because of that (not winning a game all season). We'll have to be at our best to ensure we can get past them.

"If we don't come with the right attitude, they might just beat us as well. We're not taking anything lightly. We'll respect them but play them hard as well."

Meanwhile, Cricket South Africa (CSA) have confirmed that both semi-finals for the competition will be played on May 1.

The first game will begin at midday and the second at 16h30.

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