Titans looking to raise the bar

Titans assistant coach Mandla Mashimbyi is hoping to repair some of the cracks that were exposed in their team during their latest MODC outing when they welcome the Cape Cobras to Centurion on Friday.

The reigning champions encountered a rare instance of being bowled out against the Highveld Lions on Wednesday, with their bowlers then delivering the goods as they went on to secure a comfortable win.

They now head the standings and are the only unbeaten side after two matches of the campaign and will be looking to make it three wins in a row at SuperSport Park.

Mashimbyi feels there is plenty of room for improvement.

“We’ll take the win and were happy to come out on the victorious side, but we were not happy with how we played,” he said. “I still think we are operating well below 70 percent, so there’s plenty of room for improvement.

“In saying that, it’s an opportunity for us to look at things in a different way and see where we can improve. The next few games we will need to try to cover up those cracks which we picked up against the Lions.”

The Titans recently won the RAM SLAM T20 Challenge when their Standard Bank Proteas-rich squad swept everything in front of them to clinch a third straight title.

However, several of the players that featured in that competition have now moved on to national duty to somewhat deplete Mark Boucher’s men.

But Mashimbyi believes they are just as strong.

“We’ve always been blessed with depth and people seem to forget that,” he explained. “We’ve won tournaments before without Proteas and we have the belief that we can still do it without the Proteas, so to see the guys come in and put in performances is very refreshing. Hopefully they can carry on in the same way going forward.”

Looking ahead to the challenge the Cobras will pose, the Titans assistant added: “We don’t take any side lightly.

“The Cobras have always been a very good side over the years and we’ll expect the same from them tomorrow. But the main focus is on our own disciplines and hopefully we can improve on those from the last game.”

For the away side, it is the first match of 2018 and the start of a busy period in which they will play three games in six days.

They started the competition with a loss to the Dolphins, but then beat the Warriors in the final game of 2017.

Their coach Ashwell Prince said: “We had a nice break and are now good to go for the weekend.

“I think if you can get some sort of momentum going into the next few games, it’s a good thing, and also if you do lose, it allows you the opportunity to bounce back straight away.

“Hopefully we can get into that rhythm, but it will be a test of your squad because 50 overs is a long day and it will really test the teams.”