TEN DAYS ago The Unlimited Titans faced a seemingly impossible mission in the Momentum One-Day Cup, knowing that they needed to win five straight games if they were to lift the trophy.
Now that number has been reduced to two, starting with Tuesday’s qualifier against the Sunfoil Dolphins at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead, and coach Rob Walter has been impressed by his side’s ability to turn a fear of failure into a feeling that they can make the impossible, possible.
“That’s something I reinforce to the guys every day - that in every game someone will have an opportunity to make a play and really be the difference,” said Walter. “We don’t know who that will be on the day but when your chance does come you need to be open to making that contribution, and that’s really what the guys have done.”
The Titans went into the last round of games knowing that they needed to beat the Chevrolet Warriors with a bonus point to guarantee a place in the top three, but showed no signs of feeling the pressure as Heino Kuhn’s century clinched a memorable victory.
Kuhn made the decision to hand the wicketkeeping gloves to Mangaliso Mosehle midway through the competition in order to focus on his batting - a move which appears to be paying off.
“He had a chat to AB (de Villiers), and I had planned to speak to him but he actually approached me at that time so it worked out quite nicely,” said Walter. “We just took a collective decision that in order for him to play for South Africa he needs to be seen as a top-order batter, and while he’s keeping he will always be seen as a keeper who bats.
“Ultimately, it’s so far so good, and for his sake I hope things continue because it’s quite a big decision to make and it’s a selfless decision to make because at the time it was also made for the best of the team. He deserves whatever successes he gets for being man enough to make that call.”
Walter expects to retain the same side that beat the Warriors so handsomely, unless conditions in Durban dictate otherwise - something which may well be the case given that the city has seen a fair bit of rain.
The Dolphins lost most of their practice on Monday to the weather and, although clear skies are forecast for Tuesday afternoon, coach Lance Klusener expects there to be something for the bowlers.
“Durban has been wet for the last couple of days so I think there will be a little bit in it tomorrow, but the wicket should remain the same for most of the game so it will come down to whoever plays best in those conditions,” he said.
While the Titans have lost Henry Davids and David Wiese to the Proteas camp over the past week, the Dolphins boast a settled side who have been able to learn their various roles within the team
“We’ve tried to work out a settled side as much as possible,” said Klusener. “The last thing I want is people playing for their places and we’ve been lucky that in the last part of the season we’ve been able to settle a bit and get some continuity.”
The match gets underway at 3pm, and will be broadcast live on SuperSport.
The winner will face the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras in the Momentum One-Day Cup Final at Sahara Park Newlands on Friday (3pm start).
HEAD TO HEAD – Sunfoil Dolphins vs. The Unlimited Titans
Matches Played 21
Titans Win 08
Dolphins Win 09
No Result 04
MATCH STATS (MOMENTUM ODC)
THE UNLIMITED TITANS
317/4 (Centurion 2011/2012)
315/6 (Centurion 2011/2012)
164/9 (Durban 2007/2008)
73 (Pietermaritzburg 2005/2006)
Highest Individual Score
142 Doug Watson (Centurion 2004/2005)
120 Faf du Plessis (Centurion 2011/2012)
Best bowling in a match
6/24 Andrew Tweedie (Pietermaritzburg 2005/2006)
4/38 Rowan Richards (Durban 20012/2013)