Titans relish underdog status
Posted by: Cricket South Africa on Thursday, 14 November 2013

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THE Unlimited Titans may have won four games on the trot on their way to Friday’s Momentum One-Day Cup final, but coach Rob Walter is clear about his side’s status for the game against the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras at Sahara Park Newlands.

 

“I think if you look at the two teams you would be stupid not to say that we are the underdogs,” Walter said bluntly at Thursday’s pre-match press conference. “We were underdogs against the Dolphins as well and they also had a really good side, but that’s the beautiful thing about sport - even the underdogs have got a chance on the day.

 

“We’ll rock up and play with the same sense of freedom and belief. We’ve had four knock-out games where in every one we had to win, so the pressure is the same. We’re in another game where if we don’t win we don’t take the trophy home.”

 

Walter’s honesty is as refreshing as his team’s approach has been over the past two weeks. In a tournament that has had more than its share of exciting games with close finishes, the Titans have added an extra layer of entertainment as their fairly young squad responded to the threat of elimination by playing their best cricket.

 

“I’ve been very impressed with how the younger guys have dealt with pressure,” admitted Walter. “If you look at a guy like Graeme van Buuren, he got us over the line in the semi-final, having played just a handful of games for us. Mangaliso Mosehle at different times of the season has gone in at trying times and got us over the line, so that’s heart warming.”

 

In contrast to the Titans’ unpredictability, the Cobras juggernaut has advanced through the season in imposing fashion, bringing their wealth of experience to bear by keeping their cool to win a number of tight encounters.

 

Two of those were against the Titans - one on the opening day of the season when they won by two runs; the other midway through the tournament when they clinched a four-wicket victory with just three balls to spare. Now they will hope to maintain their composure in the final.

 

“We’ve got the experience on our side, and the important thing is just to be calm and relaxed on the day and stay in the moment - the team that does that is going to come out on top,” said Cobras captain Justin Ontong.

 

Coach Paul Adams expects Charl Langeveldt to be fit for Friday, and the Cobras have also been boosted by the return of Vernon Philander and Robin Peterson from the Proteas camp, meaning that some of the younger players will miss out.

 

“Traditionally the national players do walk in and out of the squad, and over the winter we did a lot of work mentally over how we handle that as a squad,” said Adams. “We created a great environment over the winter with them being involved in our preparation, so they slot right into it.”

 

The match gets underway at 3pm on Friday and will be broadcast live on SuperSport. Should weather intervene and a reserve day be required, then the match will revert to a day game on Saturday, commencing at 10am.

 

 

HEAD TO HEAD – Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras vs. The Unlimited Titans

 

Matches Played                21

Cobras Win                      09

Titans Win                        11

No Result                          01

 

 

MATCH STATS (MOMENTUM ODC)

NASHUA MOBILE CAPE COBRAS

THE UNLIMITED TITANS

Highest Score

316/7 (Paarl 2012/2013)

291/7 (Benoni 2011/2012)

Lowest Score

135 (Cape Town 2010/2011)

107 (Centurion 2008/2009)

Highest Individual Score

166 Richard Levi (Paarl 2012/2013)

119* Faf du Plessis (Cape Town 2011/2012)

Best bowling in a match

5/32 Monde Zondeki (Cape Town 2006/2007)

5/31 Roelof van der Merwe (Centurion 2008/2009)

 



 

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