at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Titans coach Matthew Maynard must be pulling his hair out after witnessing his team continue their lottery on and off inconsistent performances in the Momentum One- Day Cup.
The Titans succumbed to yet another batting collapse losing to the Dolphins on Friday before bouncing back to beat the Warriors in a cliff hanger encounter at Port Elizabeth on Sunday which moved the team from SuperSport Park to second on the log.
However, despite the good position on the log Maynard must be waking up every match day morning looking to the heavens for divine intervention.
There is no doubt certain grey areas have crept into the team’s performance that were not evident in the past.
Apart from the up and down inconsistent form shown from the Titans in the competition, one thing that seems to be common with this side is the sudden fragility of batting.
And it’s one even the calm demeanour of Maynard must be frustrated with after witnessing his team crumble to their third batting blooper in this competition – the latest coming in Durban last Friday against the Dolphins at Kingsmead.
Firstly it was the Lions who exposed the entire batting line-up in the opening game and then against the Knights they squandered a position of strength which would have allowed them back into game. Fortunately though in that instance they got away with it.
But against the Dolphins, they paid the price for their inept batting cruising at 150/2 after 24 overs at one stage to be bowled out for 250 inside 50 overs which in the end cost them the game.
“I thought it was a tricky wicket. Mangaliso and Henry played well but when they fell I don’t think we assessed the pitch well.
“We kept on losing wickets trying to force the pace which led to our demise unfortunately. We could have been more circumspect and a total of 280 would have won us the game,” explained Titans coach Mathew Maynard.
No doubt the coach must have been livid with his charges after the Dolphins game and no one could blame him for reserving harsh words for his players.
And, whatever was said it definitely worked as the Titans bounced back to beat the Warriors on Sunday in a nail-bitter, winning by five runs.
In contrast to their failures against the Dolphins both Farhaan Behardien and Albie Morkel were the stars of the show .
Behardien completed his highest score falling agonisingly one short of a century while Morkel showed glimpses of his best with a patient knock of 66 by his standards.
“Farhaan and Albie applied themselves when we were in trouble and showed plenty of maturity in their approach. I thought Farhaan deserved a century . It was a brilliant knock under pressure,” said Maynard.
“Albie had a good outing with both bat and ball . He showed the class player he is. And we are happy that he is returning to his best.”
Maynard was equally full of praise for left arm pace man Rowan Richards who picked seven wickets over the weekend against the Dolphins(4/38) and Warriors(3/51) respectively.
“Rowan had a slow start to the campaign but he bowled with pace and energy and he rushed the batsmen. I thought his final over defending nine of the final over took lots of skill and nerve and he showed he has the temperament for such occasions,” added Maynard.