Warriors won’t rest on their laurels

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iol spt feb21 Ingram-Warriors Gallo Images Warriors coach Piet Botha says their opening T20 Challenge victory over the Knights will count for little if they cannot replicate it against the Titans in Port Elizabeth. Photo by Charle Lombard

Johannesburg – Warriors coach Piet Botha says their opening T20 Challenge victory over the Knights will count for little if they cannot replicate it against the Titans in Port Elizabeth on Friday.

The teams meet at St George's Park where the hosts will be high in confidence following their opening eight-wicket Duckworth/Lewis victory in Kimberley last Sunday.

However, Botha expected more from his charges as they bid to win their first piece of silverware since doing the double back in 2009/10.

“It was a good start to the competition and hopefully it will give the guys confidence,” Botha said.

“But it's all about repeating it and repeating it.

“We cannot for one moment slack off, we have to keep our energies up and take every game as it comes.”

The Eastern Cape franchise are one of only two teams to have won during the opening week's action, the other being the Highveld Lions, winners in both their games to date.

One of those was against the Titans, who entered the competition on the back of a forgettable four-day series campaign in the Gauteng derby on Wednesday.

Botha is not reading too much into that loss though, nor the recently concluded four-day competition. He believed the availability and recruitment of experienced heads like Albie Morkel, Martin van Jaarsveld and Alfonso Thomas make the Titans a formidable unit.

“The personnel they (Titans) brought back (compared to the four-day series) for the T20 makes them a much different team,” he said.

“They're a lot stronger, they have a lot more experience and I'm sure they'll be difficult to beat.”

Titans coach Matthew Maynard, whose team's first match against the Dolphins was washed out, remained upbeat despite losing in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

“I think there were a lot of positives, we created opportunities to take wickets and get the Lions into a spot of bother early on,” Maynard said.

“Unfortunately we missed those opportunities, but at least we created them. I thought our ground fielding was superb.

“As far as the batting is concerned, what we need to work on is getting a big partnership in the game. We have a lot of 20s and 30s, but we need to build on that, which will help.”

He also confirmed the availability of Thomas, which he felt was an added bonus.

“We got into a good position against the Lions, but maybe a little bit of inexperienced bowling at the death cost us, but Alfonso will be in the squad against the Warriors.”

The Warriors' overseas recruit, Englishman Samit Patel, arrives next week. – Sapa

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