Sparks expected as Titans collide with Province

RIVALDO Moonsamy of the Titans during the 2024 CSA T20 match against the Lions at the Wanderers Stadium. | BackpagePix

RIVALDO Moonsamy of the Titans during the 2024 CSA T20 match against the Lions at the Wanderers Stadium. | BackpagePix

Published Mar 23, 2024


WHENEVER north and south meet in a head-on collision it promises plenty of sparks.

And today’s CSA T20 Challenge clash between the Titans and Western Province at SuperSport Park is expected to be no different.

Both teams are on a bit of a downward spiral with the Titans losing their last three matches ‒ two of them being really close encounters ‒ while Province have suffered two consecutive defeats on the road.

Province’s switch in fortunes has been rather surprising considering their positive start to the competition with three consecutive victories.

But after being edged out by the Lions in a Super Over, which has since earned young Kwena Maphaka an IPL deal with the Mumbai Indians, Province headed down to Gqeberha where they were convincingly trounced by the table-topping Warriors at St George’s Park.

Province were forced to make a couple of changes to the composition of their batting unit after the Lions defeat with Proteas Test opener Eddie Moore restored to the top of the order with Tony de Zorzi moving down to number four.

Unfortunately, Salieg Nackerdien’s team missed the injured Jonno Bird severely in the middle order. Bird has been the form batter for WP in this T20 competition, but is struggling with a groin injury and is only expected to be back in next week.

The Titans, meanwhile, will also look to bounce back after suffering a mauling from the Dolphins on their home patch.

It is not often that the Sky Blues are manhandled in the way Bryce Parsons and Jon Jon Smuts tore into the Titans bowling attack.

The Dolphins amassed 183/1 in just 14 overs with the visitors set for a target close to 250 had the match not been shortened due to rain.

Parsons, who struck his maiden T20 century, and Smuts had no respect for either the pace of Aya Gqamane and Lizaad Williams or spin of Tabraiz Shamsi as all the Titans bowlers conceded in excess of 10 runs to the over.

The home side will surely be hoping for an improved effort from the bowling unit against the Province batters if they are to reignite their title defence.

Equally, the batters have not been able to put together a collective performance with only youngsters Rivaldo Moonsamy and Joshua van Heerden striking half-centuries in the last two matches.

Coach Mandla Mashimbyi will be hoping that the experienced Dawid Wiese, who the Titans have brought in as an overseas professional, will be able to shoulder a greater responsibility and help guide this inexperienced Titans outfit.