The Northerns Titans will look to put their one-wicket 4-Day Series defeat by the EP Warriors behind them when they take on the KZN Dolphins in Centurion from Friday.
The Titans expect a serious test from the side that pipped them to the red-ball title last year.
“The guys are really motivated for this one. The Dolphins are obviously flying high, and playing good cricket in all formats,” said head coach Mandla Mashimbyi.
Reflecting on the dramatic loss to the Warriors, Mashimbyi said that he was proud of the way the team fought.
“The guys showed character. We didn’t start well, and we really didn’t do enough on the first day. It came back to bite us at the end,” he lamented.
Mashimbyi said the batting was key, and they had to find a way to lay a better platform for the middle order to boss and win games.
Veteran seamer Junior Dala is aware they have every reason to be wary of the Dolphins.
“They are well coached, and have been in a lot of finals lately,” Dala said. “They have consistency in their squad from last season, and they will bring a big challenge.
“But we will bring the intensity of the last two innings against the Warriors into the first session on Friday, and we will be up for it.”
The Titans have made two changes for the match, with Aaron Phangiso coming in for Dayyaan Galiem and Jandre Pretorius for Jan Hendrik Pretorius.
Titans squad: Theunis de Bruyn, Corbin Bosch, Junior Dala, Aya Gqamane, Neil Brand (c), Jordan Hermann, Jandre Pretorius, Grant Mokoena, Simon Harmer, Gihahn Cloete (wk), Sibonelo Makhanya, Jiveshen Pillay, Aaron Phangiso, Chris Morris.