The Titans and the Dolphins will contest the One-Day Cup final at SuperSport Park on Sunday with both sides looking to claim their first silverware of the season.
The pair finished first and second respectively after the round-robin phase before making light work of their semi-final fixtures against the Cobras and the Warriors earlier the week.
Titans’ veteran Farhaan Behardien – who took the team to the final with an unbeaten 75 against the Cobras – believes victory will go a long way towards easing some of the pain they’ve suffered this year, which included a woeful 4-Day Franchise Series campaign.
‘It’s a massive turnaround for us, Behardien said. ‘The four-day campaign didn’t go as planned, and there was a lot of disruption, with a lot of call-ups to the national side, and injuries.
‘We used over 30 players in that competition. That is not an excuse, but we didn’t handle that well.’
FEATURE: 'Fudgie' the finisher relished pressure test against @CobrasCricket.
— The Titans (@Titans_Cricket) March 29, 2019
Meanwhile, Dean Elgar, who has captained the Titans in recent games, says they are happy with their form heading into the tournament decider. Proteas pacemen Junior Dala and Dale Steyn also played their part with the ball in the semi as they bagged six and three wickets respectively.
‘We couldn’t have asked for anything more,’ Elgar added. ‘Dale set the tone in the first over and then Junior was outstanding with his return. The batting was on the disappointing side, as it has been many times this season, but the two guys [Behardien and Corbin Bosch] batted brilliantly to get us home. I think that was the most important thing and now we look forward to Sunday.’
Meanwhile the Dolphins delivered what captain Khaya Zondo referred to as a ‘dream performance’ in their first play-off game. They bowled out the Warriors for just 119 runs and then romped home with more than 30 overs to spare.
‘It was a dream performance because usually you get put under pressure with bat or with the ball or in the field, but this was just clinical,’ he beamed. ‘It was the perfect performance and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
The Dolphins don’t have many good white-ball memories of Centurion in recent seasons. They lost the 20-over final at SuperSport Park two seasons ago but can also take some solace from beating the home side there during in this competition’s round-robin stage.
‘To be honest, it’s going to be a tough a game,’ Zondo concluded. ‘I don’t want to premeditate anything or make too many predictions, but I can tell you it’s not going to be easy at all.
‘The Titans are a fantastic unit and have some really good cricketers in their ranks. History tells us it’s going to be tough.’
Photo: Anesh Debiky/Gameplan Media