Defending cup title ‘harder than winning it’ – Highveld Lions captain

2013-10-08 16:43

Defending their Momentum 1-Day Cup title will be harder than winning it, Highveld Lions captain Stephen Cook has said.

The tournament starts on Friday with the Titans taking on co-defending champions the Cape Cobras on the day at SuperSport Park in Centurion while the Lions meet the Dolphins in Potchefstroom on Sunday.

“Last year, the challenge was that we hadn’t competed. Now the boot is on the opposite foot and that will bring with it different challenges,” said Cook.

With last season’s element of surprise gone, the Lions skipper was not perturbed by how teams will approach the Lions.

He said it might help the team come with a fresh approach to their title defence. The cornerstones of their run of success were a strong pace attack and a top-order that produced consistent runs.

“I don’t think you can be predictable, to be honest. Playing won’t change dramatically and we’ll have similar personnel to last year, but we’ll try to keep ideas fresh and things new. You can get predictable and opponents can figure you out,” said Cook.

The Cobras themselves have a tough task ahead with a trip to Pretoria, but the limited-overs competition is one they have done well in recently, having participated in the past two finals.

In the rejuvenated Titans they face a team which has a lot to prove after a disastrous 2012/13 season, which saw them go trophyless.

Captain Justin Ontong said: “The Titans played very well in the Champions League and they were unlucky to miss out on a semifinal spot. They are a very good one-day outfit and we have to prepare very well for them.

“They’ve got into the intensity of the game already but we’ve got some good experience floating around in our team and we hope it comes through.”

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