Titans aim to bounce back

Rob Walter (Gallo Images)
Rob Walter (Gallo Images)

Pretoria -  Titans coach Rob Walter admits they have little choice but to bounce back when they come up against defending champions the Cape Cobras in a domestic four-day clash starting at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Thursday.

The hosts are coming off a poor second-innings showing in their last game which led to a 205 run loss to the Highveld Lions, having strongly competed for the better part of three days.

"We'll have to bounce back pretty strongly if we want to have a chance," Walter said.

"To be fair, our whole season has been about bouncing back and comebacks. I would say that this week's training has been one of the best since I've been here. I know that does not necessarily transform into the match situation, but I really feel the guys have prepped very well."

The two have been among the more successful South African franchises in recent seasons, although the Cobras appear to have stepped up a gear by winning six out of the last nine domestic competitions, the last being the One Day Cup they shared with the Titans earlier this month.

"They're a good side and are coming off an innings victory [against the Dolphins], so they'll be quite confident," Walter said.

"They've established themselves as one of the stronger sides in domestic cricket too. So it will be a tough game and matches between the two are always competitive derbies."

Elsewhere on Thursday, the table-topping Highveld Lions will face the Warriors, determined to build on their good start to the campaign last week.

The Johannesburg outfit won their opening game after torrid starts to their previous two competitions this season, the Champions League in India and the domestic One Day Cup.

"We're very pleased with how we started," coach Geoffrey Toyana said.

"In the One Day Cup and Champions League we didn’t start very well and we therefore paid the price. It's always difficult when you have to play catch-up cricket from the outset. Here we've started well, we've started with a tick and we're very happy."

The Warriors, meanwhile, played to a draw last week against the Knights.

The Eastern Cape franchise have a poor record in the fixture, winning just thrice compared to the eight for the Lions from their previous 18 meetings.

Finally in Pietermaritzburg, the Dolphins will be looking to bounce back from their poor start against the Cobras when they entertain the Knights at The Oval.

The Dolphins were blown away by the defending champions at the same venue last week, capitulating for 88 and 212 respectively to lose in just over two days.

They will have to be much better against a visiting side that holds the clear upper hand in past contests -- the Knights have an 8-3 win ratio in the fixture.

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