WITH experienced skipper Davy Jacobs back at the helm, the Chevrolet Warriors will be looking to make a productive start to the Sunfoil Series when they open their four-day cricket campaign against the Titans at Axxess St George’s today.
Jacobs, who was out for most of last season because of a hip operation, can provide the spark needed to lift the Warriors against the defending champions.
Recently the Warriors have not had much success in the longer version of the game and are hoping their hard work in the pre-season pays dividends.
The Warriors will be keen to improve on their record in last season’s competition when they won just two of their 10 matches and lost seven.
The last time these two sides met was in February this year and the match was abandoned without a ball being bowled thanks to some atrocious weather.
Before that, the two sides squared off in Benoni and the Titans claimed a convincing 202-run victory.
With both sides missing some of their star Protea players, today’s match has the potential to be an enticing encounter and should provide a tough early season challenge for both line-ups.
“We have been putting in the time and hard work during the off-season and are looking to see an improvement in our performance in this version of the game,” Warriors coach Piet Botha said.
“The team are well prepared and now it’s time to get into the middle and perform.”
Jacobs said the Warriors’ primary goal this season was to improve on their performances in four-day cricket.
Key men in the Warriors line-up will be the experienced Ashwell Prince and spinner Simon Harmer, who was a prolific wicket-taker last season.
The Warriors will be without Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Johan Botha who have left the franchise. They will also be missing Makhaya Ntini who has decided not to play first- class cricket.
This will be a big season for Warriors batsman Jon-Jon Smuts who will be keen to impose himself on the South African cricket scene.
While the Warriors are playing their first game of the season, the Titans started with a draw against the Knights in Kimberley.
The squads are:
Warriors: Michael Price, Davy Jacobs (capt), Jon-Jon Smuts, Ashwell Prince, Colin Ingram, Kelly Smuts, Athi Dyili (w/k), Simon Harmer, Andrew Birch, Lyall Meyer, Basheer Walters, Aya Gqamane, Gurshwin Rabie.
Titans: Tumelo Bodibe, Henry Davids (capt), CJ de Villiers, Paul Harris, Heino Kuhn, Pieter Malan, Ethy Mbhalati, Rowan Richards, Jacques Rudolph, Roelof van der Merwe, Shaun von Berg, David Wiese.
The match starts at 10am.
The other fixtures are: Cape Cobras v Knights (Boland Park), Highveld Lions v Dolphins (Wanderers).