Smuts confident his troops can win top-of-the-table T20 clash
The high-flying Warriors head to Centurion looking to add the Titans to their list of impressive scalps in their top-ofthe-table CSA T20 Challenge cricket clash tonight. It is a mouth-watering fixture for fans and the second-placed Warriors have also been waiting patiently to get a crack at what is perhaps considered to be the strongest side in the tournament.
On paper, the Titans look a formidable outfit, but as the Dolphins showed by beating them on Wednesday, no team is infallible.
The Warriors are coming off the back of three wins on the trot and will be brimming with confidence heading into the game against Albie Morkel’s side.
Their latest win, an eight-wicket demolition of the Knights, was an impressive performance as they rolled the visitors for 93 in their match at St George’s on Wednesday.
“It was a very, very satisfying victory,” captain Jon-Jon Smuts said yesterday.
“Our bowling this season has been really good so far and that has made the batsmen’s job so much easier.
“I think they were missing some experience in David Miller and Rilee Rossouw. But all credit to our guys for the manner in which we approached the game.”
Smuts once again proved himself as arguably the competition’s most valuable player when he first took 2/13 in his four overs and then smashed an unbeaten 49 to ensure the bonus-point win for his team.
The right-hander is eighth in the batting stats averaging 46 and striking it at 130 runs per 100 balls.
His accurate left-arm spinners see him third in the country in the bowling averages and his economy rate of 5.33 is exceptional and the best among all the franchise bowlers.
“Yeah, I’m hitting it quite nicely at the moment and the ball is coming out quite nicely too. So I’m pretty happy with that and long may it continue,” Smuts said.
The captain said his troops could not wait to play the Titans.
“They play well at home but we’ve also had some success at Centurion in the last few years.
“Obviously, they are a good side and very well led by Albie Morkel. It will be a tough game, but we will be up for it.
“They are being seen as the best side so you want to play against the best.”
The games the Warriors have done well in at Centurion have been mostly in chasing down targets and those are situations in which guys like Smuts, Colin Ingram, Colin Ackermann and especially Christiaan Jonker thrive in.
Not that anybody needed it, but Ingram gave a reminder of what he can do with the bat after coming back from injury. His experience will be key tonight.
Aya Gqamane is another player who came into the side on Wednesday and his tenacity as a player and with the ball came shining through in collecting a couple of crucial wickets and he will be looking for a repeat performance.
Andrew Birch remains the competition’s leading wicket-taker with 11 from five games and has been well supported by Sisanda Magala and Basheer Walters.
Tonight, they will be looking to tame a batting lineup that contains the likes of Morkel, Qaasim Adams, Farhaan Behardien, Aiden Markram, Jonathan Vandiar, Heino Kuhn and David Wiese.