Smuts’s men aim to turn tables on Titans in one-day final
You would be forgiven for feeling a sense of deja vu as the Warriors head into battle against the Titans in a major final for the second time this season. With the two having met in the final of the CSA T20 Challenge in December, they will now duke it out for the Momentum One-Day Cup at SuperSport Park in Centurion today.
Both sides have proven to be the best across both limited overs competitions this season and it is perhaps fitting that they will close out the 2016-2017 South African franchise season tonight.
“I am really proud of what the guys have achieved this season,” Warriors coach Malibongwe Maketa said.
“We have made two massive finals and the hard work is clearly paying off.
“It is exciting for us going forward and we can’t wait to get on the field [today].”
The Warriors will, however, be gunning for a different result this time round after they were edged in a final-over thriller in the last final and they will be eager for redemption today.
The players will, however, need to come to the party and put their hands up and be counted.
“The last time we were out here we played well, but just missed out, but we are not thinking about revenge, we just want to stick to our plan and hopefully come out with the correct result this time,” Maketa said.
“But it has been a great team effort this season.
“it is what we are about. We are really focused on team performances and our big players have come right when we needed them.”
One of those players will be captain Jon“The Jon Smuts, who has been absolutely superb for the team this season.
Smuts is the leading run scorer on the one-day cup log, just ahead of the Titans’ Henry Davids and these two could play a big part in the way this match turns.
Smuts also cleaned up at the Warriors end of season awards on Tuesday evening, picking up five major awards on the night and he would love to end off a brilliant season with a major trophy. guys are very excited,” he said. “We are looking forward to the challenge.
“It is going to be a tough game, but the guys are ready for it.
“It is another opportunity for us to do something special and put our names on the trophy.
“It is awesome to feel recognised by your franchise and I know all the guys really enjoyed the evening, but we are all focused on the game. All of us really want to win it.”
The Proteas players will also have a massive part to play in the match and AB de Villiers and Chris Morris starred in the Titans group stage win over the Warriors a few weeks ago.
The Warriors’ own Protea, Colin Ingram signalled a return to form in the semifinal win over the Knights earlier this week when he scored 83.
“It is uncharacteristic of me to go through a period where I hadn’t managed a good score in about four or five innings, so to put in a good performance in a big match was great and I was glad to contribute again,” he said.
“I spent some good time out in the middle, I grew in confidence and I hope to take that into the final.
“The team has got through some tough moments to get here, which puts us in great stead for the final and we are coming here a lot hungrier.
“The last time we were here we ended up losing, so I feel like the guys are ready to step up and take the trophy home.”
The match gets under way at 2pm and will be live on SuperSport 2.