Cape Town — Warriors assistant coach Mfuneko Ngam says mental preparations have been key ahead of their 4-Day Domestic Series showdown with the Titans starting at Buffalo Park in East London on Friday.
With many people still on holiday and spending time with their families, the country’s top cricketers have an early start as they shift focus towards the key rounds of the first-class campaign that concludes at the end of the month.
The Eastern Cape franchise lost their last game before the holidays when they went down to log-leaders the Cape Cobras in Port Elizabeth and they are now out to avoid a repeat result against the reigning champions.
“We played good cricket in that last game, so there’ve been many positives to build on,” Ngam said. “We’re happy with where the guys are at the moment and we’re now looking forward to starting the new year well in East London.
“For us heading into the game, it’s been more about mental preparations and getting the guys ready in terms of their mindset ahead of the game.
“It’s always tough to prepare for any match around this time of year because of the holidays. In saying that, though, the guys are professional enough to know there is an important game coming up for us.
“At the end of the day, it’s a job and the guys have to be ready to resume work as usual.”
The result against the Cobras left the Warriors bottom of the table, just under 30 points behind the second-placed Highveld Lions and around 60 off the Cobras.
Ngam admits that it will be difficult for anyone to catch the leaders, but says their focus is on their own process, adding that they were not even too worried about the Titans at this stage.
“Anything is possible in this game, so you never know,” he added. “It just takes someone to go on a good run to try and catch them. Hopefully that team is us. But we’re going to take it one game at a time and see where it takes us.
“We’re not even too worried about the Titans, we prepare the same for everyone and no matter what team they put out, we’ll be looking to play our best cricket and try to win the game.”
The Titans won their last match of 2018 – a 65-run triumph over the Knights – to secure themselves a first win of the season.
It has left them third on the table and their assistant coach, Mandla Mashimbyi, feels that victory gave them something to build on heading into the New Year.
“It’s given us a good platform to now go and build on,” he said. “It brought us back a bit on to level terms regarding where everybody else is on the table. That in itself gives us further motivation.”
Mashimbyi also refused to throw in the town in terms of the title.
“We only give up when the last game has been played,” he concluded. “As long as there’s a chance, then there’s a chance. At this stage there’s four games to be played and still some way to go.”
Warriors squad is:
Titans squad is:
Andrea Agathangelou, Farhaan Behardien, Heinrich Klaasen (capt), Corbin Bosch, Henry Davids, Tony de Zorzi, Eldred Hawken, Bafana Mahlangu, Tshepo Moreki, Itumeleng Moseki, Alfred Mothoa, Jonathan Vandiar, Shaun von Berg
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Publish date : 2019-01-03 14:10:55