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CSA 4-Day Domestic Franchise Series Round 4 – Preview

South Africa's Aiden Markram
South Africa's Aiden Markram
©Reuters
 

Preview of the CSA 4-Day Domestic Franchise Series Round 4, which starts on Monday 30th November 2020.

 

Live Scores and Stats - CSA 4-Day Domestic Franchise Series

 

TITANS AND COBRAS SEEK CENTURION IMPROVEMENTS

Momentum Multiply Titans assistant coach Geoffrey Toyana wants his team to bring their ‘A game’ to Centurion when they host the Six Gun Grill Cape Cobras for a round four fixture 4-Day Domestic Series fixture starting on Monday.

The hosts suffered what can be seen as an upset loss to the Warriors when they were beaten by three wickets at the same venue this past week.

The Titans had won both matches in 2020/21 heading into the match, while the Warriors had lost their previous two games – and they still managed to pull off a win.

“We were quite disappointed to lose at home, especially because it was our first match at SuperSport Park,” Toyana admitted. “The previous two weeks we really played some good cricket away from home.

“At home we really struggled, I mean up front our plans as a bowling unit were not great. We’ve taken the lessons from that.

“I think Aiden Markram excellent and so unfortunate to have lost the game after scoring two hundreds. We’ll chat more about the loss over the weekend and try and make sure that from Monday we bring our A game all round.”

Their opponents this week are one of the two teams the Titans had overcome in the opening weeks when they neat them in Cape Town in round one. The Cape side have still not won a match and drew their next two, including the last one this week against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in Durban.

“We always keep the focus on us and our processes and plans,” Toyana said. “We know the Cobras are always competitive side and it’s important that we treat them with respect, but put the focus on us.

“So we’ll be determined to throw that first punch and ensure we arrive at the game.”

Toyana’s opposite number at the Cobras, Faiek Davids, feels they are continuously improving even through the results have not favoured them thus far this season.

“We’re still in it even if we haven’t won a game yet,” he said. “We’ve picked up some bonus points and we’re in touch with the rest of the group. Yes all the other teams have won and we do realise that we obviously need to get the ‘W’ under the belt.

Davids has also challenged the Cobras players to be more consistent.

“There are a few concerning things like the inconsistencies we have showed with the ball and also may none of our batsmen kicking on to score big runs,” he adds. “We are concerned because we’re not having that rhythm of being on the front foot.

“In saying that, we’re still confident and we look forward to the challenge that will come in Pretoria.”

 

DOLPHINS LOOK FOR IMPROVEMENT AGAINST KNIGHTS

Assistant coach Quinton Friend believes the Hollywoodbets Dolphins were unfortunate not to get a win in their latest 4-Day Domestic outing this past week and hopes for better fortune when they welcome the VKB Knights to Durban for round four starting on Monday.

The KwaZulu-Natal franchise were held to a draw by the Six Gun Grill Cape Cobras at Hollywoodbets Kingsmead Stadium in a match that saw more than 40 overs lost on account of the weather.

“Bad light and rain is part and parcel of Durban,” Friend said. “You often find yourself losing time in the game as was the case this past week and who knows what would have happened if we did get to play 20 or 30 overs more.

“We probably would have managed to get the result we were looking for. It’s unfortunate, but I thought we played some outstanding cricket and hopefully we can build on that and get that win next week.”

The Knights have been the competition’s top side in 2020/21, winning two out of three games, one of those being a hefty 227-run win over the Dolphins in Bloemfontein earlier this month.

However, they did lose for the first time this past week when they went down to the Imperial Lions in Johannesburg.

“When we went to Bloem I honestly believe we didn’t pitch up,” Friend added. “We were well beaten by them. But that’s in the past, we spoke long and hard about our performance in the game and we want to look forward. I think we’re now in a really good space.

“They’re a really quality outfit and have shown that with their results. But you honestly feel they weren’t tested too much in those first two games and then when they were against the Lions this week we saw how the game ended.

“But I’m sure they’ll be keen to bounce back, so we’re going to have to make sure we’re on top of game to get the better of them.”

Knights assistant JP Triegaardt, meanwhile, felt his team were undone by one poor session in Johannesburg where they fell to a four-wicket defeat to the Imperial Lions – a win built around centuries for Dominic Hendricks and Joshua Richards.

“It was always going to be a tough game going away from home for the first time,” he reflected. “But I think we were pretty much up for the fight.

“I think we controlled the game nicely for large parts, the first two days belonged to us until the first session on day three. That’s where we lost the game. We weren’t very good with the ball, we struggled to hit our straps.

“To be fair Dominic Hendricks and Josh Richards were outstanding. They kept putting pressure on the bowlers and that just seized the game for them.”

Triegaardt, though, hoped the Central Franchise will be much better when they moved to Durban for round four next week. Coach Allan Donald’s number two man also called for more consistency from their players.

“We need to take it on the chin and find ways to deal with situations like the one we were in better,” he added. “We have to improve in the departments where we lacked, such as the bowling which I mentioned.

“It’s going to be tough going to Durban where the spinners have been dominating so far. The Dolphins will also be keen to bounce back, we just need to make sure we are more consistent than we were at the Wanderers.”

 

WARRIORS NOW HAVE A WINNING TEMPLATE: ABRAHAMS

Assistant Warriors coach Baakier Abrahams believes they now have a template to copy and hopes to use that model of preparation for the rest of the 4-Day Domestic Series season, beginning with their round four encounter against the Imperial Lions starting in Port Elizabeth from Monday.

He was speaking after the Eastern Cape franchise won their first match of the first-class season with an outstanding display against the Momentum Multiply Titans this past week.

Robin Peterson’s charges beat the Centurion-based outfit on their own turn when they won by three wickets, this after suffering back-to-back losses in their opening two rounds which were heavily disrupted by Covid-19.

Abrahams feels that that first win of the term could be just the springboard they need.

“After a victory such as this one it does instill a bit of confidence,” he said. “If we look back at how we did things before the Titans game, it’s given us a really good template on how to go about preparing for this format.

“It was encouraging how it all came together, the senior players together with the young guys and how we performed over the four days. We want to just build on this little foundation that was set.”

The Warriors assistant also praised his players for not dropping their heads after the difficult previous rounds.

He added: “All the disciplines came together nicely. I think our preparation leading up was very good, it was very specific and very focussed.

“I’m just happy for the players, they put a lot of work in during lockdown and even during the disruptions which we couldn’t control, they never dropped their heads. I think the past week they showed what level of skill their able to deliver.”

Like the Warriors, the Lions too tasted victory for the first time in round three.

Wandile Gwavu’s charges, who are the double defending champions, lost a whole host of players due to national duty prior to the game, but the players waiting in the wings stepped up and delivered.

“It was about time we won a game,” he said. “There might have been some panic from a few people concerned that after two games we hadn’t won a game due to the expectations that the franchise carries. So to get off the mark is great.

“Losing eight players maybe was a good thing because it was an opportunity for the youngsters to come in and do the job they did in this game. There was a lot of character shown and we’re chuffed, especially against a team that is the form team in the country.”

Gwavu was now looking ahead to the trip to PE with renewed confidence and belief.

“I think it’s important that we reflect on the positives and the negatives from the Knights game,” he concluded. “I feel we have some way to go to try and perfect what we want to do. That will be the focus this week…improvement.”

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