The 2018/19 edition of the CSA T20 Challenge launches on Friday with Multiply Titans batsman Tony de Zorzi admitting that confidence is high in their camp following events of the past week ahead of their tournament opener against the Warriors in Centurion.
The hosts, who are also defending champions, are coming off winning the Momentum One-Day Cup title on Sunday when they steamrolled the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in the final.
Buoyed by that success, they will now be looking to make a positive start to their title defence against a visiting side, who were thumped in the 50-over semi-final a week ago.
Victory for the Titans in the one-day competition also erased some of the memories of what had otherwise been a forgettable term at SuperSport Park after they ended last in the 4-Day Domestic Series.
“Everyone was really excited after the win because we had a tough four-day competition and now we’re looking forward to another opportunity to win a trophy for the Titans,” De Zorzi said. “Everyone is excited, the mood in the camp is a confident one, but our feet remain firmly on the ground.”
De Zorzi has enjoyed his best season yet as a professional cricketer having made good runs in the previous competition and announcing himself as a strong 20-over player with a century in the Abu Dhabi T20 in Dubai. But he says it is not all about big-hitting in the shortest format. “We do want to cut loose,” he added. “But you have to also be measured about it and take calculated risks.
“You also have to stick to your strengths, skills and what you can do.”
The Warriors, meanwhile, have enjoyed yet another promising season, but without silverware to show for it. They were crushed by the Dolphins in the 50-over semi-finals last week, but before that challenged all the way for the first-class title.
For their captain, Jon-Jon Smuts, this is a big chance to end the season with something. “It’s a massively important competition for us because we obviously haven’t managed to win one yet this season,” he explained. “So, this is another chance for us to win a trophy. You also want to end the season on a high and hopefully we can do that.”
Smuts has also predicted a tightly-fought competition, adding: “I think it’s going to be a really close competition where all teams are going to be desperate to win this trophy. I’m looking forward to it.”
The Titans squad is: Matthew Arnold, Junior Dala, Theunis de Bruyn, Tony de Zorzi, Henry Davids, Donovan Ferreira, Farhaan Behardien (capt), Eldred Hawken, Rubin Hermann, Gregory Mahlokwana, Tshepo Moreki, Diego Rosier, Grant Thomson, Shaun von Berg.
The Warriors squad is: To be confirmed.
HEAD TO HEAD – Multiply Titans v Warriors
Matches Played 26
Titans Win 17
Warriors Win 06
No Result 02