Jonathan Vandiar made a century, but couldn’t quite the Multiply Titans over the line against the bizhub Highveld Lions on Thursday.
However, the veteran left-hander said that the Human Rights Day outing was a great experience for the younger players who were drafted in.
“They looked really good with good energy. Marcello (Piedt) bowled really well up front, and Kabelo (Sekhukhune) looked really comfortable at the crease – he didn’t look like he was under any pressure, and he was easy to talk to,” Vandiar said of the novices.
The match also saw Vandiar spend some valuable time in the middle, and his knock was one that got the Titans very close.
“I thought it was tough up front, but the longer I stayed in, the older the ball got and it became a bit easier towards the back end,” he said of his 111.
He also lamented the fact that they couldn’t quite finish the job, given the platform that they had built after a wobbly start.
“From the position we were in, I think we should have won. But they bowled pretty well,” he added, acknowledging their neighbours.
Now, the final match against the VKB Knights, in Bloemfontein on Saturday, is a chance to polish a few things, then look to a home semi-final and, possibly, a final.
“We’re going through the final preparations and we want to make sure we’re 100% ready going into the semi-final. So, hopefully we can get a win against the Knights, so we can go into the semi-final with more momentum.”
Vandiar is also looking forward to the return of a few, key men into the Titans squad. To welcome back the likes of Heino Kuhn and Theunis de Bruyn for the business end gives the side a real edge.
“A lot of quality and experience will be returning in the form of Theunis and Heino and they good guys to have around the team as well.”
The final week of the Momentum One-day Cup will also provide Dean Elgar, the stand-in captain, with a chance to lift silverware. Vandiar explained how much fun it has been playing under the doughty left-hander.
“Dean’s probably the most experienced guy in the dressing room. He’s captained the national side in Test cricket. He’s been really good, he’s funny, a great player and his decision-making on the field is really good. We’re really happy with him,” Vandiar enthused.
Multiply Titans to face the bizhub Highveld Lions: Dean Elgar (Capt), Farhaan Behardien, Corbin Bosch, Theunis de Bruyn, Tony de Zorzi, Heino Kuhn, Gregory Mahlokwana, Rivaldo Moonsamy, Tshepo Moreki, Marcello Piedt, Kabelo Sekhukhune, Grant Thomson, Jonathan Vandiar.