Dean Elgar is looking forward to the sharp end of the Momentum One-Day Cup, with the Multiplay Titans peaking just in time for the playoffs. While other teams scramble for a top four finish, the Titans are looking at securing a home semi – and then a home final.
“I’d rather be in our shoes at the moment, knowing that we’re extremely close to securing that home semi. Winning is a massive culture and having the feeling of playing good cricket and getting a win is something that we are going to need going forward in the competition,” the top-oder star explained.
Elgar has found joy with bat and ball of late, and he again mentioned that he does enjoy chipping in wherever he can for the team. His four wickets against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins were a career-best effort, and close out a most satisfying victory on the road.
“I’ve always fancied bowling in one-day and T20 cricket. I thought it was a good opportunity to use those conditions, especially in Durban,” he said of his rich haul.
Another bowler who has been in terrific touch for the Titans of late is tearaway strike bowler Junior Dala, who also helped himself to career-best figures, as well as a maiden five-wicket haul. The freedom to attack that he has been handed has reaped great dividends for player and franchise.
“Junior’s been good for us in the last few weeks. He’s got a very good game plan that’s working out for all of us in the team,” Elgar enthused.
They took nine wickets between them, to wrap up a 70-run victory, and a bonus-point in the process.
“I think it was one of those days. The two of us had a good night with ball in hand and we contributed to getting the win.”
The Titans next face the Lions on Thursday morning, and they can guarantee a home semi with victory over their neighbours. They will do so even without some big names, with call-ups to the national team, as well as departures to the IPL trimming experience and explosiveness from the ranks.
“Unfortunately we do lose some of our strong squad members, but in saying that it’s an opportunity for other guys to come in and make a move to secure those spots. Opportunities are definitely there, even though we are coming towards the end of the campaign.”
Elgar takes over the captaincy from the IPL-bound Heinrich Klaasen, and it is a job that he is looking forward to immensely.
“It’s something I’ve always enjoyed doing. It’s nice when you come into an environment where the guys know more-or-less what they want from their personal game. So its’ more about me coming in and adding my little bit of experience, having been around the team.”
The plan is to keep the foot firmly on the pedal, and a victory over the struggling bizhub Highveld Lions would be most satisfying – and also exact revenge for the first round defeat in Potchefstroom.
“I think they’ve struggled a little bit in this campaign. They were quite a strong side in the beginning, when they had their Protea players around. But their depth has been tested as the campaign has gone on,” Elgar said of the Lions.
Not that the Titans are taking anything for granted. There is still plenty of respect for the Joburg franchise from the Titans.
“On their day, they can still be very dangerous. The game on Thursday is definitely going to be a very competitive game. We’re not going to take it lightly, and we want to continue our winning streak. So Thursday is another game for us and we need to implement our strengths against them.”
With the Proteas utilising SuperSport Park for the international T20 on Friday night, the Titans will be using their second home ground in Benoni, on Thursday. Elgar pointed out that it has been a happy hunting ground in recent times, and they would look to use the unfamiliarity that visiting teams have towards Benoni to their advantage.
“Benoni has been good for us over the last few seasons. I know a lot of teams don’t like playing there, so I think that battle has been won for us a little bit. They generally prepare quite a good one-day wicket there, which is good for the batter and challenging for the bowlers.”
Multiply Titans squad to face the bizhub Highveld Lions: Dean Elgar (c), Farhaan Behardien, Corbin Bosch, Junior Dala, Theunis de Bruyn, Eldred Hawken, Heino Kuhn, Gregory Mahlokwana, Rivaldo Moonsamy, Marcello Piedt, Diego Rosier, Kabelo Sekhukhune, Grant Thomson, Jonathan Vandiar