Wiese broke his finger in the nets three weeks ago and he is back in time to lead an inexperienced Titans pace attack in the last two games of the season, and will also be hoping to regain some of the batting touch that has deserted him this year.
The 23-year-old Kemm captained Tukkies to the Momentum National Club Championships title last April and made his first-class debut for Easterns at the start of the summer, and has averaged 44.46 with three centuries. Left-handed and blessed with patience, he has the opportunity to throw his name into the hat for the Titans’ future planning in four-day cricket.
“Ernest is prepared to bat time and it’s exciting that he’s scored three centuries in amateur cricket, now we’ll see if he can take it up to franchise level. He has the patience of a traditional opening batsman, he sets up his stall, and we need that,” Titans coach Rob Walter told The Pretoria News yesterday.
Kemm takes the place of Graeme van Buuren, who joins the long list of unfortunate batsmen injured in the nets, taking a painful blow from Wiese during the week.
It’s been a long and difficult four-day campaign for the Titans and just one victory in eight matches has left them rooted to the bottom of the log. But there is still an outside chance of them finishing third and claiming R200 000 in prizemoney from Sunfoil if they can win their last two matches, against the Knights and Warriors, both at SuperSport Park.
The Knights are the team they have beaten in the Sunfoil Series this season – in Kimberley in mid-February – and their attack is stronger for this match with the return of fast bowler Marchant de Lange for the first time since November, after a string of delays due to minor niggles.
Mangaliso Mosehle also returns as wicketkeeper because Tumelo Bodibe, originally chosen for the previous match against the Dolphins that was abandoned without a ball being bowled a fortnight ago, has subsequently signed as a Knights player and, as Walter said, “it would be silly to play him if he’s not going to be part of our future”.
While the Titans are approaching the match as a pointer to how they can improve their four-day fortunes next season, the Knights are coming to Centurion chasing the title.
They are a fraction less than five points behind the Cape Cobras and will be regarding victory as non-negotiable, especially since the defending champions are hosting the Warriors at Newlands.
The Knights are confident that captain Johan van der Wath, who engineers so much of their success with his fiery bowling and powerful lower-order batting, will be fit to play, but Dean Elgar is an unlikely starter and Ryan McLaren has not recovered from a shoulder injury.
But the Titans are going to have to be prepared to take on a side that is confident and hungry for success, boasting an impressive pace attack, an in-form spinner in Werner Coetsee and dangerous batsmen like Rilee Rossouw.
“The Knights’ performance speaks for itself, they’ve won a lot of games  and must have played well. They know how to perform.
“But our only four-day win was against them, so we have good memories of that and hopefully we’ll play like we did in Kimberley. Our batting just really needs someone to step up,” Walter said.
Titans: Heino Kuhn, Ernest Kemm, Henry Davids, Qaasim Adams, Roelof van der Merwe, David Wiese, Mangaliso Mosehle, Shaun von Berg, JP de Villiers, Marchant de Lange, Junior Dala.
Knights (from): Gihahn Cloete, Rilee Rossouw, Rudi Second, Obus Pienaar, Gerhardt Abrahams, Johan van der Wath, Werner Coetsee, Quinton Friend, Duanne Olivier, Corne Dry, Malusi Siboto, Dean Elgar, Thabo Masheshemane.