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Ken Borland


Mashimbyi not grabbing a mike and doing a solo, praises Titans team effort

Posted on April 11, 2022 by Ken

The Northerns Titans sang long and lustily to celebrate their remarkable triumph in the CSA 4-Day Series, but coach Mandla Mashimbyi is not the sort to grab the mike and do a solo. It is just not his style and his coaching is the same, with the former pace bowler praising a team effort for their first trophy since 2018/19.

“It was a great effort from the boys as a collective, it was a team effort,” Mashimbyi said. “Trophies are always nice to have, but the process of rebuilding the team started two years ago. It usually takes three years for the players to bind to your philosophies, so we are in the middle of that process.

“We didn’t start this competition as well as we would have liked, but we have put a lot in place since then and the team responded beautifully. Whenever we needed them to, they came through nicely.

“My responsibility was to keep the players believing, even when the Lions had a massive lead, and they responded brilliantly. We won four out of our last five games.

“It was an unbelievable finish, we finished like the Lions started,” Mashimbyi said.

Considering the powerhouse outfit they were before Mashimbyi replaced Mark Boucher in December 2019 and the new-look team they now field, Titans cricket is certainly in a healthy space.

The batting was superb with nine players averaging more than 40, Heinrich Klaasen topping the averages with 84.75 and Grant Mokoena the leading run-scorer with 482 runs at 48.20. While Simon Harmer led the bowling with 44 wickets, the most in the competition, he was well supported by the seam bowlers. Lizaad Williams was only available for two matches due to injury and Proteas call-ups, but topped the averages with 10 wickets at 12.60.

“Heinrich returned to us from the Proteas with a really good attitude and Grant Mokoena can now see his name up at the upper end of the best performers,” Mashimbyi said.

“Grant has always shown potential, but to come out and do what he has done is unbelievable for him. He understands his game now, he does his own things but it works for him.

“Lizaad came back with a lot of heart and passion, he really brought fight. The pace bowlers and Simon Harmer were magnificent as a unit,” Mashimbyi said.

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