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Ken Borland

Ability of the Titans to keep their wits is something national team should borrow 0

Posted on February 06, 2023 by Ken

The ability of the Northerns Titans to keep their wits about them under pressure is something the national team should maybe try and borrow from them as Mandla Mashimbyi’s side claimed the CSA T20 Challenge title at the weekend with a thrilling victory over the KZN Dolphins in Potchefstroom.

Having restricted KZN to 162/3 after they were 110/1 after 15 overs, the Titans chased their target down with two balls to spare and four wickets in hand, despite slipping to 99/5 after 14 overs. It meant Northerns won a staggering eight of their nine matches in Potchefstroom, with Dayyaan Galiem (32* off 22) and Donavon Ferreira (40 off 25) the heroes in the final as they added 63 off 37 balls for the sixth wicket.

“It was a tough campaign but I think that prepared us for those tight moments in the final,” coach Mashimbyi told The Citizen on Sunday. “We had two low-scoring chases before, the one we came close, the other we nearly stuffed up.

“But there were learnings from that, it gave us an emphasis and a structure of how to chase. If it hadn’t happened, we might have made the same mistakes as in last season’s final.

“The players were able to identify the big moments and the areas they had to look after. The bowling unit was a big highlight for me, that’s what wins you tournaments.

“With the batting, partnerships are the only thing that get you over the line and we had two guys who were able to connect and find a way. It was nice to see us control our emotions,” Mashimbyi said.

The 2021/22 CSA Coach of the Season has high hopes for the 25-year-old Galiem and believes he will become the same sort of expert finisher for the Titans as Farhaan Behardien was, as well as pushing for higher honours.

“Dayyaan has been the big positive for me this tournament, just how he went about his business,” Mashimbyi said. “He was really focused over the winter and worked hard on his finishing skills and power-hitting.

“He’s shown 100% buy-in for what we want to do and I think he can finish for us like how Fudgie used to. Dayyaan Is certainly an up-and-coming star for the Titans and our national teams.

“And he can bowl as well, so he’s a huge talent. That 19th over he bowled that cost just one run and he got Jon-Jon Smuts out brought us back into the game.

“If he keeps on playing like this then I won’t be surprised if he gets a call-up,” Mashimbyi said.

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