War­riors are up against the best fire­power

Daily Dispatch - - Sport - By ROSS ROCHE

A HOST of Protea stars will be the star at­trac­tion when the War­riors wel­come the Ti­tans to Buf­falo Park for their block­buster Ram Slam T20 en­counter on Fri­day night.

Proteas play­ers who fea­tured in the re­cent Test, ODI and T20 se­ries against Bangladesh in­clude Quin­ton de Kock, who was named manof-the-se­ries for the ODIs, AB de Vil­liers who smashed an in­cred­i­ble 104-ball 176 in the sec­ond one-dayer, Ai­den Markram who en­joyed a stel­lar Test se­ries and ODI de­but at Buf­falo Park and Fer­haan Be­har­dien.

“To have the Proteas play­ers avail­able for this com­pe­ti­tion is a bless­ing in dis­guise . . . usu­ally these play­ers are on in­ter­na­tional duty so it is great that we can see them in ac­tion here,” Bor­der cricket CEO Thando Booi said.

“It is also great for young play­ers to rub shoul­ders with these stars such as De Vil­liers and De Kock,” he added.

The Ti­tans team is also packed with for­mer Proteas, such as their cap­tain Al­bie Morkel, David Wiese, Tabraiz Shamsi and Lungi Ngidi.

The War­riors on the other hand, have no cur­rent Proteas and only two play­ers, cap­tain Jon Jon Smuts and Colin In­gram have played for the Proteas pre­vi­ously.

How­ever, a num­ber of their play­ers in­clud­ing In­gram and Colin Ack­er­mann are com­ing off fan­tas­tic stints in Eng­land and will be want­ing to rekin­dle that form, es­pe­cially af­ter both failed to fire in the War­riors open­ing T20 loss to the Kinghts this past Fri­day night.

This is largely the same team that led them to the fi­nal last year and the play­ers will be con­fi­dent of of get­ting a pos­i­tive re­sult, es­pe­cially at Buf­falo Park where they have tra­di­tion­ally done well. “The Ti­tans are a very strong side and it is go­ing to be tough for the War­riors, but I be­lieve they can bounce back from their loss against the Knights and get a good win over the Ti­tans here,” said Booi.

The last T20 match at Buf­falo Park be­tween these two sides was a record­ing-break­ing slog off last sea­son.

Af­ter rain saw the match re­duced to five overs a-side Be­har­dien smashed the quick­est ever Fran­chise T20 half cen­tury to lead the Ti­tans to 80/2, with the War­riors fall­ing just six runs short in the chase.

With the Proteas hav­ing scored the high­est in­ter­na­tional score at the ground and Bor­der pro­duc­ing the high­est provin­cial chase in SA cricket his­tory at Buf­falo Park, all in the last month, more runs could be in store on Fri­day.

“I think we have had a re­ally good wicket re­cently and have seen some re­ally ex­cit­ing re­sults in the past month, so I think we should see an­other ex­cit­ing match on Fri­day and the fans will be en­ter­tained,” said Booi.

Tick­ets for the War­riors v Ti­tans match can be pur­chased on­line at www.tick­et­ or at the ticket of­fice at the sta­dium to­mor­row and Fri­day be­tween 9am and 4pm with tick­ets cost­ing R60 for adults and R30 for schol­ars and pen­sion­ers.

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