Phalaborwa Express raring to go after a year on the sidelines
DALE Steyn will mark his return to cricket after a year on the sidelines when the Multiply Titans meet VKB Knights in their second match of the Ram Slam T20 Challenge at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley today.
Steyn has been included in the Titans 13-man squad and will be itching for some action as the defending champions look to build on the win in the opening match of the tournament.
This means the team from Pretoria will boast at least six current internationals including Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, Farhaan Behardien, Aiden Markram, Tabraiz Shamsi and Lungi Ngidi.
Chris Morris and Morné Morkel are still recovering from their injuries and are expected to return to action later this month in the competition.
Having defeated the Highveld Lions by eight wickets and a bonus point in their opening match, Titans coach Mark Boucher was pleased with his team’s showing but he feels they can still improve.
“It was good to start with a win but I still thought we were a little bit rusty. I don’t think we bowled particularly well and I don’t think we fielded particularly well,” Boucher said.
“Obviously, we have a strong batting line-up and I think it made the game look a lot easier than it actually was. So there’s a lot of areas I feel we can improve on going into today.”
With nine of the 11 players turned out for the Titans against the Lions having international experience and the addition of Steyn, Boucher feels they have a strong team.
“I think the Proteas playing are going to raise the standard of cricket because it’s going to give a lot of the domestic players an opportunity they rarely have, which is to test themselves and sort of judge themselves as to how good they really are when they are up against a Protea bowler or batter.”
Knights coach Nicky Boje was also pleased with their start following an eight-wicket victory over the Warriors in Port Elizabeth on Friday.
“The Titans are a quality side with quality throughout their squad,” Boje said.
“They have plenty of big names, but it’s not about that at the end of the day. It’s how you play in the match that counts.
“We’ll be going out there trying to make sure we do our basics right in a competition that is looking great with all the international players.”
The game will start at 6pm.
STEAM TRAIN: Proteas and Titans bowler Dale Steyn.