In his first season as head coach, Mark Boucher has taken the Multiply Titans to the summit of both the Sunfoil Series and the CSA T20 Challenge tables.
Boucher took over from Rob Walter who had led the Titans to titles in both the Sunfoil Series and Ram Slam T20 last season. However, the former South African wicketkeeper’s tenure got off to a rocky beginning as the defending champions went down to the Knights and Warriors in the opening two rounds of the Sunfoil Series.
“We didn’t have a great start, but that wasn’t a bad thing for me because I could start putting my footprint and way of thinking down straight away,” said Boucher.
Since losing to the Warriors in Port Elizabeth at the beginning of October, the Titans have yet to lose in any format of the game.
Before the commencement of the CSA T20 Challenge, the Pretoria outfit thrashed the Dolphins and Cobras, before drawing to the Lions to take top spot after five rounds in the Sunfoil Series.
“It was great momentum to have; we were playing some good cricket. Our batters had spent some good time in the middle and we were playing with great intensity – which we managed to take into the T20 competition,” explained the Titans coach.
Boucher’s charges have been nothing short of brilliant in the T20 Challenge, winning their first four matches, two with bonus points. A washed out encounter against the Cobras on Friday 25 November has been the only blemish for the Titans who lie atop the standings, some six points clear of the second placed Warriors.
The Titans coach attributes much of his team’s success to the contributions made by senior players such as Albie Morkel, Heino Kuhn, Farhaan Behardien and David Wiese.
“The great culture at the Titans cricket is that guys take responsibility. Those guys are senior players and they really have taken to playing the responsible roles in the setup to allow the junior players to express their talents. So it is always good to have a solid group of senior players who are prepared to put their hands up and lead from the front.”
Five matches remain for the Titans in the CSA T20 Challenge, starting with a game against the Knights in Kimberley on Sunday, 27 November. In their earlier encounter this season, the Titans managed to chase down 186 after David Miller had plundered their bowling attack to all parts of the ground.
“That’s the nature of T20 cricket; I think it was a good thing for the guys to get through that game. Having a stalwart like Miller getting 120 off 60 and still winning it, shows the great mental attitude the guys have,” added Boucher.
A spot in the playoffs seems inevitable for a Titans side that could possibly welcome back a host of national players including the injured duo of AB de Villiers and Chris Morris. However, Boucher believes that regardless of which, he has the necessary tools at his disposal to keep the winning culture going.
“What we have tried to instil in our guys is to try and control what we can control. It’s about playing good cricket, keeping our feet on the ground and keeping our intensity high,” explained Boucher.
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