The domestic cricket season shifts back to the limited-overs format this week when the Momentum One-Day Cup begins with the Multiply Titans hosting the Hollywoodbets Dolphins at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Friday.
The hosts, who won the first white-ball competition earlier in the season when they were crowned T20 Challenge champions, narrowly missed out on the four-day Sunfoil Series title to the VKB Knights when that tournament concluded on the weekend.
Titans coach, Mark Boucher is now looking for a new competition where he hopes their white-ball skill from earlier in the 2016/17 term will come to the fore.
“We probably came up short with our batting in the Sunfoil Series, but it is a new competition and we’ve got some new faces in as well,” he said.
“Our preparation has been very good and hopefully we can ride off the T20 win we had because it’s the same sort of set-up here.
“We did well to win the last game of the Sunfoil Series and I still feel it was a fairly decent four-day competition that we had.”
Last season the Titans came last in the 50-over format, despite winning the other two competitions. It is something Boucher hopes to rectify.
“We were bottom last season and hopefully we can do a bit better than that this year,” the coach, who is only in his first campaign in charge, said. “We’ve got a good squad and one that is far better than just getting the wooden spoon. So we’ll be looking for massive improvements on last year.”
The big news for the Titans and South African cricket is the return to fitness of Morne Morkel, who has been named in the squad for the clash.
Another senior in Standard Bank Proteas Test opener Dean Elgar is also named, with Albie Morkel set to return to captain the side, as he has been doing in recent limited overs cricket.
Rookies Rivaldo Moonsamy, Gregory Mahlokwana and Tony de Zorzi are also picked.
The Dolphins have had a disappointing campaign in terms of results, despite showing promise in both previous tournaments. They ended fourth in the Sunfoil Series, but tailed away badly to end second-bottom in the 20-over season.
"We are very excited about the upcoming 50-over competition and looking back I feel that in the Sunfoil Series we didn't deliver a fourth place performance, I think we were better than that," coach Grant Morgan said.
"With the shift back to white ball cricket, I think that myself and the team might have learnt a few things during the T20 competition, but we came out the other side a stronger team.”
Khaya Zondo is the new captain of the side after replacing Morne van Wyk, who stepped down.
"I also just want to say that I am really excited to see Khaya taking over the captaincy and honoured in the way that Morne gave up the role,” Morgan added.
Sarel Erwee returns after injury, while Cody Chetty is also in the squad after a spell of provincial cricket.
Titans squad: Albie Morkel (captain), Junior Dala, Henry Davids, Tony de Zorzi, Dean Elgar, Heinrich Klaasen, Heino Kuhn, Gregory Mahlokwana, Aiden Markram, Rivaldo Moonsamy, Morne Morkel, Malusi Siboto, Jonathan Vandiar, David Wiese.
Dolphins squad: Khaya Zondo (captain), Cody Chetty, Rabian Engelbrecht, Sarel Erwee, Rob Frylinck, Keshav Maharaj, Sibonelo Makhanya, Kyle Nipper, Calvin Savage, Mthokozisi Shezi, Prenelan Subrayen, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Morné van Wyk.