Titans brace themselves for another semi-final dash

van der Merwe and Mangaliso Mosehle embrace on a wicket

van der Merwe and Mangaliso Mosehle embrace on a wicket

THE Unlimited Titans go into Friday’s Momentum One-Day Cup clash with the Nashua Cape Cobras knowing that, even at this early stage of the competition, losing is no longer an option if they are to reach the knockout stages.

The Titans sit bottom of the table without a point from their three matches going into the weekend’s fixtures, and coach Rob Walter expects that his side will need to win six of their seven remaining games if they are to repeat last season’s late dash into the semi-final.

Although on the surface that may appear unlikely based on the current table, there have been mitigating circumstances in that they lost the points from their last game when it was abandoned due to a dangerous pitch.

“We should have won both of the games that we played at the start of the season and we didn’t, and that was our own fault,” reflected Walter.

“Then we had the game abandoned against the Knights, which is a game we back ourselves to get points from.

“So at the end of the day there you are on nought points at the bottom of the log, but you’ve got to put everything into perspective and keep focus on what we want to do, which is play well on Friday night.”

The Titans have, therefore, retained their same squad for the game at SuperSport Park, which is a repeat of last year’s rained-out final, and will have freshness on their side given that they have barely played a game since last Friday.

The Cobras, on the other hand, played on Wednesday night and are carrying a few niggles into another busy weekend.

“We’re hobbling along,” joked Cobras coach Paul Adams. “The next few days will be telling on the guys’ bodies so for us recovery is massive at the moment.”

The Cobras squad has, however, maintained a sufficient level of fitness for Adams to take the same squad on the road this weekend, although Andrew Puttick’s hamstring strain is being managed.

Adams’ side currently lead the table by a massive nine points, which he puts down to the partnerships developed by his batsmen and the match-turning efforts of Robin Peterson.

“I think our spinners have been excellent. Our seamers haven’t been that great but our spinners have brought us into the games,” said Adams.

“Robin Peterson has been superb in handling that pressure and taking key wickets for us. Having his experience around controlling middle overs has been really big.”