Cape Town - Titans coach Mark Boucher says he has complete respect for the Cape Cobras despite their contrasting places on the Momentum One-Day Cup table as the two prepare to meet at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Thursday.
The match is the last one of a fairly forgettable campaign for the visitors, while the hosts will be looking to continue their journey into the play-offs.
Boucher’s men are seeking a limited-overs double after winning the T20 Challenge earlier in the campaign, but the coach is wary about making plans for the final before getting there. “We have a lot of respect for the Cobras even though they may have not done well in the competition,” he said. “They certainly are a dangerous side and showed that in the four-day competition as well.
“They were bottom of the table and they came up here to Pretoria and they beat us, so they certainly are a side to watch out for even though they haven’t been playing great cricket. You look at that side on paper and they have very dangerous cricketers.”
The Titans will secure an automatic berth to the final should they win. They will also host that March 31 match should they overcome the Cobras, with defeat opening the door for the Dolphins, who will have to beat the Knights convincingly in Durban.
“We won’t be taking them lightly at all, we’ll give them the respect they deserve as a franchise and we know we have a game to win if we want to secure that automatic route to the final,” Boucher explained.
The men from Pretoria are no strangers to high-stakes games. They thumped the Warriors in their latest one on Tuesday to move into a strong position heading into the last round of games. “We’ve had three very good games out of a run of four so far that we wanted to win,” Boucher added. “We have one more tomorrow and then hopefully if we win that then we get a home final.
“Anything can then happen in the final, but we want to first end this stage of the competition well. That’s the first thing we want to do.
“I know that there’s different permutations even if that game doesn’t take place tomorrow. But certainly we’re looking to go out there and secure a home final tomorrow. We can do that by beating the Cobras.”
The Cobras have lost four out of their last five games and coach Ashwell Prince has highlighted the importance of a more measured approach to chasing big totals, as well as improvement in the field.