The Nashua Titans will have no time to bask in the glory of a 7-run win against the high-flying log leaders, the bizhub Highveld Lions, as they will defend their slender 1-point lead in the number-2 position of the RAM slam T20 Challenge log against the desperate Sunfoil Dolphins at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Friday.
If the Titans (18 points after 8 games) blink, they might be leapfrogged by the Chevrolet Warriors (fourth, with 16 points after seven matches).
The Chevrolet Knights (third on 17 points after eight matches) might outsprint them in the dash to the semi-finals if they can dent the pride of the wounded Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras.
Matthew Maynard, the Titans coach, praised the character and vigilance of his team in a closely contested match on Wednesday against the Lions.
Maynard said he was particularly pleased by the top-order contributions.
“We also out-fielded the Lions and the Cobras in our previous two games,” he added.
Maynard said the Sunfoil Dolphins is an extremely dangerous team, as they will have a certain no-fear approach to the challenge at SuperSport Park.
“They still have a chance to qualify, although they will need a few results to go their way. But they will play with fearless intent.
“We will treat them with the utmost respect, but we will come hard at them,” he said.
Daryn Smit, the Dolphins captain, said the visitors know that if they slip, they are gone. “Our first prize would be to win our three remaining games, without worrying too much about what other sides do.”
The four-day competition is about the bowlers taking 20 wickets to set up a win.
“Ultimately, T20-cricket success is based on the ability to score more runs than the opposition. That’s where we let ourselves down at the start of this competition,” he added.
“Recently, we hit our straps, got our batting combinations right and have scored enough runs, which we managed to defend.”
Smit said the Titans pride themselves in chasing down sizable scores at SuperSport Park, where it’s difficult to defend.
If the Titans used their magical formula for success on Friday, Yusuf Abdulla could thwart their efforts to edge closer to the play-offs.