The RAM SLAM T20 Challenge is reaching fever pitch with four sides all vying for both a spot in the final and a play-off place as just four matches remain. The Nashua Titans are one of the sides in contention for the prize of a home final when they take on the Chevrolet Knights in a crucial clash at Chevrolet Park on Tuesday night.
The Chevrolet Knights host the Nashua Titans in a game which could catapult the defending champions to the top of the RAM SLAM T20 log and earn them a home final, should the bizhub Highveld Lions falter in their match against the Sunfoil Dolphins on Thursday.
The Chevrolet Knights, in turn, also have a lot of stake as they are just one point behind their opponents.
Nashua Titans’ coach Matthew Maynard says that his side hasn’t really changed their preparations much, but is relishing the challenge of an all-to-play for battle.
"We haven't changed much in our preparation. The guys worked hard in practice on Monday and we're looking forward to the challenge of taking the Knights on. It's an important week for a number of sides and we know that we could finish anywhere from top of the log to fourth,” Maynard said.
Maynard was bullish about his side’s ambitions and said that, while the aim is a home final, the best the Nashua Titans can do is go for the win on Tuesday night. The coach reckons with so much to play for, the match should provide some electric entertainment.
"We're aiming for a home final; we know that result depends on how the Lions go in their last match. All we can do is win tomorrow night and see where that puts us. The Knights have got everything to play for as well and I'm sure it'll be a hammer and tongs affair with both side studded with quality players," the coach added.
The Nashua Titans have both Morne Morkel and Farhaan Behardien in their arsenal while Ryan McLaren returns for the Chevrolet Knights, ensuring the line-ups are packed with a whole host of international stars. AB de Villiers will, however, miss out on the action but has made himself available for selection should the Nashua Titans progress to the eliminator or final of the competition.
“Being the one-day captain takes a bit more out of you emotionally and physically, so De Villiers won’t play this match, but he has made himself available for the rest of the competition should we progress,” said Maynard.
The Nashua Titans have won five of their nine matches, losing three while one was rained out. The Chevrolet Knights have a similar track record, winning five and losing four from their nine matches. The defending champions have won three games on the trot and Maynard believes that his charges need to pull out just one more good performance in order to make the most of the position they are in.
"As a team we have done well in the last couple of games and we need to follow it up with a good performance on Tuesday. Morkel has bowled quickly and Farhaan has batted nicely while Henry Davids is in great form. We're in a good position as a group and we just need one more performance out of them."