The Titans and Warriors go head to head as second takes on third in a high-stakes One Day Cup clash in Benoni on Tuesday.
A win for the Titans (23 points), who have a game in hand on the Dolphins (24 points), will put them three points ahead of the table toppers. A win for the Warriors will mean they will be closer to confirming a play-off spot as they look to shake off the Knights two points below them in fourth.
Whoever tops the league phase of the tournament is guaranteed a home final and winning the clash.
‘It’s like a final,’ Titans coach Mark Boucher said.
‘Even though we don’t want to look too far ahead, if we can win tomorrow we can still effectively get a home final.
‘So it’s a very big game for us and the boys are treating it accordingly. It will be a third game back-to-back and hopefully we can finish well.’
Proteas captain AB de Villiers is available and so too is South Africa all-rounder Chris Morris, strengthening the Titans’ chances of ending at the top of the log even further.
‘We got some fresh faces in AB and Chris Morris, two not too bad players to be able to add to your squad,’ Boucher added. ‘So we’ll be ready.’
The T20 Challenge champions have had some close run-ins with the Warriors in the recent past, and Boucher conceded this will be no different.
‘Everyone knows the Warriors and the fight they play with,’ the Titans boss concluded. ‘So we know exactly what to expect. We are well aware that rocking up and playing at 70 percent will not cut it. We have to be at our best.’
For Warriors coach Malibongwe Maketa, it is about time an important match against the same opponents went their way – but for effort rather than luck.
‘We feel that every time we play against them we do it very well because we know how good they are,’ he said.
‘In close games, the rub of the green sometimes hasn’t gone our way.
‘But we believe that through our hard work, it finally will go our way. Not because it’s our turn (for luck to turn or anything).
‘The harder you work, the closer you will get to your opponent and we’ve worked really hard to get that result tomorrow.’
Despite the result going some way towards deciding where the 31 March final will be played, Maketa was not at all interested in looking that far ahead.
‘We don’t look at permutations and those sorts of things,’ he added.
‘We leave that to our supporters. We just want to go out there and do the job required.’
Photo: Shaun Roy/Gallo Images