The Cape Cobras and the Titans will look to become the first outright winners of the Momentum One-Day Cup in three years when they collide in the final at Newlands on Friday.
The two sides were forced to share the trophy last season when the final was rained out at the same venue, but the forecast suggests that there will be no such problems this time around.
Few could argue that the two best teams have reached the final, with the Cobras topping the table and the Titans building a formidable batting unit that swept the Dolphins aside in Tuesday’s play-off.
The Cobras have shared the last two one-day trophies after washouts, and were the last team to win it outright when they beat the Warriors in the 2011/12 final, but their potential status as favourites is diminished by the fact that they have lost twice to the Titans this season.
‘With the top sides in franchise cricket I don’t think there is an underdog really. They’ll certainly back themselves at home but we have good things to draw from this season, specifically in the two games that we played against them,’ Titans coach Rob Walter said.
‘I think if our game against the Dolphins proved anything it’s just that it’s all about rocking up on the day.’
The Titans have travelled with the same side that won Tuesday’s play-off by 58 runs in Durban, and have Heino Kuhn and Grant Thomson standing by should Walter elect to make any changes.
The Cobras are waiting to see how Justin Kemp’s ankle injury responds to a bowling session on Thursday, with the all-rounder’s participation a key component to how they balance their side.
Coach Paul Adams may also have to deal with late withdrawals – Rory Kleinveldt and Dane Vilas both have partners who are due to give birth any day.
‘It’s just about the balance that we want to go with, and what sort of combos – seam or extra spin,’ said Adams.
‘We’ll also look at how the pitch is closer to the game.’
Adams suggested that, with the Titans’ respective strengths and weaknesses, the key for the Cobras will be to start each innings well.
‘I think they’ve always got concerns about their bowling, so we’ll look to try and set up a good base to exploit it,’ he said.
‘From an experience point of view they’ve got Dean Elgar, Jacques Rudolph and Henry Davids at the top of their order, who will all bring a lot to the party for them. It will be very important how we start both innings.’
The final gets underway at 3pm, and will be shown live on SuperSport 2.