The Titans and the Cobras go into battle at Newlands on Thursday as the home side looks for their first win of the campaign.
Amid all their off-field problems, the Cobras managed to avoid defeat last time out, for the first time, when Omphile Ramela (170) and Andrew Puttick (124) put on a massive 266-run partnership against the Warriors.
Other positives is that future prospect Jason Smith is in fantastic form. In his three matches played, the 22-year-old has scored one century and two half-centuries. He also taken six wickets, justifying the praise about his ability.
Zubayr Hamza has also been catching the eye of many cricket admirers but has not yet shown off his full potential yet.
Nineteen-year-old SA U19 star Kyle Verreynne will also get a shot to prove his talent as he will take on the wicketkeeper duties, replacing Dane Vilas, who has joined the Proteas squad on their tour in Australia.
Under-fire Cobras coach Paul Adams remains confident that his side is starting to find their form and are ironing out their issues.
‘Our first-innings performances with the bat were one of the problem areas in the first two games, and it is a big highlight that we have set straight,’ he said.
‘We have been a bit patchy the first couple of games. What we need now is to click in all three departments.’
After an average start to their Sunfoil Series campaign, suffering back-to-back defeats, the Titans managed their first victory by beating the previously unbeaten Dolphins in the only win of last week’s round. Much like their opponents, the visitors pose a threat on paper, with a balanced squad and a good blend of new and experienced talent.
Heinrich Klaasen and Heino Kuhn will look to continue their good form in the competition with both batsmen scoring two half-centuries so far in the tournament.
After being left out of the first two matches, Lungi Ngidi was brought into the squad to face the Dolphins, where he justified his selection by acting as the catalyst in their innings victory over their opponents, taking seven wickets in the match.
The 20-year-old speedster will pose a major threat at Newlands.
Titans coach and former Proteas legend Mark Boucher believes that his side are still a ‘work in progress’, but will hope to take advantage of the Cobras’ recent troubles.
‘I think the Cobras are also under a little bit of pressure, not having won their first two games and then drawing,’ he added. ‘I’m not sure about the wicket, but I’m sure they’ll be looking for a result wicket as well, which should set the game up nicely for both teams.
‘But either way, we can’t control the conditions, we just have to go out there and adapt.’
A lot of talent will be on display at Newlands as both sides will be eager to claim a victory and some vital points to revive their series and move themselves up the log.
The game will start at 10:00 at Newlands on Thursday in the fourth round of the Sunfoil Series, as third takes on last.
Photo: Peter Heeger/Gallo Images