The final round of the Sunfoil Series starts on Thursday as the teams try to reel in the Titans at the top.
This is the closest finish in the competition’s history, with the Knights just 2.38 points behind log leaders and defending champions the Titans.
The middle of the table is just as close. The Warriors (78.66) are the only side out of contention, as they occupy the bottom with the Lions (83.34), Dolphins (84.67) and Cobras (85.74) occupying fifth, fourth and third respectively.
Titans vs Warriors
The Titans are favourites to retain their title. They will face the Warriors who will be playing for pride after having a contrasting four-day campaign in their T20 campaign which saw them finish runners up.
Mark Boucher has instilled only one thought in his side and that is to win. ‘It’s important for us as leaders not to panic,’ Boucher said. ‘We need to understand that the advantage is with us as it stands and if we can just focus on what we do and have a decent game of cricket, then that hopefully will be enough for us to go on and win.’
The Titans include rookies Tony de Zorzi and Alfred Mothoa in the squad, while Tladi Bokako and Aya Gqamane have been added to the Warriors’ squad.
Lions vs Knights
A win will be the Knights’ only focus and coach Nicky Boje has admitted that they will be keeping an eye on the other games played.
‘You always look, but the main focus will have to be on getting our processes correct,’ he said. ‘That’s what we’ll be aiming to do this weekend.’
Lions coach Geoffrey Toyana has opted for continuity by naming the same side that beat the Warriors last week, while the Knights have added Driaan Bruwer and Thabo Masheshemane to their side.
Dolphins vs Cobras
Winning the title is ultimately out of both side’s hands – they need both the Titans and the Knights to slip up in their matches against the Warriors and Lions respectively to stand a chance.
Cobras coach Ashwell Prince is proud of his side’s recent turnaround and remains optimistic about every side’s chances. ‘We have now won three out of four matches and you cannot ask more of the players,’ Prince said.
The Cobras will keep the same side from their win against the Knights. The Dolphins’ captain Morne van Wyk again sits out, while Mthokozisi Shezi (hamstring) and Keshav Maharaj (groin) are also missing. Rookie seamers Attie Maposa and Okuhle Cele have been drafted into the squad.
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images