The Titans aim for top spot with a victory over the Cobras in thier round eight Sunfoil Series clash starting on Thursday in Centurion.
Victory for either team will be massive in the context of what is shaping as one of the tightest four-day seasons in recent memory.
All six teams are still in contention for the title, although the bottom-placed Cobras will in all likelihood need to win all three of their remaining games to stand a chance, starting with this weekend’s trip to Supersport Park.
The hosts, who are also the defending champions, are presently second, but a win is likely to move them top and also put an end to the visitors’ hopes of claiming the first-class crown.
Titans coach Mark Boucher believes the team that plays most positively is likely to emerge victorious come the end of the term, particularly with more rain predicted for the next four days.
‘It’s very unfortunate that a lot of the Sunfoil Series has been weather-affected, which doesn’t make it easy to get wins,’ he said.
‘We’ve spoken about this and decided that we’re just going to go out there and try and win the competition by being very positive. Playing aggressive cricket, that’s the way we feel.
‘We’ve got to back ourselves and we can’t be afraid of losing. We’d rather go out there and try and win the competition. It’s an exciting brand of cricket to play, but hopefully, our skills will be able to pull us through. We can’t control the weather, unfortunately, but we can control how we play our game and our mindsets.’
The Cobras failed to win any of their first five matches of the season, before seemingly turning the corner after a change of management and the introduction of Ashwell Prince as new coach.
‘We’ve always known that the Cobras are a good side,’ Boucher added.
‘They’ve got some good individuals playing for them. They didn’t start of the season too well, but they’ve seemed to have turned that around a bit. We respect that fact that they’ve got a good team and we’ll give them the respect they deserve.’
The hosts have been heavily affected by national call-ups with Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi, Chris Morris, Farhaan Behardien and Heino Kuhn all away, although the latter is expected to be back in time for the start on Thursday.
‘We’ve lost a few players, but it’s an opportunity for others to step up and do well,’ Boucher said.
For the Cobras, they will be looking to build on a strong start to the second half of the campaign, which included beating the Highveld Lions and drawing with the Warriors.
Even though the odds are against them going all the way and winning the title, assistant coach Faiek Davids is adamant it can be done.
‘In terms of quality and talent, I believe we have the cricketers to pull off those three wins in the final three four-day matches of 2016-2017,’ he said.
‘This is a special team and it is on the right path.’
Titans squad: Henry Davids, Junior Dala, Dean Elgar, Heinrich Klaasen, Heino Kuhn, Aiden Markram, Grant Mokoena, Rowan Richards, Malusi Siboto, Jonathan Vandiar, Shaun von Berg, David Wiese.
Cobras squad: Rory Kleinveldt, Aviwe Mgijima, Tshepo Moreki, Justin Ontong, Andrew Puttick, Zakhele Qwabe, Omphile Ramela, Dane Piedt, Jason Smith, Stiaan van Zyl, Dane Vilas, Lizaad Williams.