Cobras, Titans test reserve strength
The Sunfoil Series resumes on Thursday with the table-topping Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras taking on the defending champions, the Nashua Titans, at Sahara Park Newlands on Thursday.
The Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras have been in dominant form throughout the tournament having won two of their four matches and drawing the other two. However, they are without some of their big-name players for the match. JP Duminy is out through injury and they will have to make do without all their Proteas players who are on international duty against New Zealand.
The Nashua Titans are in a similar boat with many of their players away on international duty, but coach Matthew Maynard believes it's the cricket culture from the two teams which will make the contest enticing, despite the absence of star players.
“Seven out of our eleven internationals aren’t available so both sides are missing a number of big players, but there is such a strong cricket culture with both teams that I believe this will shine through in the match. Both play aggressive cricket and attacking cricket and this will play a big role in the match,” said Maynard.
The last time the two sides played each other at Sahara Park Newlands was in a different format. The Nashua Mobile Cobras won the Momentum One-Day Cup eliminator and, while many might think the Titans will be looking for revenge, Mayard says it’s not something which is on his mind at all.
“This is a different competition with different players and the last time we played each other in this competition, we beat them down in Paarl to secure the title. We know that every time we play them it’s going to be tough, though, and it will be tough for both sides.
“It’s a long format and whoever plays the better cricket over the four days will win,” Maynard said.
There has been plenty of hot weather down in Cape Town over the last week and Maynard said he does expect the wicket to turn a little. This could be good news for the Titans after Ethy Mbhalati failed a fitness test on Tuesday. He has been replaced by Tumi Masekela and Maynard said that who plays in the match will depend on the conditions.
“We’ll have a look at the wicket on Wednesday and then decide on whom to pick. If it looks like a turner, chances are good we’ll go with two front-line spinners. We can’t decide any of that until we have seen the pitch, though,” Maynard added.