Titans don’t take Impis lightly

2012-03-14 12:19

With the Miway T20 challenge heading for the home stretch, the Titans have everything to play for when they face eastern neighbours the New Age Impis at SuperSport Park tonight.

The Impis who have played well in patches have not been able to win a game this season. T

his is perhaps the result of the fact that they only came together a few days before the start of the tournament and had to face teams which are chasing lucrative Champions League spots.

The Titans, however, are also smarting from a 16-run defeat at the hands of Jukskei rivals and table-topping Lions.

A win would have put them in second place and on course for a home semifinal against the third-placed qualifier, but Sunday’s loss to the Lions, along with the Cobras’ win, has pushed them into fourth place.

The Titans had crushed the composite team by nine wickets in the corresponding fixture on February 26, with opener Henry Davids top-scoring with an unbeaten 55.

The Impis have no hope of qualifying for the T20 Champions League but they could derail the Titans’ semifinal chances.

Except for the three-run loss to the Dolphins in Pietermaritzburg, the Impis have not come close to winning.

They have had a few bright sparks – with Khayelihle Zondo being the sole centurion of the competition thus far. After the Titans, the Impis face the Knights and the Lions and could be a potential banana skin for the title-chasing teams.

Titans coach Matthew Maynard said they would not take the Impis lightly because they had the ability to topple any team on any day, but also conceded that the Lions would be hard to catch.

“Every team knows that the Impis could win one or two games in the competition, so we are wary that we don’t become their victims. They have some strong players in Paul Collingwood, Luke Wright and Ryan ten Doeschate.

We will be switched on tonight. Catching the Lions will be difficult, which is why Sunday’s game was so important, but we just need to win all our games,” he said.

With Zondo having not built on his wonderful century against the Cobras in Cape Town, Englishmen Collingwood and Wright, along with Ten Doeschate, will have to stand up and be counted.

The duo played a key role in England’s ICC T20 World Cup triumph in 2010 and will have to reprise their form if the Impis are to gain some sort of pride after a long season.
Play starts at 6pm.

» According to tournament rules, the first-placed team gets an automatic home-final berth. The second- and third-placed teams play in a qualifier to determine who will face the first-placed team, with the second-placed team hosting this qualifier.

If the fourth-placed Titans lose their game against the Impis tonight, it further reduces their chances of qualifying for the semifinal.

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