Cape Town - Cape Cobras assistant coach Faiek Davids admits that their 4-Day Domestic Series defeat this week has opened the door for their opponents but is hopeful the log-leaders will bounce back against the Titans starting from Monday.
The Western Cape-franchise were upset by the Warriors when they went down by six-wickets in Cape Town – defeat in the round eight encounter seeing their lead slashed from nearly 20 points to just over one-and-a-half.
A few weeks earlier the lead was 30-plus points and the Cobras seemingly running away with the title, but now the second-placed Highveld Lions are breathing down their necks, while their rivals from further east also have a chance should they win their remaining games and the top two slip up.
“It's definitely opened the door because we're now only one point ahead,” Davids lamented.
“It's certainly there for the taking.
“We play the Titans and then we play the Dolphins in the last game.
“We're out in Oudtshoorn as well in this game, so we don't have any say in terms of what the pitch is going to be like. But hopefully it's a good cricket pitch and the best team will walk away victorious.”
Davids conceded that their performance with the bat in the first innings was their big let-down this past week at Newlands.
“It was certainly disappointing, we didn't bat well in the game,” he explained.
“We were on the back foot from the first innings when we made 239, so obviously well done to the Warriors. They played well and deserved the result.”
Like the Cobras, the Titans were also beaten this week. The reigning champions were blown away by the Lions in their Jukskei derby by an innings and 239 runs – the third biggest defeat in the four-day competition’s history.
Davids is expecting a big reaction from Mark Boucher’s men.
“We're expecting them to bounce back,” he added.
“They obviously are a good side and we’re not taking anything for granted. We can't really.
“We know what we need to do and hopefully we can go out there and play good cricket. We back ourselves and look forward to it.”
Meanwhile, Titans assistant coach Mandla Mashimbyi was blunt in his assessment of their loss against the Lions.
He conceded that the players had plenty to do to win back credibility in the remaining two games.
“It’s been a bad two weeks and there’s no other way to look at it than we’ve been playing poor cricket,” he stated.
“But there’s still two games to play and a chance for the players to win back some pride and some credit.
“We know we’re not going to win the tournament anymore, so the most important thing is to regroup and come back stronger in the next game.
“They have to play for each other and show that what happened in the past two weeks was just a slip-up. We’re confident the players can turn it around.”