Assistant coach Faiek Davids believes it is imperative for the Cape Cobras to produce a good result against the Knights when the 4-Day Domestic Series resumes this week.
The two teams meet at Boland Park in Paarl, starting from Thursday, with the hosts desperate for a first win of the season and one that could potentially bring them back on level pegging with the teams above them.
Despite being winless after four matches this season, Ashwell Prince’s team (43.78 points) are just under 20 behind the log-leading Imperial Lions (66.08).
Davids knows that this last game of 2019 is key to their overall championship prospects. ‘We’re one win away from the pack, so it’s going to be an important match for us in terms of obviously closing that gap,’ he said. ‘We’re also keen to end the year well, so we’re determined to play good cricket.
‘The match is in Paarl as well, so on our home turf, and we hope it’s going to be the kind of wicket that allows for us to generate a result.
‘Everyone is excited, most of the squad started last week already preparing for this game, it’s just one or two players that have been involved in the MSL playoffs. I’m sure they’ll adapt quickly and hit the ground running when we get going on Thursday.’
Davids will be in charge this week, while coach Prince is away with the South Africa A team to take England on in Benoni from Friday. The match is part of preparation for the Proteas, who will be facing England in a four-match Test series starting next week.
There are plenty of Cobras in those two squads, seven to be precise, with their assistant coach admitting they were proud rather than worried about player availability for the Knights game.
‘There’s also a lot of positives for us on a national level because many of our players have been included in the South Africa A squad and the Test squad as well,’ Davids added. ‘Let’s hope we can get the best team on the field that can be able to overcome the Knights.’
Meanwhile, Knights coach Alan Kruger is bullish about their prospects against a Cobras team that has been hit hard by their national call-ups.
‘We have done well so far this season and we know the Cobras have too, but a lot of their players are away with the national teams, which obviously gives us a chance against what I won’t say is a depleted team, but a less experienced one,’ he said.
‘They also won’t obviously have their coach around for the game, so we fancy our chances.’
The Knights are presently second on the table with their 63.04 points, a touch over three less than the leaders.
‘It’s hugely important to end the year well and this is a fixture that does sometimes slip under the radar,’ Kruger added. ‘But we’re determined to finish well so that when we come back next year we’re in a good position to challenge.’
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