The Warriors and the Highveld Lions go into their Ram Slam T20 clash at St George’s Park on Friday night knowing that it could prove pivotal to their campaigns after suffering back-to-back defeats last weekend.
Both sides won their opening encounters, breathing hope into two franchises with relatively inexperienced squads who have not been bolstered by overseas signings or local loan deals.
However, they went on to lose twice last weekend, and a third defeat in a row would leave them scrapping for survival for the remainder of the league phase.
‘We can’t afford to lose three in a row, so it’s a big weekend for us,’ admitted Lions coach Geoff Toyana. ‘It’s been tough for these youngsters but I feel they’ve been very competitive. We were unlucky against the Dolphins and then we fought hard after a bad start against the Titans.’
Toyana has kept faith in the same squad, but foresees a few changes to the playing XI as the Lions mull the idea of playing three spinners at a venue that traditionally takes plenty of turn.
Warriors captain Colin Ingram described last weekend as ‘a bit of a pothole’, and also suggested that they would ‘freshen things up’ in their side to try and capitalise on home advantage.
His coach, Malibongwe Maketa, backed that assessment up, and remained confident that the Warriors can get back to the winning form that they enjoyed in the Momentum One-Day Cup.
‘I felt that we started the season really well – the guys have been in a great space from the first game,’ reflected Maketa.
‘Last weekend was one of those weekends where we were outplayed, and we’re happy with that. The fact that we came in and gave our best and kept fighting to the end is pleasing. We’re confident we can pull things back.’