Knights coach Nicky Boje is hoping they can finish the first round of the 4-Day Domestic Series strongly with a big performance against the Warriors in Kimberley starting from Monday.
The two sides played to a draw in Port Elizabeth this past week, a match in which the visitors were under pressure for the better part of it, until a big final day century by captain Pite van Biljon saved the day. There was also a good showing from rookie Andries Gous after he scored over 200 runs in the game.
Boje was encouraged by the display, particularly after the Central Franchise fell apart to the Highveld Lions in the previous game. ‘We were under the pump for most of the game and to come out the second innings and play the way the guys did was really good to see,’ said Boje.
‘Andries had an excellent game scoring the hundred and then just missing out on the double in the second innings. Pite, the captain, was also great and Luthando (Mnyanda) as well.’
The match this coming week is an important one for both teams if they want to try and keep pace with the log-leading World Sports Betting Cape Cobras, who have won every single game thus far.
‘It’s going to be important to make sure you finish this first round well and try and go for a win,’ Boje adds. ‘Especially looking at the Cobras getting another win, it’s going to be hard to catch. So, you’ve got to start making up some ground and a win will be good.’
Boje does feel that whoever adapts quicker to the drier Diamond Oval conditions will have a better chance of winning.
‘It will be two different conditions and you’ll have to get used to playing in Kimberley, so it will be different. I think whoever adapts quicker will have the advantage,’ he said.
Opposite number Rivash Gobind is also looking forward to a good finish to the first part of the campaign. His side are presently third, one spot and 10 points ahead of the Knights. The Cobras are over 50 clear of both at the summit.
‘The Cobras are playing some fantastic cricket,’ said Gobind said. ‘Ashwell (Prince) has obviously done a great job there with them. We’re all chasing them at the moment.
‘I think we’re a bit fortunate because we have to play them twice in the second round, so our destiny in terms of where we finish in relation to them is probably based on those two encounters.’
But Gobind knows they have more immediate matters to tackle before that, adding that the Knights are very good in their own conditions and this will be a tough hurdle for us.
‘Obviously, it will be great to beat them and go into the break on a high, but we know it won’t be easy.’
Latest 4-Day Domestic Series table