• Knights desperate for a win (or two)

    The Knights will be boosted by the arrival of West Indian all-rounder Andre Russell as they aim to keep their Ram Slam hopes alive.

    The Knights know that two victories are required to stay in the hunt after a poor start to the campaign.

    They went down to the Cobras by four wickets on Wednesday night to leave them rooted to the bottom of the table after losing their first three games in the competition, making Friday’s televised encounter with Titans at the Mangaung Oval a must-win affair.

    Having played a key role in helping the Knights to the final last season, Russell’s arrival could be timely as they look to turn their fortunes around.

    ‘He brings a lot of experience, and last year the guys enjoyed him a lot – not only as a player but also helping a guy like Werner Coetsee with some ideas,’ coach Nicky Boje said.

    ‘We’ve almost got to win all of our games now, so we’ll go about that positively. The thing with T20 is there are very small margins, so we need to make sure that we are at the top of our game for all 40 overs.’

    The bad news for the Knights is that Ryan McLaren has returned to the Dolphins, who cut his loan deal short when Kyle Abbott was called up to the Proteas Test squad.

    After losing their opening game, the Titans have won their last two, and will have all-rounder David Wiese available for the first time in the tournament after he overcame his hand injury.

    The Titans have used 15 players in the competition so far, but are getting closer to a settled side.

    ‘The chopping and the changing is trying to find the right combinations at the start of the tournament, and it’s also the pitches – we’ve played on slower pitches, especially at home, where we need to play an extra batter and an extra spinner, so we’ve changed our personnel,’ said Farhaan Behardien.

    ‘We’ll have to see what we’re faced with in Bloem. Normally it’s a good pitch with a big field, which brings our spinners into contention. Hopefully we can start the weekend off well.’

    The game gets underway at 6pm, and will be broadcast live on SuperSport 5.

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