• Knights gear up for Dolphins clash

    Coach Alan Kruger is excited about the future of the Knights following their strong start to the 2019-20 4-Day Domestic Series campaign.

    The central franchise ousted one of the more consistent teams of recent seasons, the Warriors, by a massive 255 runs in their round-one encounter at Kimberley last weekend.

    They are currently preparing for round two and a home match against the Dolphins to be played at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein starting from Monday.

    Kruger was buzzing with excitement over what he saw at the Diamond Oval over the past week.

    ‘I’m very pleased with the way the competition started for us,’ he said. ‘It was a tough competitive game of four-day cricket, it went all four days and we managed to get through and come out on top.

    ‘We had some excellent performances from the likes of Gerald Coetzee; this boy is the real deal.

    ‘We also had Shaun von Berg making his debut and he did brilliantly by delivering in all departments. He is an unbelievable cricketer.

    ‘I was happy with Marco Jansen, who made his debut, and then also another young man batting out of position, Raynard van Tonder, went well too. So, the future of Knights cricket is looking bright.’

    First-class debutant Coetzee finished with a match haul of six wickets, four of those in the second innings, Jansen claimed three wickets and contributed a total of 41 runs, spinner Von Berg nabbed six wickets as well as scores of 19 and 61. Van Tonder hit scores of 52 and nine.

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    Kruger believes there is plenty for his side to now build on against their opponents from the coast.

    He added: ‘We played them in the pre-season up in Port Shepstone, so we know what they’re about. They’re a little bit inexperienced in terms of their bowling attack, so it’s going to be different compared to playing them in the past.

    ‘Also, with Imraan Khan now as their new coach, it will be different to previous games. But knowing their never-say-die attitude, you always know it’s going to be a difficult game against them.’

    Khan, meanwhile, would have been disappointed by the way the Dolphins capitulated in their season-opener against the Titans.

    They looked on course to save the game on the final day but lost their last six wickets for a poor 37 runs.

    The new coach is hoping for better in the Free State. ‘We played a few pre-season games against the Knights, so we have an idea of who they have in their side and know them fairly well,’ he added.

    ‘They are a good team, but every team at franchise level is a good side. We have to make sure that we put together four solid days of cricket.’

    Photo: Gallo Images

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