Warriors coach Robin Peterson is content with the start they have made to the One-Day Cup season, saying that his inexperienced squad seems to be gaining something after each game they play.
The Eastern Cape franchise welcome the Knights to Buffalo Park in East London on Tuesday, just days after they flattened the Lions in Port Elizabeth.
The win left them with a 4-2-2 (played-won-lost) record as they sit in fourth place after four rounds. A big win in round five could even propel them to the top of the table.
But, for now, it is all about small percentages for Peterson and his young group.
‘We’ve been OK considering that we’ve had a lot of players going in and out of the team for various reasons, so it means we haven’t had the same team for consecutive games,’ he explained ahead of the game.
‘We’ve had guys moving into the national team, we’ve had injuries and more injuries at different times, like now we have Rudi Second out with a broken finger and just before that Gihahn Cloete also being put out for the same reason.
‘It’s been challenging, but the young guys stood up pretty well in the last game and hopefully we can continue that chain of events heading into the next one.
‘Hopefully these younger players can continue their learnings and continue contributing nicely to match-winning performances.
‘In terms of readiness for this game, it’s about continuing the conversations about getting better each game.’
Assessing their overall position in the competition at this early stage, Peterson felt they were in a good space, but challenged his team to get even better in the second half of the 50-over competition.
He added: ‘I think it’s OK. For me it’s all about how we play, we’ve been playing well in patches and I’d like that to become more consistent. We’re not stringing it all together just yet, but that’s fine.
‘It also keeps us on our toes and ensures we’re not getting complacent by seeing that there are things to work on. I’m not too unhappy. I would just like to see in every game that we improve by sort of five to ten percent, so come the back end we’re in an even better space.’
While things are looking upbeat at the Warriors, things are not as rosy at the Knights, who remain without a win after losing all three of their opening matches thus far.
The Central Franchise have been badly let down by their batsmen, who have been poor thus far. They have recorded scores of 115, 164 and 134 so far and fallen to bonus-point losses in every game.
Their coach, Alan Kruger, knows what they have to do in East London. ‘The batsmen simply cannot carry on like that,’ he said. ‘They have been poor and usually it’s only one or two players that fail to fire. Here we have had a case where all of them are struggling.
‘There will be a reshuffle in the top order for this game and I think all the batsmen need to look within. They need to realise that we are in this together and hopefully they can come out of this together.
‘The morale and confidence all remain good, we know it takes one win and there’s seven matches still to play, so if we can get going in the next one or two games, I’m sure we’ll be OK.’
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