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Knights and Warriors keen to get off the mark

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“And the question for us is: how much can we improve in the week and can we bounce back from that initial loss on Friday?”

VKB Knights captain Pite van Biljon admits that one of the biggest challenges facing them in the Momentum One-Day Cup is how quickly they can switch from the red ball to the white ball format.

Opportunity

The challenge will be even tougher with Van Biljon, who is also their senior batsman, ruled out through injury. At the same time it has created leadership opportunity for Wandile Makwetu who takes over the role, having previously captained SA at Under-19 level.

The Central Franchise had a difficult start to the 50-over competition last week when they fell to a heavy defeat away to the Hollywoodbets Dolphins at Kingsmead.

Now they are preparing to play the Warriors in Bloemfontein today, where they will be hoping for a far better showing against a visiting team that also lost their opening game.

“Our focus each year is the four-day competition going into a season, because that is how things start off,” Van Biljon explained. “You play half the season first and then it’s a quick transition into white-ball cricket.

“Whoever lost their first games would feel that they’ve started quite slowly. We’re in that position now and so are the Warriors.

“And the question for us is: how much can we improve in the week and can we bounce back from that initial loss on Friday?”

The Knights were bowled out for just 115 on their way to a 94-run defeat at Hollywoodbets Kings-mead Stadium, while the Warriors lost to World Sports Betting Cape Cobras by 31 runs via the DLS Method in Oudtshoorn.

Van Biljon and his team have not been successful at all in one-day cricket over the past few seasons and the skipper says they are determined to change that.

“Every competition we play in we want to win, but that goes game for game, beyond that then it goes over by over,” he said. “If you can win each over then you can get close. That is the big target.

“Last year we had a chance to reach the play-offs, but had a rain-out. That was one of about five rain-outs in the past season, so it’s difficult to judge our squad based on that. So, we’ll be pushing hard this time again.”

Meanwhile, Warriors coach Robin Peterson has identified plenty of areas on which his team can improve going to Bloemfontein.

“It wasn’t an ideal way to start, but that’s fine because it’s a long competition that still lies ahead,” he said. “The one good thing, which is a positive regarding losses, is that you probably learn more about your team. So, we’ll take the lessons.”

VKB Knights squad:

Raynard van Tonder, Grant Mokoena, Jacques Snyman, Keegan Petersen, Patrick Kruger, Andries Gous, Shaun von Berg, Wandile Makwetu (captain), Shadley van Schalkwyk, Corne Dry, Tshepo Ntuli, Mbulelo Budaza, Ottneil Baartman, Obus Pienaar.

HEAD TO HEAD

VKB Knights vs Warriors

Matches Played34

Knights Win17

Warriors Win15

No Result 2