New guns loaded for Warriors

Fresh faces to carry hopes in one-day event

The Warriors head into a new Momentum One Day Cup cricket campaign today with some fresh faces eager to make an impact. Warriors caretaker coach Rivash Gobind said this week he would back the players he thought had the necessary skill and mindset to succeed for the Warriors.

And in his first assignment at the helm, the coach has been true to his word and is bringing in three new players.

Admittedly, Matthew Breetzke has been within the Warriors setup, but he will likely make his white-ball debut tonight.

The other two changes are Border players Marco Marais and Clayton Bosch.

Right-handed batsman Marais has been in sensational form for Border, scoring three hundreds and three fifties in his last 10 games for Border.

One of those hundreds was a spectacular record – an unbeaten triple century scored against Eastern Province four weeks ago.

Medium-fast seamer Bosch has been among the wickets and runs for Border – with his most recent outing against Boland producing seven wickets for 24 runs in the three-day match, and an unbeaten 72 in the one-day encounter.

Out of the squad that did duty in the Ram Slam T20 Challenge are Colin Ingram, Jerry Nqolo, Solo Nqweni, Kelly Smuts and Basheer Walters.

Gobind said the Warriors would be chasing a fast start to the competition, unlike the one they had in T20 tournament.

“It was disappointing not to win [the T20]. We put ourselves in a good position towards the back end to really challenge for it,” he said.

“I think the way we started was not up to our standard – there are a few reasons why.

“But I think we regrouped quite nicely in the middle and we put in strong performances towards the back end.

“Birchy [Andrew Birch] won us a few games in the last over, Ingram and Jon-Jon [Smuts] got some runs and [Sisanda] Magala bowled beautifully. It was impressive.”

The Eastern Cape franchise made the final of the One Day Cup last season and were impressive during that campaign. But Gobind did not want to dwell on it. “The nature of the sport is, if you look too far in the past, you get cleaned up before you wake up. As much as we’ve learnt some lessons from that campaign, the reality is we still did not win it,” he said.

“We need to take all the good stuff out of that, but as a group we can’t be thinking that last year we reached the final and, so, it will just happen again.

“You saw the way the T20 panned out. The Titans were the runaway guys, but up until the last round of games, all six teams were pretty much in it.

“I see it being much the same for this 50-over competition,” Gobind said.

The Warriors beat the Lions twice in the T20 event and have had the better of them in recent seasons.

But Gobind was not letting the squad get too far ahead of itself.

“They have good guys there – the core of the squad has been together for a while. Their mix of youth and experience is quite a good one. You have guys like Wiaan Mulder there, who is a Protea already,” he said.

“I think Stephen Cook will probably come back into the mix and he adds a lot of value to that team.”

 

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