Warriors must be up for a fight
Warriors coach Rivash Gobind is all too aware of the threat the Knights pose as the two teams square up in a 4-Day Domestic Series clash at St George’s Park starting on Monday.
The Eastern Cape franchise pulled off a superb come-from behind victory over the Dolphins in Durban on Thursday and, with that fresh in their minds, the players will be confident. The Knights, by contrast, suffered a crippling defeat against the Lions.
But Gobind is warning his troops not to get too cocky and to hit the reset button as they approach the match.
“With franchise cricket I always say that on any given day, and in any given game, the teams are always close together and it’s what you produce day in and day out,” he said.
“So expect them to bounce back from that. We need to prepare very well and we need to take some lessons out of what we did here because there’s definitely some areas we can improve on.”
Gobind said he was pleased with the mongrel his team had displayed at Kingsmead last week after conceding a 160-run first innings deficit to eventually win by 93 runs.
“We started the game okay, but then we collapsed from 120 odd for two to 175.
“After that we got together as a group, understanding very well that we needed to win pretty much every session from there.
“We went a long way to doing that, bar a few sessions, so it was an outstanding performance for the guys to come back.
“This group of guys have a lot of personal pride and pride in the team. That shone through brightly over these last few days and I’m very pleased.”
Colin Ackermann scored a match-winning second innings for the Warriors in Durban while fast bowler Sisanda Magala had a good game with both bat and ball. Opening batsman Gihahn Cloete also made two half centuries while Jon-Jon Smuts took four wickets in the second innings to help bowl his team to victory.
There were contributions from a number of players in Durban and the Warriors will be after much of the same in Port Elizabeth.
They will, however, want to improve on their first innings batting.
Meanwhile, Knights coach Nicky Boje expects his side to come back stronger this week.
“Yes, it was a disappointing defeat, [against the Lions] we made some mistakes throughout. What we need to do is to try and reflect on the game, learn from it, see what positives there were and try to implement them in the next game.
“There may not have been many cricket positives, but more mental stuff that we can look at,” he added.
“I think we can implement some of those lessons in our game going into the next one.
“It will be a tough game against the Warriors, but every match at this level is challenging. We’re looking forward to bouncing back.”
In other matches starting on Monday, the Highveld Lions host the Titans at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom, while the Dolphins travel to play the Cape Cobras at Newlands.