Warriors get thrashing from Knights

Gihahn Cloete, of the Warriors, in action on day three of the CSA 4-Day Series match against the Knights at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley
Gihahn Cloete, of the Warriors, in action on day three of the CSA 4-Day Series match against the Knights at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley

The Diamond Oval in Kimberley is proving to be a very unhappy hunting ground for the Warriors after they fell to a second heavy defeat in as many seasons at the venue.

They lost their CSA four-day opener by 256 runs to a rampant Knights team on Thursday morning.

The Warriors had gone into the final day’s play on 66/5, chasing a mammoth 437 to win, and were staring down the barrel of a more than 300run loss as they slipped to 117/9, before an entertaining final wicket hit-out saw them to 180 all out.

“It was really disappointing. We didn’t play well and I think the result fully reflects that,” outgoing Warriors coach Rivash Gobind admitted.

“Our performance with the bat just wasn’t good enough.

“I can’t fault our effort in the field or with the ball, although we may have tried to push things too much in the second innings.”

It was number 10 batsman Glenton Stuurman who led the late innings charge, hammering his way to an unbeaten 45 off 38 deliveries, featuring six boundaries and two maxiweren’t mums, and he was desperately unlucky not to bring up what would have been his second first-class half century as his partner Lutho Sipamla was the last man to fall for 18.

Their 63-run stand was the highest Warriors partnership of the match, which was indicative of their struggles with the bat.

They managed only 196 in the first innings coupled with their second-innings 180, compared with the Knights’ 299 all out and 332/6 declared.

Gihahn Cloete also added 31 up the order.

However, the Warriors will be happy with the continued good form of last season’s CSA Domestic Newcomer of the Season, Sinethemba Qeshile, who notched up his eighth first- class half century in topscoring with 73 in the first innings.

Captain Jon-Jon Smuts also impressed in the first innings with the ball as he claimed his second first-class five-wicket haul in picking up 5/56 in 30 overs to help bowl the Knights out early on day two.

However, the lack of support from the rest of the team proved decisive, with the only other really noteworthy effort seeing Sipamla pick up 3/70 in the Knights’ second innings.

“Those are expected performances. We know how good Jon-Jon is, so getting a five for is great for him and it is good to see Sinethemba pick up where he left off last season,” Gobind said.

“But we know the standard that we have to be at and unfortunately the other guys just there in this match.”

The Warriors will now have to pick themselves up and prepare for the defending champions Lions, who they will meet at Buffalo Park on Monday.

The Lions got their campaign off to the perfect start with a nail-biting 11-run win in a low-scoring match against last season’s runners-up, the Cobras, and will be keen to keep up the momentum against the Warriors.

It will be a tough encounter for the hosts, but they will hope that home-ground advantage and their good record at the ground count in their favour over the four days of action. “This is a good team. We have a lot of talent in this side and it is just about putting in a good performance and we will look to do that against the Lions in East London next week,” Gobind said.

The Warriors v Lions match gets under way at 10am on Monday. 

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