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Cricket | Momentum One Day Cup

Piet Botha © Gallo Images

Warriors aim to start winning run



Chevrolet Warriors coach Piet Botha is optimistic his side can still qualify for the Momentum One Day Cup play offs despite sitting bottom of the log ahead of their showdown with the second-last Chevrolet Knights at Axxess St George’s on Friday.

The league phase of the competition is at the halfway stage with six points separating the Eastern Cape franchise from the second-placed Nashua Titans to whom they lost in their last outing on Sunday.

“I think it’s tight enough from second to sixth place and there’s a lot that can happen,” Botha said on Thursday. “If you win two games back-to-back, it will put you right in the mix.

“For us I think four out of five will get us up there. We’re probably under the most pressure and will need to win this one and hopefully we will.”

There is no doubt the Chevrolet Warriors will also be hurting from their first round meeting with the Chevrolet Knights, a match that in many ways set them on the back foot to begin with after they went down by 91 runs in Kimberley.

However, Botha says that match is history. He continued: “We put that loss behind us a long time ago, even though everyone keeps talking about it.

“For us every game since has been a fresh start as per normal. This one will be the same. “They’re a very good side, a very competitive unit and we’ll treat them with that respect.

“Hopefully it’s the first game we win out of many in the remaining five.”

Defeat to the Titans in their last game was by a narrow five-run margin, while they thumped defending champions Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras by 76 runs in their previous game.

“We played well against the Cape Cobras, we were very solid in most departments and then against the Titans were very competitive and could have won the game,” Botha added. “There’s a fine line between winning and losing sometimes and the fact that it could have gone either way is a positive.”

Knights coach Sarel Cilliers has a lot more to worry about in his squad after an injury ravaged season was compounded further by a demoralising 10-wicket loss to the Cape Cobras over the weekend. They were dismissed for just 94 in 34.1 overs. “When you’re rolled over for 90, you want to play again as quickly as possible to get it behind you,” Cilliers said.

“We need to forget that game and focus on getting the basics right in this game. Everything else will take care of itself.”

The coach admits that batting has been their biggest problem, with injuries to batsmen Reeza Hendricks and Morne van Wyk not helping, although the latter may be fit to play.

Another key batsman, Dean Elgar, is also away in Australia with the Proteas, while bowler Quinton Friend remains sidelined.

Cilliers added: “We’ve been battling for form with the bat and we’ll try and get that right in this game. It’s a 50 overs contest and we need to bat 50 overs, it’s as simple as that.

“It’s now halfway through and the players need to step up.”

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