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Cricket | Ram Slam T20 Challenge

Warriors won’t rest on their laurels



Chevrolet Warriors coach Piet Botha has warned that nothing can be taken for granted during the fast-pace RAM SLAM T20 Challenge, saying their opening victory against the Chevorlet Knights will count for little if they cannot replicate it against the Nashua Titans on Friday.

The two teams meet at Axxess St George’s where the hosts will be riding high on confidence following that opening eight-wicket Duckworth/Lewis victory in Kimberley last Sunday.

But Botha is seeking more from his charges as they bid to win their first piece of silverware since doing the double back in 2009/10. “It was a good start to the competition and hopefully it will give the guys confidence,” he said. “But it’s all about repeating it and repeating it.

“We cannot for one moment slack off, we have to keep our energies up and take every game as it comes. You cannot rest on your laurels at all in such a short and fast paced competition. It’s very dangerous.”

The Eastern Cape franchise are one of only two teams to have won during the opening week’s action – the other being the bizhub Highveld Lions, winners in both their games to date.

One of those was against the Titans, who entered the competition on the back of a forgettable Sunfoil Series campaign in the Gauteng derby on Wednesday.

Botha is not reading too much into that loss, though, or the recently concluded four-day competition. He believes the availability and recruitment of experienced heads like Albie Morkel, Martin van Jaarsveld and Alfonso Thomas, set to play his first game after arriving in Pretoria following his stint in the Bangladesh Premier League, makes the Nashua Titans a formidable unit.

“The personnel they brought back (compared to the Sunfoil Series) for the T20 makes them a much different team,” he said. “They’re a lot stronger, they have a lot more experience and I’m sure they’ll be difficult to beat.”

Nashua Titans coach Matthew Maynard, whose team’s first match against the Sunfoil Dolphins was washed out, remains upbeat despite losing in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

He said: “I think there were a lot of positives, we created opportunities to take wickets and get the Lions into a spot of bother early on.

“Unfortunately we missed those opportunities, but at least we created them. I thought our ground fielding was superb; there was a lot of energy shown by the lads.

“As far as the batting is concerned what we need to work on is getting a big partnership in the game. We have a lot of 20s and 30s, but we need to build on that, which will help.”

He also confirmed the availability of Thomas, saying: “We have the added bonus of having him. We got into a good position against the Lions, but maybe a little bit of inexperience bowling at the death cost us, but Alfonso will be in the squad against the Warriors.”

The Warriors’ overseas recruit, Englishman Samit Patel, arrives next week.

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