In-form Warriors and Knights set for key battle

Jon Jon Smuts of the Warriors

Jon Jon Smuts of the Warriors

WARRIORS coach Malibongwe Maketa hopes to capitalise on his side’s return to form in the Momentum One-Day Cup when they host the VKB Knights at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on Friday.

The men from the Eastern Cape smashed the BuildNat Cape Cobras by 90 runs in their last game as they surged into second position on the standings.

With the top-of-the-table Hollywoodbets Dolphins not in action until Sunday, the Warriors can close to within two points of the leaders with a big win in front of their home fans.

“We’ve definitely played some better cricket in recent games,” Maketa said. “We want to make sure we don’t take that for granted, though.

“We want to keep trying to improve on our basics as much as we can, so we can get even better.”

With the end of the season now well within sight, every match is important for every team and Maketa is well aware of that. “We never like to look too far ahead,” he added. “So for now it’s what’s in front of us and at this point in time it’s the Knights on Friday. We want to make sure we get to this game with only them in mind and no other teams or results.

“They are a very good team that do the basics well, so it will be tough against them.”

The Knights, too, won big in their last game when they thumped the in-form Multiply Titans by 111 runs.

Coach Nicky Boje says the tightness of this competition has several similarities to how the four-day season, which his side won last month, panned out. “It’s very similar to the Sunfoil Series where there were quite a lot of teams in contention right until the end,” he said. “That means that there’s pressure on you for every game.”

Boje has also been surprised by the margins of defeat for teams in the competition. Bonus points have almost been a norm so far this season, meaning several one-sided matches. “The weird thing is all the bonus point wins or losses that are taking place,” he added. “It’s surprising to see teams win by such big margins and that shows that it’s about which team rocks up on the day. Hopefully we’ll be that team on Friday.”