Winning is all that matters for Warriors

Warriors coach Malibongwe Maketa

Warriors coach Malibongwe Maketa

WARRIORS coach Malibongwe Maketa is not interested in permutations or anything else but his side winning their final Momentum One-Day Cup regular-season clash against the bizhub Highveld Lions at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on Thursday.

The Eastern Cape side were beaten badly by the Multiply Titans in their clash in Benoni on Tuesday to let slip their chance of an automatic ticket to the final.

Now they have to do things the hard way by playing in the Qualifier at the weekend, before facing the team that ends top in the March 31 final, should they get there.

But first they have to overcome a tough hurdle in the form of the Lions. “We are still confident of making the play-offs,” Maketa explained. “Yes there’s permutations, but our focus is just simply on winning our game.

“That’s the big thing for us. Whatever happens in the other games is out of control. The best we can do is go out there, win our game and then worry about everything else.”

The Warriors folded for the lowest score of any side this season when they were bowled out for 147 against the Titans, before they were beaten with more than 20 overs to spare.

It was a poor performance for Maketa, whose side are now fourth but will win a place in the play-offs should they win because the two sides immediately above them, the Hollywoodbets Dolphins and the VKB Knights are meeting in Durban.

“We very disappointed with the way we batted, take nothing away from the way they bowled, but we know we’re a better batting side that,” he explained. “So yes, we’ve had a blip, but we’re still confident.

“At the moment we know we’ve got effectively a quarter-final tomorrow that we need to make sure we win. We’ll have to focus on that for now, it’s a big game on our hands and we’ll take it from there.”

Lions coach Geoffrey Toyana saw his side’s interest in the competition ended during a high-scoring affair against the Knights on Tuesday. The defending champions fell four runs short of reaching their 312 target thanks to centuries by Rassie van der Dussen and Dwaine Pretorius.

It left their coach a proud man, although he wants to ensure they at least end the season with a win. “The message for the last game is just to finish strong,” Toyana added. “We really had a bad tournament even though there was good fight from the boys yesterday.

“It was disappointing to have lost especially after two good hundreds. But we’ll take lessons from the game. Hopefully we’ll be able to bounce back tomorrow.”