Knights, Warriors braced for Kimberley clash

VKB Knights coach Nicky Boje

VKB Knights coach Nicky Boje

VKB Knights coach Nicky Boje is predicting a tough match against the Warriors when the two lock horns in their final Sunfoil Series match of the year starting at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley from Monday.

The defending champions, like every other side in the competition thus far, have drawn all their games thus far meaning the table is a log-jam after four rounds with less than 10 points separating top from bottom.

Boje’s men are placed second at present, with the Warriors third and the home coach is expecting a close game.

“They’re a really good side and possess some quality players,” he said. “You can see from the results they’ve had so far. They had a few games when they were on top and then there were games like the last one where they fought till the end.

“But we’re playing good cricket at the moment, so I'm expecting a good game.”

The Knights too battled hard to avoid defeat in their last match, a game in which they lost just two wickets on the final day as they drew with the bizhub Highveld Lions in Potchefstroom.

“The guys showed big character in Potch,” Boje added. “Losing two wickets only was a fine effort that helped us get the draw out of the game.

“We were behind the eight-ball for most of the match, so to come away with something was positive.”

Warriors coach Malibongwe Maketa saw his side lose only one wicket on day four against the WSB Cape Cobras, which really pleased him.

“I thought what we did was extremely positive on that final day,” he said. “We needed to bat well on the final day and we did that thanks to hundreds from Eddie (Moore) and Colin (Ackermann).

“Overall we showed a lot of character after we lost the toss and were asked to bat. We were in a difficult situation and managed to get 350. And to do it again in the second innings shows how far we have come in this competition.”

The Warriors coach is also well aware of the threat the champions will pose.

“It’s the last game and they are at home,” Maketa added. “So we know they’re going to be looking to come hard at us and be aggressive. They have a good bowling attack, but we love challenges and this will be another good test for us.

“We know what to expect, we’ll be prepared for it.”

This week’s games are the last before the first-class season breaks. The second round of matches will be played next year.

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