VKB Knights coach Nicky Boje is hoping to catch some much-needed momentum when his team play the latest of their RAM SLAM T20 Challenge matches against the bizhub Highveld Lions at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein on Friday.
The clash is one of two big ones on a busy weekend for the hosts, who also take on the runaway leaders, the Multiply Titans, in the first game of a double-header weekend at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.
The Central franchise have not enjoyed a great competition so far, with their two wins, two losses and one washout leaving them in fourth place.
But they now play five matches in the next 10 days, which will be crucial, according to Boje.
“I think the nice thing now with the remainder of the competition is that we have a number of games in a short space of time,” he said. “Starting with the weekend, we have two in a row, so it will be nice to catch a bit of momentum and then ride it.”
The Knights lost their last match when they were beaten by the WSB Cape Cobras in Cape Town on Sunday.
But with a strong fight on the cards for the semi-final positions, Boje says that every team is a danger for his side. He added: “I think it’s not just the Lions. All the teams are quality this year with the Proteas playing, so I think this will be another tough game.
“We’re getting to the business side of the competition now, so playing good cricket is extremely important.”
Like the Knights, the Lions too have been inconsistent so far. They are presently placed fifth with two wins, three loses and one washout from six games and coach Geoffrey Toyana knows the importance of the match in the Free State.
“Every game now is really important for us and we have to make sure we get some points on the board,” he said. “The Knights at home are very dangerous, so it will be tough, but it’s not something we can’t do.”
Toyana explained that they were even more eager to play on Friday after what happened on Wednesday when their derby clash with the Titans had to abandoned without a ball being bowled.
“We were very frustrated because of all the preparation put in beforehand,” he concluded. “We felt we were more than ready, but you can’t control those things at the end of the day. So we need to make sure we’re now in shape to deliver a good performance in Bloemfontein.”