The Knights have given their squad a healthy shake-up as they not only look to put in an improved Sunfoil Series performance against the Warriors at Buffalo Park, but also take a look at prospects for next season. Pite Van Biljon will return to the side after overcoming a finger injury, rookie batsmen Michael Erlank and Letlotlo Sesele are being given another chance to shine at franchise level, and allrounder Bokang Mosena could earn a Knights debut after averaging 32 with the ball and 25 with the bat for Free State in the Sunfoil 3-Day Cup this season. Corne Dry will also return to the bowling attack, as Shadley Van Schalkwyk drops out through injury and Malusi Siboto and Quinton Friend enjoy a break.
Coach Sarel Cilliers explained: ‘Part of it is strategy, but also a guy like Malusi Siboto has played the whole season and not missed a single game so we needed to refresh the bowling attack and get fresh legs in. Then there’s the opportunity for a few guys like Michael, Letlotlo and Bokang to get some games for the future to see how they handle the franchise level.’ The Chevrolet Warriors, by contrast, don’t plan to make any such changes – Luthando Mnyaka’s fractured thumb is likely to force their only alteration – but feel that they also have plenty of players that will be motivated to prove their worth for seasons to come. Having fought tooth and nail to avoid defeat to the Lions and the Cobras over the last couple of games, their main ambition as a team is to try and dictate terms over the next two weeks.
Captain Colin Ingram said: ‘We’ve scrapped hard over the last few weeks and I’m proud of the way the guys have done that, but we’d like to get stuck into the Knights this week and get a win. We’ve been behind the eight-ball for four days on both occasions after failing to get runs in the first innings, so we want to change that and put the pressure on the Knights.’
HEAD TO HEAD – Warriors vs Knights
Matches Played 20
Warriors Win 4
Knights Win 8