Dillon Du Preez and Corne Dry will come into contention for the Knights for their Momentum One-Day Cup clash with the Titans at the Diamond Oval on Friday evening as the hosts seek the wickets that they believe could bring them more success. The Knights have taken just seven wickets in their last two games, and although one of those matches was won by Rudi Second’s individual brilliance, they find themselves bottom of the table with two games to play before the competition takes a break. To that end, Dry could crack the nod for the first time this season while Du Preez is in line for a return after sitting out the last two games.
The other issue for the Knights has been their top order, which has collapsed to 77 for five, 43 for three and 75 for four in their three games to date. Coach Sarel Cilliers says: ‘We’ve had to look at how we want to start these games and how we want to bat to give ourselves the best chance to win these games. We’ve spoken about it, the guys have been preparing and hopefully we can turn it around in these next two games. We are looking at changes to the bowling line-up to try and take wickets, because that is one of the keys to one-day cricket – taking wickets up front. Hopefully a change or two there will give us that and we can improve on that department as well.’
The Titans have overcome a horror start to record back-to-back bonus-point victories that have put them on top of the table, with Heino Kuhn’s batting a feature in the two wins. Kuhn was forced to watch the first two games from the sidelines before Theunis De Bruyn’s injury offered him a chance, which he seized by scoring 119 and 63 not out. Kuhn says: ‘One of the impressive things about the Titans is that when new players step in, they show their mettle.’ Theunis De Bruyn has dropped out of the Titans squad for Friday after it was chopped from 14 to a 13-man travelling party, and the main issue is likely to be adapting to the conditions in Kimberley.
Kuhn says: ‘It may be that they will prepare a wicket that will suit their fast bowlers more.’
Knights squad: Werner Coetsee (capt), Reeza Hendricks, Rudi Second, Diego Rosier, Obus Pienaar, Patrick Botha, Tumelo Bodibe, Shadley Van Schalkwyk, Malusi Siboto, Corne Dry, Tumi Masekela, Dillon Du Preez.
Titans squad: Albie Morkel (capt), Mangaliso Mosehle, Henry Davids, Heino Kuhn, Graeme Van Buuren, Qaasim Adams, Grant Mokoena, Grant Thomson, Heinrich Klaasen, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rowan Richards, Marchant De Lange, Junior Dala.