18 January 2018

South Africa: Top Plays Bottom As Knights Search for Lifeline

Knights coach Nicky Boje concedes that his side will be playing knock-out cricket from Friday when they host the top-of-the-table Titans in a One-Day Cup clash at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley.

The bottom-of-the-table Knights are the only side yet to win a game in 2017/18, with every other team in the competition victorious at least twice.

They do, however, have a game in hand over the two sides immediately above them - the Warriors (9 points) and Highveld Lions (11 points) - both of whom they still face.

But they quickly need to start adding to their six-point tally in what is seemingly developing into a three-team battle for the final semi-final spot.

Boje remains hopeful they can qualify.

"We've got a couple of really tough games coming up, but I still believe we can win them," he said. "The Titans will be tough, but we're not concerned too much about them.

"We need to try and get our own disciplines going all together. We're at a stage now where we have to win every game if we want to be in the play-offs. It's something we've addressed and we'll try and sort it out starting from tomorrow."

The Knights have looked shy of confidence in almost every game they played. They have been bowled out thrice in six games and only twice crossed the 250-mark.

Boje admits they are lacking confidence, but believes that has happened because of losing early wickets in almost every game.

"I would say that it (confidence) is a bit of a problem," he explained. "I must say that it's difficult to play cricket if you are three or four down early in an innings.

"You're always going to then struggle to get the desired results."

They did have a first century of the season on Wednesday when Patrick Kruger hit 110 not out in a defeat against the Cape Cobras.

However, they were still thumped by a bonus point and Boje added: "I think we're just struggling to get all three disciplines right in the same game.

"Last night there were some really good positives things that came through, like the way Patrick Kruger played on his way to recording his maiden 100. Batting at six, he played like an old campaigner. He played very well."

The Titans, meanwhile, are on a role and they returned to the summit with a bonus-point win over the Lions on Wednesday.

They lead the standings with 24 points, one more than the Cobras and three ahead of the Dolphins, who they must still play twice - the first being on Sunday - in their final three games.

Source: Sport24

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