MODC: VKB Knights vs Warriors Preview

Batsman hits ball

It’s top versus bottom as the VKB Knights welcome the struggling Warriors to De Beers Diamond Oval in what promises to be an absolute cracker of a match.

Can the Knights continue their charge for the Momentum One Day Cup title or will the Warriors rain on the Free Staters' parade? Let’s find out:

VKB Knights vs Warriors | Saturday 25 February | De Beers Diamond Oval, Kimberley | 14:00 

To Win Match
VKB Knights 62/100 | Tie 35/1 | Warriors 27/20

VKB Knights
The Knights come into this game as overwhelming favourites following their dismantling of a toothless Cobras side in Bloemfontein earlier this week. As was to be expected, it was the men on the periphery of the national set-up – as well as a Kokpak player – that led the Free State franchise to victory.

Theunis de Bruyn set the win up with a typically classy 117-ball 132 in which he found the boundary on 12 occasions, hitting 10 fours and two sixes. He was supported superbly well be Pite van Biljon and Diego Rosier each chipped in with a valuable 40 as the hosts posted 308.

The Cobras’ chase never really got going thanks to some excellent bowling from Marchant de Lange, Duanne Olivier and Shadley van Schalkwyk who did well to restrict the scoring early on. The former grabbed four wickets while only conceded 35 runs in his ten overs.

Looking ahead, the Knights shouldn’t have any trouble overcoming the Warriors. The men from the Eastern Cape have conceded more than 300 runs in both of their matches against less settled top orders. The Knights will be looking for a big total.

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The Warriors – following their incredible run in the CSA T20 Slam – haven’t shown any form at all. After finishing rock bottom of the Sunfoil Series, Malibongwe Maketa’s men have lost their first two matches of the 2016/17 season.

They’ve been smashed in both of their games, losing by 44-runs against the bizhub Highveld Lions before going down by 57-runs to an off-colour Cobras outfit. Andrew Birch and Basheeru-Deen Walters have been pretty average with the ball leaving part-timers like Jon-Jon Smuts and Colin Ackermann to try and pick up the slack.

Birch has been especially disappointing. He’s usually so economical in white ball cricket, however, the form he showed in this competition last season as well as the recently concluded CSA T20 Challenge.

The batting has been equally as disappointing as Smuts – one of the men tipped to light up this competition – hasn’t quite recovered from his ill-fated stint for the Proteas against Sri Lanka. The captain needs to step up now, especially if the visitors are forced to chase down a large total – something that’s entirely likely if the Knights bat first.

Verdict: VKB Knights at 62/100
The Knights tick all of the boxes here. Their side is perfectly suited to playing on the quick, bouncy decks located throughout the interior of South Africa. The Warriors are bang out of form and will to well to stay within touching distance of the Knights. Get on the home side to claim a pretty straight-forward win at 62/100.

Written by Jason Dewey for

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