Boje knows four-day champions Knights have target on their back in ODI Cup

14 February 2017 - 14:15
By Mahlatse Mphahlele
Knights winners of the Sunfoil Series 2016/17 during day 3 of the Sunfoil Series match between VKB Knights and Highveld Lions at Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on February 11, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: CSA/Gallo Images Knights winners of the Sunfoil Series 2016/17 during day 3 of the Sunfoil Series match between VKB Knights and Highveld Lions at Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on February 11, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Following their recent Sunfoil Series success‚ Knights coach Nicky Boje is aware that his side will be a marked team during the Momentum One Day Cup‚ which starts on Friday.

The Knights dethroned the Titans as the new first-class kings at the weekend and the former Proteas specialist spinner said his team should focus on the values that led them to the four-day championship title‚ such as getting the disciplines right and fighting for each other.

“We must continue working hard as we did in the Sunfoil Series and apply the disciplines that helped us to win the championship‚” Boje said.

“At the beginning of the Sunfoil Series we set ourselves targets to be achieved as the season progressed and we worked towards them.

"We were always in contention throughout the season and that gave us believe that we can achieve the mission of winning the title and finally it happened.

“It was all due to good and consistent performances by all the players.”

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Going into the One Day Cup‚ Boje said‚ with the coach keeping the same squad that won the Sunfoil Series‚ and also having Proteas batsman David Miller available at certain stages of the campaign‚ he was confident the Knights would do well.

Boje also confirmed that batsman Rilee Rossouw‚ who recently signed an English county Kolpak deal that ruled him out of contention for the Proteas‚ woud also be available for the Knights at various stages.

“The good news for us is that we will have Miller and Rilee at certain stages of the tournament and they will add a lot of value to the side because of their experience‚” Boje said.

“Other players like Theunis de Bruyn‚ Marchant de Lange and Duanne Olivier also have had a positive impact on our season.”

The Knights lost the services of experienced spinner Robin Peterson during the Sunfoil Series‚ who has since retired from professional cricket. Boje said this did not affect their ambitions too much.

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“His withdrawal from the squad did affect us a little bit because we could have done better with his experience and leadership‚ both on the and off the field‚” the coach said.

“But we had a group of players who were hugely motivated to do well for the franchise and themselves. Our team also had a good blend of youth and experience.”

The Knights start their Momentum One Day Cup assignment against the Cobras at Mangaung Oval on Saturday.

Opening Momentum One Day Cup Fixtures

17 February: Titans v Dolphins (Centurion‚ 2pm)

18 February: Knights v Cobras (Bloemfontein‚ 2pm)

19 February: Lions v Warriors (Johannesburg‚ 10am)

- TMG Sport/TMG Digital