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|Shadley van Schalkwyk||2.0||0||18||0||9.00|
|Raynard van Tonder||6||4||1||0||150.00|
|Shadley van Schalkwyk||4||8||0||0||50.00|
|PJ van Biljon||0||2||0||0||0.00|
|Jade de Klerk||4.0||0||17||2||4.25|
We are finally down to the last day of the league stage in South Africa's domestic T20 competition, CSA T20 Challenge, and the playoff spots are more or less sealed. Apart from the fourth position, the first three are confirmed and we will only see the slots being shuffled among the sides. Warriors are one of those three teams and will be looking to get to the top of the table when they face Knights on 28th April at East London. With Knights already out of contention, this match is of little consequence as far qualifications to the next round is concerned, but we still expect both the sides to come out all guns blazing to end their league stage campaign on a high.
Despite scoring just three wins in their nine matches, Warriors have done pretty well in getting to the third spot in the points table. They have a terrific net run-rate of 0.126 which is second only to Titans and Lions.
After cruising to a nine-wicket win over Lions in their last to the last encounter, the Warriors succumbed to pressure in their previous encounter, against Dolphins, wherein they failed to defend a mediocre total of 153.
So far in the tournament, most of the Warriors' wins have happened due to their bowlers doing most of the damage. Their batsmen have performed far from their capability, to say the least. Skipper Jj Smuts and Sine Queshile haven't been consisting enough which has resulted in increased pressure on their lower middle order.
Marcus Marais has been brilliant in the lower middle order and considering the capability Andrew Birch and SSB Magala showed with the bat against Dolphins, Warriors appear to be an excellent batting unit. The likes of Lutho Sipamla, Birch, and Magala have done well with the ball which, along with their deep batting lineup, makes Warriors a tough side to face.
Matthew Breetzke, Gihahn Cloete, JJT Smuts, Sinethemba Qeshile, Marco Marais, Onke Nyaku, Thomas Kaber, SSB Magala, Jade de Klerk, Lutho Sipamla, Andrew Birch.
Just like in the longer format of the game, Knights have failed to produce anything noteworthy in this tournament thus far. If anything, they've only performed worse than they did in the Momentum One Day Cup.
Knights are yet to win a match in the tournament and all ten of their points have been due to their matches being washed out. The major reason for their poor condition in the tournament has been their under-performing batting lineup.
They depend heavily on their bowling which is definitely one of the best in the tournament, at least on paper, but their batting has consistently disappointed their fans. The injury to Rudy Second hasn't helped them either.
van Schalkwyk batted brilliantly against Titans and the Knights will be looking up to him to get them off to a flying start yet again. With the likes of Ryan McLaren and TG Mokoena available down the order, the Knights have a decent side and if they can improve on their top-order batting, they can be a force to deal with.
Patrick Kruger, Shadley van Schalkwyk, Raynard van Tonder, PJ van Biljon, AGS Gous, Grant Mokoena, Ryan McLaren, Luvuyo Adam, T Ntuli, Ottneil Baartman, Marco Jansen.
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It may be a dead rubber as far as qualification for the playoffs is concerned, both the sides have their reasons to play for. While Warriors would like to get into the semifinal with some momentum behind them, the Knights will be looking finish on a high and get some redemption. Considering the performances of the two sides in the tournament thus far and their teams on paper, Warriors are way ahead of Knights. It could happen to be a close encounter, but we think the Warriors with the depth in their batting order and the better-balanced unit will eventually end up on the winning side.
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