Van der Wath doubt for Knights

Johan van der Wath (Gallo Images)
Johan van der Wath (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - The Knights are confident their captain, Johan van der Wath, will be fit to play against the Titans in the penultimate round of domestic four-day matches at SuperSport Park, in Centurion, on Thursday.

The visitors, however, are likely to make do without Ryan McLaren and Dean Elgar.

Van der Wath has made steady progress after missing the last two four-day games with a hamstring injury, and looks set to lead a side who are putting up a rare challenge for silverware.

McLaren and Elgar continue to struggle with injuries picked up on Proteas duty earlier this month.

"Johan bowled this morning and it went well," said Knights coach Sarel Cilliers.

"We just need one final session when we arrive in Pretoria to see if his endurance is up there and if he's comfortable to bowl 20 overs a day.

"Ryan hasn't even bowled in the nets yet and is still struggling with his shoulder -- he had a scan on Monday and we're waiting for the report to see where we stand.

"Dean batted in the nets on Tuesday morning but he's not 100 percent fit so we're going to give him another couple of days."

Regardless of the availability of his bigger names, Cilliers is confident in the players at his disposal -- particularly after they beat the table-topping Cape Cobras in their last outing to move within five points of Paul Adams' team on the table.

"I must say some of the young men have put their hands up nicely, so obviously we would like some of the experience and quality of those three guys coming back, but we're quite comfortable with the young men at the moment," said Cilliers.

Meanwhile, the Titans will welcome back fast bowler Marchant de Lange following a lengthy injury lay-off.

The 23-year-old has not turned out for the Titans since November, but has now played several games for Easterns during a long and steady comeback from a side strain.

"We'll see the return of Marchant de Lange, so it will be nice to see him back on the park after working really hard to get back," said Titans coach Rob Walter.

"We'll also be giving a few young guys an opportunity to play so we'll be looking to see what they have to offer."

The Titans will hand a debut to 23-year-old all-rounder Ernest Kemm and will field Junior Dala for his second four-day game, while Graeme van Buuren has been ruled out of the match after incurring an injury in the nets on Monday.

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