Crunch time for Knights, Lions

 Geoffrey Toyana (Gallo)
Geoffrey Toyana (Gallo)
Johannesburg - It's crunch time for the bottom two in the RAM SLAM T20, with Friday’s encounter between the Highveld Lions and the Knights at Senwes Park set to take at least one team out of the running for the play-off.

With just three points from six games the Lions are not statistically dead, and could prove a dangerous opponent given that they will need to play attacking cricket and target bonus-point victories if they are to pull off a highly unlikely coup.

“We’ve got nothing to lose now,” admitted Lions coach Geoffrey Toyana.

“We’re hanging by a thread - we know that if we lose one more it will be curtains.

“It will be tough to qualify for the play-offs but we’ll try and finish as high as we can.

"It’s been a tough competition for us and we’ve proven again that this competition depends on how you start. We didn’t start well, and we haven’t taken our opportunities.”

Wednesday’s five-run victory over the Warriors has kept the Knights in with a reasonable chance of qualifying - although they sit fifth, they have the same number of points as the Titans in fourth and are just two points behind the Warriors in third.

“The only thing we can do is to try and win every game, but we’ve got a little bit of momentum going with three wins in four games,” said captain Johan van der Wath.

“I think Wednesday night was a really good win for us because it was a good wicket, so 145 was probably not enough.

"What was nice to see was that all the changes we made worked.”

While the Knights have retained the same squad for Friday’s game, the Lions have lost the services of Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood.

“Azhar has gone back home because he was only contracted for six games,” explained Toyana.

As a result, Rassie van der Dussen has been pulled out of North West’s three-day game against Free State in Bloemfontein to join up with the Lions squad.

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