Knights hit by bowling crisis

Allan Donald (Gallo Images)
Allan Donald (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The Knights have major injury worries over their bowlers as they prepare to face the Highveld Lions in a second versus third Sunfoil Series clash at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley this week.

Leading wicket-taker Duanne Olivier is the latest player to join the list of casualties, which also includes Dillon du Preez, Shadley van Schalkwyk and Corne Dry.

To add to their woes, Quinton Friend is suspended. 

"I think the one the thing that has been tough for us is we've lost an incredible amount of bowlers," said stand-in coach Allan Donald. "All our top bowlers are injured right now.

"Quinton Friend was ruled out this week and so was Shadley van Schalkwyk. But it is an opportunity for another guy to step up and use that chance.

"It's not going to be easy, it is what it is and we'll have to cope."

There was some good news on the bowling front, though, with Malusi Siboto back to spearhead the attack. Along with Jandre Coetzee, the pair will make their first appearances of the competition.

"It' always a nice time when you play three, you win two and you're off to a very confident start," Donald, who is standing in for Nicky Boje, added.

The Lions are still beaming from their dramatic draw against the Cape Cobras last weekend when the lower order helped them save the game.

Coach Geoffrey Toyana is nonetheless looking for an improvement, particularly from his bowlers, who only managed four wickets in the game.

"We didn’t bowl well," he said. "Yes I know the conditions were tough, but we have to be better. Overall we didn’t spend too much time in the field last week, so hopefully we can be fresher for the challenge against the Knights. It's a big one for both sides."

The Lions boss said it was unlikely that Hardus Viljoen will feature due to national duty. Sean Jamison has been added to the squad, while Nono Pongolo is also in contention.

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