Cape Town - Highveld Lions coach Enoch Nkwe is asking for more ruthlessness from his players as the crunch end of the CSA T20 Challenge competition draws closer.
The Johannesburg-based franchise are busy preparing to welcome the Warriors to the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on Wednesday after a frustrating weekend in which both their matches were abandoned due to the weather.
The hosts are presently joint-top of the competition table with 19 points from seven games - the same number as the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras.
Now they are up against an away side that are three points behind and with the knowledge that defeat in front of their own fans could see them surrender their position.
Nkwe is confident about their prospects but wants them to be more decisive in crunch moments of games. “We haven’t been clinical enough in the competition and it’s an area we have to capitalise on,” he lamented. “Not to take anything away from the opponents we have faced, but we do need to be more ruthless.
“Hopefully we can do that tomorrow because we want to finish top on the table.”
The team that ends top of the table can host both semi-final and potentially the final. The second placed team will get to stage a semi-final, but Nkwe is aiming for the best option.
However, he is also wary of the threat posed by the Warriors, who played an excellent game on their way to ousting the log-leading Cobras in a high-scoring affair over the weekend.
“What we need to do now is focus on the next game, which is the Warriors,” the Lions coach said. “They’ve consistently proved what a good outfit they are.
“They’re third on the log heading to this match. It’s unfortunate that our first game was also rained out against them and they’ve showed that they’ve got a bit of depth, as you would have seen when someone like Marco Marais played some good innings.
“We have to make sure we’re prepared for their visit here.”
The Lions’ Saturday trip to the VKB Knights was washed out, while their Monday encounter ended in the same result against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins. It was a missed opportunity in many ways against the two struggling sides in the competition.
“It wasn’t an ideal Easter weekend for us, having to travel a lot but without any actual games to play,” Nkwe added. “It rained in Kimberley and then again it rained in Potch, so it was frustrating.
“But in saying that, the guys are all in a good space. Game-by-game the guys have grown in confidence and we’re well placed heading into the final three rounds.”