VKB Knights assistant coach JP Triegaardt believes that momentum and consistency are key if they want to build on their resounding start to the 4-Day Domestic Series campaign when they host the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in Bloemfontein from Monday.
The Central Franchise claimed an emphatic 179-run win over the Warriors in round one of the first-class season that begun this past week.
The result was set up by Jacques Snyman’s rapid record century together with a whole host of other strong performances with the bat by the home team at the Mangaung Oval.
Their bowlers too played their role and Triegaardt says everyone should be praised for the professional opening display.
“It was a good start and I don’t think you could have asked for a better one in a four-day game,” he said. “So we’re pretty happy with that. I must say as well that everyone deserves credit for that.
“It was a big overall performance from everyone. Yes Jacques Snyman’s innings was an important one at the start, but everyone backed that up properly.
“The bowlers put in the performance by making sure we restricted the Warriors to a total that was really low and that helped get over the line.”
Their opponents this week, the Dolphins, also won their first game in style by thrashing the defending champions Imperial Lions by nine wickets in Durban.
Both will enter the game on a high and Triegaardt concedes that how they build on round one will play a big role in how the competition starts to shape up.
“Momentum is always key and I think that’s going to go with everyone we come up against,” he added. “Dolphins also won convincingly so they too will be up for it. They themselves are a good team and we saw some big hundreds from their players and strong performances from their bowlers.
“So I expect a really hard game against them. We won’t take them or anyone for that matter lightly, I think ultimately it will boil down to consistency and that’s what we’ll be aiming for next week.”
The Dolphins made a rare winning start to a red-ball campaign with a fine all-round showing at their home turf on the east coast.
This will be much bigger test, though, for Imraan Khan’s charges as they attempt to win against an in-form home side, buoyed their new coach Allan Donald, and their own strong beginning to the 2020/21 term.
“I think every team is strong in this competition,” the Dolphins coach said. “The Knights are a strong team as we saw in round one when they beat the Warriors.
“They know their ground very well, they are high on confidence, so we’re expecting a tough contest and fierce battle. I think results in all the first games as well has made it an interesting start for everyone. So we’ll be up for it as well.”
There were a few stand-out performers in that first game, batsmen Sarel Erwee (199) and Keegan Petersen (173) for their big centuries as well as Keshav Maharaj and Ottniel Baartman for sharing 11 wickets.
“It was a big start for us, a strong start because the last few years we haven’t managed to begin well in the four-day competition, we were poor,” Khan said. “It’s something we’ve addressed by putting hard work into the pre-season and it’s just good to reap the rewards of that work.”
Petersen and Baartman were made even special considering the fact that they were both debuting in the game. The two moved to Durban from the Knights and will be up against their old franchise in round two.
“I don’t think we could have asked for better debuts from those two guys,” Khan added. “We always knew the potential that they’ve had, KP was in the last Test squad, so there’s real quality there.
“Ottniel is a highly-skilled bowler so we knew the quality and it was fantastic for them that they were able to put in good performances in that first game.”
The VKB Knights squad is: Duan Jansen, Jacques Snyman, Mbulelo Budaza, Mathew Kleinveldt, Alfred Mothoa, Raynard van Tonder, Andries Gouws, Pite van Biljon (capt), Grant Mokoena, Farhaan Behardien, Wandile Makwetu, Shaun von Berg, Patrick Kruger, Migael Pretorius.
The Hollywoodbets Dolphins squad is: To be confirmed