Sunfoil Series

Coetsee backs Knights' depth

2014-10-01 12:26
Werner Coetsee

Johannesburg - The Knights will be without two key middle-order batsmen when they take on the Lions in their domestic four-day match starting in Potchefstroom on Thursday.

Rilee Rossouw will sit out the game after becoming a father for the first time on Tuesday. Pite van Biljon is facing a spell on the sidelines after going over on his ankle and suffering a grade two tear during the Knights' victory on Saturday.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Tumelo Bodibe, seamer Dillon du Preez and all-rounders Obus Pienaar and Patrick Botha, will all travel with the squad and compete for the two places. Captain Werner Coetsee is confident in their ability to step in.

"They all played games last weekend and Pienaar got 80-odd not out, Bodibe got 90, Pat Botha got 150 and Dillon bowled well, so we're happy to bring in any one of those guys," said Coetsee.

The Knights set a noteworthy record against the Warriors in their season opener, when they recovered from 32 for eight on the opening morning to win the match. It was the lowest total at the eighth wicket for a winning team in South African first-class cricket history.

The Lions, meanwhile, enjoyed a 190 run win over the Titans, which suggested that they may be turning a corner after a forgettable previous season.

"I think sometimes acknowledging that you've messed up and acknowledging your faults is half the battle," Lions skipper Stephen Cook said after the big win to kick off his side's new season.

"There were times last season where guys were maybe blind to their errors and kept making the same mistakes.

"In taking it on the chin and owning up to where we went wrong, that was half the battle."

Neil McKenzie remained unavailable to the Lions due to his Champions League T20 commitments with the Barbados Tridents, and Cook was not expecting major changes for Thursday.

"We won't depart very far from our winning team -- I think we'll stick pretty close to it. We're just waiting on one final selection call."

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