Bloemfontein - Mentally and emotionally bruised by the disappointment of their RAM SLAM Twenty20 final defeat, the Knights also have a few physical injuries to contend with for their Sunfoil Series game against the Titans at Chevrolet Park on Thursday.
Having lost out to the Cobras in the RAM SLAM T20 final on Friday, the Knights return to a competition in which they top the log, but do so without some key players.
“Rilee (Rossouw) is still struggling with that finger of his, so under the medical committee’s advice we’re not going to play him in the two Sunfoil Series games so that he can try and get ready for the West Indies T20 series,” Knights coach Sarel Cilliers said.
Dillon du Preez, who took a five-wicket haul in his last Sunfoil Series outing, will also be rested as he continues to struggle with a foot injury that kept him out of some T20 games, while Tumelo Bodibe injured his shoulder whilst fielding in Friday’s final.
“The good thing is that Pite van Biljon has been scoring runs for Free State, Corne Dry and Duanne Olivier have been bowling well, as has Tumi Masekela, so we do at least have options,” said Cilliers.
The Titans have a few comings and goings as a result of Proteas duty, with Dean Elgar missing from the side that beat the Warriors in the last Sunfoil Series game but Marchant de Lange and David Wiese back in the frame.
Elgar’s absence could be keenly felt by a side that has struggled with its opening combination for some time, but the Titans have decided to hand the responsibility to 22-year-old Theunis de Bruyn, who scored 95 against the Warriors from the No. 3 position.
“Theunis is going to open the batting along with Heino (Kuhn), and Henry (Davids) is back so he’ll come into the top order,” Titans coach Rob Walter confirmed.