Boje welcomes four-day comforts

Knights coach Nicky Boje is determined to put their troublesome limited-overs campaigns behind them as they prepare to shift focus to four-day cricket and their Sunfoil Series resumption against the Dolphins in Bloemfontein from Thursday.

The Central franchise ended last in both the RAM SLAM T20 Challenge and the Momentum One-Day Cup, but they now return to a competition where they are the reigning champions.

The competition is in its final leg, with the next five weeks set to draw the curtain on the 2017/18 term.

All six teams are still in contention, with the Knights presently second, a little under 11 points behind the Multiply Titans, who are also the only side to have won a game all season.

“The white-ball competitions are over and done with and there’s not much we can do about what happened in those,” Boje said on reflection. “The guys are all looking forward to four-day cricket starting again now. It’s a format that we’ve enjoyed in recent times.

“The good thing is we start with two home games and we’ll be hoping to make the most of those as well.

“It’s going to be important to start well in the second part of the competition. Especially with all the teams so close, it’s going to be important to get a couple of wins early on.”

Draws were the order of the day on the first round with 14 out of the 15 matches seeing the teams split results.

But Boje expects that to all change heading towards the crunch end of the competition.

“I must say the wickets are drier now and I expect the spinners to have a lot more of an impact compared to early on in the season,” he added. “Teams might start preparing a lot more result-type wickets, so I think that will make for good, exciting and positive cricket going into those remaining five games.”

The Dolphins will enter the game buoyed by their first trophy success in years after they won a share of the Momentum One-Day Cup this past weekend.

Coach Grant Morgan hopes it is the start of a new era in Durban.

“We’ve got to decide whether that one trophy is our happy place or if we want more,” he said “I’m pretty sure the guys are hungry for more success to try and create the start of something special at the Dolphins, some glory years, and this is what we’ll be aiming to do for the remainder of the season.”

Looking ahead to the rest of the season, Morgan believes they are right in contention with every other side for the title.

“You probably going to need three wins to ensure you overhaul the Titans and I think we’ve got to find a way to do that,” he adds. “Luckily all the teams are in the same position, so that, along with conditions, could lead to more positive results.”