Knights campaign ends on a high

The VKB Knights spinner, Shaun von Berg, took 5/33 in 8.5 overs against the Titans at SuperSport Park in Centurion to the lead the Knights into the Momentum One-Day Cup semi-finals. PHOTO: SYDNEY SESHIBEDI

he 2019/20 domestic cricket season was cut short this week with the national governing body, Cricket South Africa, calling a halt to the sport due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought the world to a standstill.

This means that no more school, club, amateur, province, franchise or national cricket will be played in the country for at least the next 60 days.

While South Africa was on the brink of the off-season, there was still the matter of the Momentum One-Day Cup semi-final and final, as well as the last round of the Domestic 4-Day series be contested.

A winner in these two competitions is yet to be decided by CSA, but if they crown the respective champions according to the standings, the Lions will win the four-day tournament, with the Titans, Warriors and Knights completing the top four. The Dolphins will win the 50-over tournament, followed by the Lions, Warriors and Knights. CSA has not ruled out the possibility of the spoils being shared by the top four teams.

The cancellation of the season came at a bad time for the Knights in particular as they had fought their way into the semi-finals over the MODC over the past couple of weeks, and they had really gained momentum going into the last four matches against the Dolphins in Durban.

Before the planned semi-final, the captain, Wandile Makwetu, told Bloemfontein Courant that he was happy with the way they were able to turns things around.

“Things have really turned a corner for us this season. We were obviously disappointed with the way we started the competition, however, we sat down as a group and really ironed out how we wanted to play our cricket for the rest of the campaign and as a group going forward.

So it’s really nice to see the guys committing to the things we spoke about in the discussion we had and now we have good momentum going into the semis.”

The interim coach, JP Triegaardt, in his turn lauded the team’s character after going from being the wooden-spooners to real contenders.

“We arrived in Durban and heard the news that all cricket had been called off. It is a bitter pill to swallow, but it is what it is. We can only control what we can, and this is one of those things that we can’t.

“The Coronavirus is seriously hitting the country and the precaution has been taken and this has seen all cricket called off domestically for the season. The guys started believing in each other and themselves, and I think that this really brought out the confidence. This showed out in the middle of the park. It is nice momentum going into the off-season and the new season with all of the positives that we collected over the last couple of weeks.

“From my side, I would like to say that the guys showed really, really good character to come back from where they were and get themselves into a semi-final. It shows massive character from them.” – MORGAN PIEK