Knights sneak into MODC play-offs

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Pite van Biljon PHOTO: MICHAEL SHEEHAN

The VKB Knight beat the Dolphins by one wicket on Thursday night in Durban to book a home play-off match in the Momentum One-Day Cup.

The Dolphins were bowled out for 204 runs at Kingsmead with the Knights stalwart Dillon du Preez taking 4 for 31.

The Knights were well on their way to a victory with an opening partnership of 61 runs between Rudi Second and Tumelo Bodibe, but then lost 5 wickets for just 12 runs thanks largely to the world’s leading bowler in white ball cricket, Imran Tahir who also took 4 for 31.

The captain Pite van Biljon with 44 and Aubrey Swanepoel with 42 steadied the ship for the Knights and an outstanding 17 not out by Sammy Mofokeng steered the visitors over the line with just 4 balls to spare.

Van Biljon told Courant that it was close, but they expected a tough battle on the east coast.

“It was very close there towards the end, but we always know it was going to be a close game.

“Ever since we bowled we watched the wicket deterioration slowly, keeping a nit low and taking a bit more spin so we knew it was going to be tough.

“Imran Tahir is the number one bowler in the world in white ball cricket.

“We knew that he could make thing difficult for us and he did exactly that.

“Luckily we held on right to the end, we said we want to be in this game for 600 balls and thank it right to the end”.

The Knights face the Warriors on Sunday in the so-called semi-final and Van Biljon says it’s time to get one over the side from the Eastern Cape.

“The guys showed some good character, it could have gone the other way but I think we have the positive mind-set and momentum on our side so I’m very happy about that.

“We’ve lost to the Warriors twice so where probably owe them a bit of payback so we’re looking forward to that game on Sunday.

The Knights and Warriors face each other on Sunday at the Mangaung Oval with the match in Bloemfontein starting at 10:00.

The winner will face the Titans in the final on 31 March at the SuperSport Park in Centurion. – MORGAN PIEK