Knights coach Nicky Boje knows that only two wins will suffice when they take on the Dolphins first and then the Highveld Lions in the Ram Slam T20 Challenge this weekend.
The central franchise were beaten by the Cape Cobras in a big result on Wednesday night and are now left in a sticky position going into the first of two critical games against their Durban-based opponents at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein on Friday.
Boje’s side, who are left fifth on the table with 12 points, will then travel to the fourth-placed Lions on Sunday.
The runaway Titans head the table with 32 points, followed by the Cobras, who have since moved to 18, followed by the Dolphins and Lions on 14, the Knights and then the Warriors.
Five teams are effectively chasing three playoff places.
“We know we’ve got to win both games or we won’t qualify for the semi-final,” Boje said. “So that’s what we need to go out there and do. Beat the Dolphins on Friday and then get another result against the Lions on Sunday.
“It’s definitely knockout cricket for us now. If we lose one we’re out and if we win we’re still in, so every game is important and the players know that. It’s a big weekend for everyone.”
Crucial for the Knights coach is that his side pitch up against the Dolphins.
“Of course we have the confidence to beat any side. It’s just about how you get to the game and how you play. At the moment we’re not firing on all cylinders, which is something we need to do to get through.”
Counterpart Grant Morgan saw his side suffer another washout on Wednesday – their fifth one out of eight games so far. They have managed just one win from the other three matches.
Apart from playing the Knights, they will end the regular season against the Titans in Durban on Sunday.
Coach Morgan has maintained a calm approach going into the closing rounds.
“There’s no need to panic,” he said. “Technically we only need to finish fourth to progress, so we just need to press on and try and deliver results.
“I think if we can bring our A-game to a match, then no matter who the opposition is…and I say this with the utmost respect…we can beat anyone.”
African News Agency