Own Correspondent
Horse racing correspondent
2 minute read
20 Jan 2016
12:41 pm

Warriors desperate to arrest slide

Own Correspondent

The Eastern Cape team has lost three games this season, with their only other fixture rained out.

PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 07: Malibongwe Maketa,Coach of the Warriors during the Warriors training session at St Georges Park on October 07, 2015 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. (Photo by Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images)

The Warriors will be hoping that a change of setting can help them put an end to their dreadful start to the Sunfoil Series as they prepare to host the VKB Knight at Buffalo Park this week.

The Eastern Cape franchise has lost three out of their four games so far this season – the other was washed out without a ball bowled – to sit bottom of the log.

It has been a tough first full season in charge for coach Malibongwe Maketa and he admits that they quickly need to turn the tables.

“It has been quite disappointing, especially because we keep making the same mistakes every week.” the coach said. “We need to learn from the last three performances and show improvements this week.”

Maketa believes a few new faces may do the trick for the Warriors, who have been especially poor with the bat.

Only three batsmen have scored over 100 runs and one – top-scorer Colin Ackermann (244) – over 200.

“We’ll look to freshen up the team this week,” Maketa, whose side lost by 148 runs to the Cape Cobras last week, added. “We’ve got Michael Price coming in and hopefully that will bolster us.”

Rookie spinner Akona Kula is also in contention and will play if the conditions require a second slow bowling option.

Shadley van Schalkwyk is back from injury and Quinton Friend from suspension to bolster the bowling of the Knights following their 45-run loss to the bizhub Highveld Lions last week.

The pair expected to miss out are Jandre Coetzee and Mbulelo Budaza.

“They will boost our bowling attack big time,” said stand-in coach Allan Donald. “Quinton has been a stalwart for a long time, so it’s good to have him back.”

Despite the Warriors’ struggles, Donald is expecting a tough contest in East London.

“The Warriors are a struggling side right now, but we are aware that a struggling have the ability to play a more relaxed game. And they will probably play better this week, so we’ll have to be prepared,” he added.

HEAD TO HEAD – Warriors v VKB Knights

Matches Played                21

Warriors Win                   04

Knights Win                     09

Draw                                  08