Knights look to seal CS Pro50 Cup
Eastern Knights today have the chance to clinch this season’s Pro50 Cup when they travel to Titwood to face the Western Warriors.
Victory would see John Blain’s side take the title with a game to spare after an outstanding start to the campaign.
The men from the east have already secured comfortable victories against both the Warriors and Caley Highlanders and appear strong favourites to land the silverware.
Yet Blain is taking nothing for granted especially since his side has been ravaged by call-offs while the Warriors have captured form since their 46-run defeat to the Knights back in April.
Blain, whose side can afford to lose today providing they win their final match against the Highlanders next month, said: “We would obviously like to get the job done as soon as possible and that’s what we will try to do.
“However, our preparations have been hit by a series of call-offs and we have a few new faces to integrate into the squad.
“We were comfortable winners against the Warriors at the start of the tournament but Con (de Lange) has really turned them around since then.
“They had a great win against the Highlanders last time out and are sure to be full of confidence so it’s going to be a really tough game for us.”
Blain has lost his two main strike bowlers in Chris Sole and Raj Routray to injury while top order batsmen Ryan Flannigan and Nick Farrar are also unavailable.
Ewan Chalmers, enjoying another fine season with Watsonians, returns to the regional fray while there are call-ups for South African Schalk Conradie and in-form Carlton all-rounder Hugo Southwell.
Meanwhile, additional bowling responsibilities will fall to SMRH seamer Elliot Ruthven, a player for whom Blain has high hopes.
Warriors go into the clash knowing they can still be champions if they win today and Highlanders beat the Knights in the closing match next month.
De Lange’s men hit a record 359-6 in their huge 184-run win over the Highlanders last month with Michael English helping himself to 120 and Richie Berrington 95.
More of the same would go a long way to setting up a thrilling finale to this season’s Pro50 Cup.
Western Warriors: Mo Awais, Richie Berrington, Con de Lange, Michael English, Fazal Jawad, Ihtisham Malik, Scott McElnea, Michael Rao, Abdul Sabri, Neil Smith, Hamza Tahir, Craig Young.
Eastern Knights: Tom Beaton, Schalk Conradie, Ewan Chalmers, Preston Mommsen, Mark Watt, Alex Baum, Haris Aslam, Hugo Southwell, Ali Evans, Chayank Gosain, Elliot Ruthven, Andrew Brock.
By Cricket Media