John Blain is backing his Eastern Knights to match their T20 Blitz rivals by winning their home double header on Sunday.
The holders must come from behind if they are to retain their title at The Grange after losing their opening two fixtures to the Western Warriors and Caley Highlanders.
Warriors led the way by taking advantage of conditions at Titwood on the opening day of the campaign before Caley matched them a couple of weeks later at Forthill.
Should the Knights follow suit, the calculators will be working overtime to determine which of the evenly matched outfits lifts the trophy.
Blain said: “It is fair to say we haven’t played our best cricket in the T20 format. However we do have home advantage and certainly a knowledge of conditions.
“We historically play better cricket the more we play together so it is key that we perform well in match one to lead into match two.”
Having already secured the Pro50 Cup, the Knights are bidding for a double-double, having also won both titles last season.
That is a scenario which appeals to Blain who has had a significant impact on cricket in the region since moving to Grange from West of Scotland three seasons ago.
The former Scotland bowler added: “It would affirm the opinion that cricket remains strong within the east region.
“Importantly, it would also be a nice reward for the ongoing committed core group of players we have relied upon. Availability has been a challenge in both T20 and 50 over cricket for us so expectation has been on this core group of players.”
However, Blain knows there are no easy games in the short format and either the Warriors or Highlanders could clinch the glory with just a single victory. The Warriors have the more favourable run-rate at 1.072 while Caley are on -0.078, meaning the Knights, languishing on -2-272 would need to win both matches handsomely to turn things around.
Knights – G Munsey, H Aslam, A Evans, C Gosain, J Kinghorn-Gray, C MacLeod, E Ruthven, A Shah, H van der Berg, M Watt, S Whait.
Warriors – R Berrington, M Awais, C de Lange, M English, R Henry, F Jawad, R Lyons, I Malik, M Rao, A Raza, D Stafford.
Highlanders – K Coetzer, C Wallace, C Venske, S Sharif, R Cameron, J Hogarth, R Brown, J Koster, Neill, B Ditchmen, L Sweeney, C Robertson