Warriors focused on processes rather than end goal

By News24

Captain Jon Jon Smuts says the Warriors will continue to search for improvement when they welcome the Highveld Lions to Buffalo Park for a One-Day Cup match in East London on Friday.

The Eastern Cape franchise moved top of the competition standings when they beat the previously unbeaten Dolphins in their latest outing in midweek.

Smuts and his team are now the only unbeaten side after four games, but the skipper says there is still room for improvement.

“It was a great win for us and it put us top of the log,” he said upon reflection. “I thought we played really good cricket.

“We pretty much dominated the whole game bar that one partnership. As for the rest of the game, our seamers started and then came back well. They bowled exceptionally well and overall it was a solid win.”

Smuts says they were not too interested in log positions at this early stage of the term, adding that the defending champions were only interested in the end goal. He continued: “Top of the table is a bonus. But for us it’s just about continuing to play the way we want to play and keep sticking to our processes.

“The results will take care of themselves. To end up top of the table is the end goal, but for now we just want to continue the way we are, hopefully we can do that against the Lions on Friday.”

The Lions, who have won every major competition on offer this term, ended their winless start to the season by claiming a massively impressive victory in their round five outing against the Titans on Wednesday.

Smuts believes they will be dangerous opponents.

“They’re a good side and have shown that across all formats this season,” he added. “A lot of their players were part of the MSL T20 (Mzansi Super League) campaign as well, so they can produce the goods in all conditions.

“They’ve had some rough luck with the weather early on in the competition. We’re going to have to play well if we want to take the points in East London.”

Visiting captain Temba Bavuma hopes their result from the derby, which saw them easily chase down 310 for an eight-wicket win, will be a springboard to further success.

“It was a massive win for us,” he said. “I think if you look at the start to our one-day campaign, it hasn’t been ideal.

“We’ve lost two and we had two rained out, so we needed to try and get some momentum somewhere. I’d like to believe that this is the game.”

Looking ahead to their play-off prospects, Bavuma said it was too early to be looking that far just yet.

“It’s the old cliché take it game by game,” he concluded. “I think it’s important that we’re still trying to find our game, how we’re going to go about playing one-day cricket and I believe if we can find that then we can take on any team.

“But for now it’s just the next game that we’re focused on.”

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Above: Jon Smuts during the Momentum One-Day Cup match between Hollywoodbets Dolphins and Warriors at Kingsmead Stadium. (Photo by Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images)