Nel aims to thwart Knox in final again

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All-rounder Dewald Nel will draw on previous experience of Scottish cricket cup success to try to inspire Watsonians to a first-ever victory in the competition when they tackle Heriot’s at Titwood, Glasgow, in the final tomorrow.

But among those determined to make it third-time lucky in meetings with Watsonians this season will be Heriot’s captain, Steve Knox, a member of a Grange team beaten by Greenock in 2006.

Says Knox, capped 20 times by Scotland: “I have been fortunate to win the Scottish League with Grange and also the Masterton Twenty20 title but the Cup is something I’ve always wanted.

“This is the strongest Heriot’s team in my six years at the club.

“Major stumbling blocks could be Craig Wright and Ewan Chalmers as they are capable of big innings, but it can’t do us any harm that Jean Symes has gone back to South Africa as he hit a magnificent century when ’Sonians defeated us in the first half of the season.”

Nel was on the opposite side from Knox back in 2006 and recalls: “It was a fantastic day and a Scottish Cup would be the ideal way to round off a really competitive season with Watsonians on my return from playing down south.”

Saltire Nel enjoyed spells on the English county circuit before the seven-days-a-week schedule took its toll injury-wise. Now back to fitness and carving a coaching career, he says: “All our first-choice bowlers have represented Scotland and that might give us an edge.”

The teams clashed in the 1978 final with Heriot’s coming out on top. They last lifted the trophy in 2000.