Western Province and the Northerns Titans will headline the third round of the 4-Day Series with their clash in Cape Town from Thursday.
The match at Newlands is one of seven Division One and Division Two encounters that will be streamed live on SuperSport’s YouTube channel.
The third-placed KZN Dolphins will take on the in-form Free State Knights in Durban, while the EP Warriors make the trip up to Potchefstroom to face the North West Dragons.
The Central Gauteng Lions, the only side with a 100% record in the top tier, will host the Boland Rocks at the Wanderers.
In the second division, log-leaders the Eastern Cape Iinyathi take on the KZN Inland Tuskers in East London. The sixth-placed Eastern Storm and seventh-placed South Western Districts face off in Oudtshoorn, while the Limpopo Impalas and Northern Cape Heat meet in Polokwane.
Despite recording two draws in the opening two rounds, WP head coach Salieg Nackerdien remains upbeat about his team’s chances against a Titans side they lead by eight points on the table.
“The positives we can take out of the first two games are that all departments – our batting, bowling, and fielding – were outstanding. The areas we identified, we executed them properly and the consistency we got in Paarl was good,” Nackerdien said.
“We can just take it forward from here. The work ethic has been good and it’s now just to put it into play again against the Titans this coming weekend. We are really positive in terms of where our skill sets are at the moment.
“We chatted a lot during these last couple of days in terms of our abilities and what we can offer. It is a good opportunity for all of us to showcase the talents we’re capable of and we want to play some good, decent cricket again,” the coach added.
Like other teams this weekend, WP will be missing key players due to their involvement in the South Africa A and Proteas squads that will be in action later this month.
“We are happy for all of them,” Nackerdien noted. “That’s where we want to see guys going and establishing themselves going forward. I wish them all the best. It’s been fantastic to see the guys’ performances over the last few weeks, to get that recognition and that exposure to help get them where they need to be in the future and play for South Africa.”
Titans head coach Mandla Mashimbyi cited his team’s bowling exploits in their opening two fixtures as a positive as they continue the search for that maiden red-ball victory of the season.
“The first two games were disappointing,” he admitted. “In our first game, against the Warriors, we had a horrendous first day and after that, we bossed the game, but we just couldn’t cross the line. There were some big positives to take out of it other than the fact that we couldn’t win the game.
“In our second game, against the Dolphins, on a wicket that didn’t give us much, the boys did nicely, and we bowled well. We also batted well, although there were areas from a batting point of view that we thought needed improvement.
“From a bowling point of view, we found a template in terms of how to go about things in different conditions and what we can do as a bowling unit to create pressure.
“Hopefully, things will come together for us against Western Province,” he added.
All the games get under way from 10am daily, with the exception of the match in Durban which will get started from 9am.
4-Day Series Round 3 fixtures (18-21 November):
Western Province vs Northerns Titans (Newlands, Cape Town)
KZN Dolphins vs Free State Knights (Kingsmead, Durban)
North West Dragons vs EP Warriors (JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom)
Central Gauteng Lions vs Boland Rocks (Wanderers, Johannesburg)
South Western Districts vs Eastern Storm (Recreation Ground, Oudtshoorn)
Eastern Cape Iinyathi vs KZN Inland Tuskers (Buffalo Park Cricket Stadium, East London)
Limpopo Impalas vs Northern Cape Heat (Polokwane Cricket Club, Polokwane)
Division One log
|1.||Central Gauteng Lions||2||2||0||0||45.14|
|2.||Free State Knights||2||1||0||1||39.52|
|8.||North West Dragons||2||0||2||0||9.92|
Division Two log
|1.||KZN Inland Tuskers||2||1||1||0||34.46|
|2||Eastern Cape Iinyathi||2||1||0||1||34.46|
|3.||Northern Cape Heat||1||0||0||1||24.32|
|7.||South Western Districts||1||0||0||1||12.18|