Western Province must Rock up in Cape derby to push for CSA T20 Challenge playoffs

Left-hander Tony de Zorzi will look to get Western Province off to a strong start against the Rocks tonight. Photo: BackpagePix

Left-hander Tony de Zorzi will look to get Western Province off to a strong start against the Rocks tonight. Photo: BackpagePix

Published Apr 19, 2024


AFTER being in line to qualify for the semi-finals for the majority of the competition, Western Province have somehow played themselves out of the top four spots in the CSA T20 Challenge.

They will hope to get back to winning ways in the Cape derby at Boland Park in Paarl this evening (6pm start) as the Rocks host WP in the penultimate round of fixtures before the semi-finals.

Coach Salieg Nackerdien’s Province team have lost four matches on the bounce and slipped to fifth place in the standings, and have thus allowed the Titans to sneak into the top four with only two round robin fixtures left before the semi-finals get under way next week.

However, Province could still find themselves in semi-final action next week as they take on the Rocks, a side they are expected to get past with relative ease.

With Tony de Zorzi and Eddie Moore anchoring the top of the order and the experience of Wayne Parnell and Beuran Hendricks bringing calm to the bowling attack, Province are a formidable side.

On the other hand, the Rocks have been one of the most disappointing teams in Division 1 cricket this season as they have failed to make a statement as real title contenders across the three formats.

Despite the signings of Proteas Test-capped Keegan Petersen and Glenton Stuurman this season, they have struggled to compete against the top teams in the country.

The availability of the highly rated Malan brothers, Janneman and Pieter, has also had little impact on their season.

However, coach Justin Ontong’s team are coming off victories over the Warriors and Tuskers last week, and could make Province fight hard for a win at Boland Park.

Both victories have been in Paarl, and that only proves just how good they are in their conditions.

However, Province are no strangers to the environment in Paarl, and have a team capable of adapting to and taking advantage of the spin-friendly conditions at Boland Park.

Meanwhile in Potchefstroom, the North West Dragons are set to host a wounded Warriors side.

The Gqeberha outfit will look to regain top spot, having slipped down to second place after their defeat to the Lions at St George’s Park earlier this week.

Captain Matthew Breetzke will lead his side against a Dragons team that boasts the tournament’s leading run scorer, opening batter Rubin Hermann, at the JB Marks Oval.

Boland Rocks Probable XI: Clyde Fortuin, Adrian du Toit, Keegan Petersen, Christiaan Jonker, Aviwe Mgijima, Ferisco Adams, Shaun von Berg, Ayabulela Gqamane, Imraan Manack, Glenton Stuurman, Siyabonga Mahima.

Western Province Probable XI: Eddie Moore, Tony de Zorzi, Jonathan Bird, Kyle Verreynne, George Linde, Juan James, Onke Nyaku, Kyle Simmonds, Beuran Hendricks, Wesley Bedja, Mthiwekhaya Nabe.