EASTERN Province and South Western Districts are lagging badly in the CSA Provincial Challenge three-day cricket standings and both need a significant boost when they clash at Axxess St George’s, starting tomorrow.
Despite promising signs at various stages of the season, EP are 30 points behind logleaders North West, while SWD have fared even worse and are 54 points off the pace.
At the halfway stage, both sides should be thinking positively, but they will also be aware they cannot afford any more slip-ups and an attacking approach, mixed with a degree of common sense, is surely their best bet to get back into contention. EP will be disappointed that rain ruined their most recent game against Border in East London when they had the home side on the rack at 87/8 at the close of day one.
There was no play on the second day, which left no time to force a result. With a strong batting lineup, headed by players such as Michael Price, David White and Colin Ackermann, EP will look to create pressure on the visiting side at the crease.
SWD, meanwhile, will seek a major improvement this half, having won just two of seven matches, losing three.
They last played a month ago, losing to North West at home, and skipper Ross McMillan will call for a big effort for the rest of the season, especially from the batsmen.
Whereas they were strong contenders for the title last season, this year only Adrian McLaren (16th at a batting average of 39.22) and Waldo Lategan (18th at a batting average of 37.60) are in the top 20 of the averages. Fast bowler Gurshwin Rabie, who has not been considered for the Warriors team in their Ram Slam T20 campaign, will lead the attack tomorrow and he is one EP will need to watch.