SOUTH Western Districts are out of the running for the title, but they will still be looking for a strong finish to their season when they host Boland in Oudtshoorn in the three- day Cricket SA Provincial Challenge, starting today.
The team’s high hopes at the start of the season have vanished in a series of inconsistent batting displays, although they will be feeling in a better mood after a fine 45-run victory against KwaZulu-Natal Inland when they trailed by 133 runs on the first innings.
With three matches remaining, SWD will be looking to show greater consistency in both the three-day and the Twenty20 format.
In the T20 competition, they will need to finish with three victories to have any chance of topping the coastal pool. They are not out of contention, but besides a serious victory streak, they will also need some other results to go their way to have a chance.
In the three-day format, outright victories in their last three matches could take them to the top half of the log but, to achieve that, they will need to record solid first innings batting performances. The men from the Southern Cape have only managed 15.76 batting bonus points this season which equals an average first innings score of 175.
The availability of Warriors franchise players Christiaan Jonker and Gurshwin Rabie will boost the team, while the form of Lyndon Volkwyn must also be encouraging.
Both Marcello Piedt (broken hand) and Kobus Scholtz (recovery from a shoulder operation) will be out of action for the rest of the season.
The SWD squad is: Ross McMillan (capt), Waldo Lategan, Luthando Mnyanda, Glen Addicot, Sammy-Joe Avontuur, Pieter Stuurman, Brendon Louw, Siviwe Gidana, Douglas Baartman, Lyndon Volkwyn, Marcello Piedt, Gurshwin Rabie, Adrian McLaren, Christiaan Jonker, Hanno Kotze, Justin Jordaan, Neil Hornbuckle and Gareth Dukes. – Neale Emslie