Fierce battle looms in EP, Border derby

BATTLE lines have been drawn and fierce rivalry is set to resume as Border and Eastern Province go head-to-head in top cricketing action today.

They first engage in a Sunfoil 3-Day Cup match over the next three days, before ending with what should be an entertaining T20 clash on Sunday.

Both will be going all out for the win in the three-day match as neither has claimed full points this season.

“The derby is always a big game for both teams and we want to do well against them,” Border coach Frank Plaatjes said. “The players are looking good and ready for the match.”

Border suffered defeat in their opening match, away to North West, and were then beaten on their return home against Western Province two weeks ago.

EP have drawn both of their opening matches both away, first against Easterns and then again against South Western Districts (SWD).

Border named an unchanged squad for the match for the first time this season.

“Despite our slow start there is no need to panic,” Plaatjes said.

Only Loyiso Mdashe has been added to the squad after he made a successful return to action with the University of Fort Hare team.

He has recovered from a shoulder injury.

He will add strength to an already impressive Border bowling lineup.

However, it is their batting that needs to improve drastically as it has constantly put them in difficult positions this season.

With a number of top batsmen in their lineup, Border will hope that they can put in a strong performance over the coming days.

“Preparation for the game has been good. We have been setting certain targets for the batsmen and its only a matter of time before they reach them,” Plaatjes said.

EP have made only one change to the side that played SWD. Warriors opener Michael Price returns to the fold in place of rising young talent Kirwin Christoffels.

Today’s teams:

Border squad: Somila Seyibokwe, Gionne Koopman, Jongile Kilani, Martin Walters (c), Darryl Brown, Marco Marais, Tapelo Letsholo, Thondolwethu Mnyaka, Phaphama Fojela, Yanda Pangabantu, Brandon Williams, Kevin Bennett, Sinovuyo Nqoba, Mkhululi Calana, Loyiso Mdashe

EP team: Michael Price, David White, Edward Moore, Kelly Smuts, Mathew Christensen, Sithembiso Ndwandwa, Onke Nyaku, Brad Dolley, Tladi Bokako, Ngazibini Sigwili, Ethan O’Reilly

-Ross Roche

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