The Border semi-professional team heads into an extremely important two matches, starting with the Sunfoil 3-Day Cup match against Boland at the Alfred Schoeman ground in Buffalo Flats today as they look to end 2017 on a high.
With this the mid-point of the season for Border, they will need to pick up wins in both the three-day and Sunday’s one-day match if they are to keep pace with the log-leaders in both competitions.
Border had set lofty goals for themselves this season with a strong team featuring a number of experienced heads and exciting up-and-coming youngsters, and were aiming to make the finals of both competitions.
However, in their group they have two runaway leaders and Border need to win their last games before the Christmas break to make sure they stay in the mix.
Currently Border are third on both logs, trailing top-placed KwaZulu-Natal and second-placed North West in the three-day, and top-of-the-table North West and second KZN on the one-day side.
Two wins for Border this week could see them move into second place on both logs.
“We have targeted two wins this week so that we can get back on track to try and reach our goals,” said Border coach Frank Plaatjes.
“It will be tough but we have said we want to try and win all our home games over the rest of the season.”
They will first have to get past the challenge of Boland, who are a bit of an unknown quantity this season having only played four matches so far, half of what Border have.
Boland have lost both of their one- day encounters and won one and lost one of their three-day games and thus sit bottom and second bottom of the group B one-day and three-day logs respectively, so will be hoping to make a move up on both sides.
This could make them very dangerous and Border will have to be at the top of their game to get the desired result.
“Boland is always a tough opponent, they always play to win and with where they sit currently on the log they will be hungry for a couple of wins to boost them, and we will have to match them,” said Plaatjes.
“We will play positive cricket and we will play to win.”
Border will be looking to the form of strike bowler Phaphama Fojela and record-breaking batsman Marco Marais to fire in the match and give them the momentum needed.
Their top order, which has been very suspect in recent games, will also need to come to the party.
“I think our top order needs runs, they are not kicking on, they are getting into the 20s and 30s and not converting, so that is something we have spoken about and I hope to see against Boland,” admitted Plaatjes.
“Our middle and lower order have been phenomenal though and if they can get the support of the top order it will put us in a fantastic position.”
Today’s action gets under way at 10am, while Sunday’s starts at 9.30am.