Border in it to win it, is rallying call

Nqolo confident the side will be on top of their game for the Africa Cup

Border captain Jerry Nqolo steams in to bowl during a net practice at Hudson Park High school on Tuesday.
Border captain Jerry Nqolo steams in to bowl during a net practice at Hudson Park High school on Tuesday.
Image: Randell Roskruge

It is set to be a good weekend for Border captain Jerry Nqolo, who is backing his charges to go all the way in the Africa Cup T20 competition that gets under way on Friday morning.

All four pools of the tournament will be played at various venues around the country from Friday to Sunday, with the top team in each pool progressing to the finals weekend next weekend.

Pool C is being battled out in East London, with Buffalo Park and Police Park the grounds that will be used as Border host Eastern Province, Mpumalanga, Kenya and Namibia over the three days of action.

Despite the challenge Nqolo is confident that his side can emerge victorious in the end.

“We are really looking forward to getting out there,” said Nqolo.

“All of the guys are in it to win it, so we will just have to see when we get out on the park if we can transfer that belief to our play on the field.”

The Border team has also been bolstered by the arrivals of Warriors stalwarts Basheer Walters and Gihahn Cloete, who played for EP last season but have chosen to play for Border from this season, and they join fellow contracted Aya Gqamane, Yaseen Vallie and Christiaan Jonker.

Jonker in particular will most likely be Border’s biggest threat, especially considering he made a swashbuckling Proteas debut in a T20 against India earlier this year.

“It has helped out having these guys join the squad, we have great experience in the team, players with Proteas experience, players with many years of Franchise experience, so we have a very strong group here and we are excited to see what we can do,” claimed Nqolo.

“It is a very strong team, especially with a strong group of Border players and some exciting youngsters backing up our Franchise stars and I believe with these guys we can go all the way.”

Topping the pool is set to be a tall order for Border, who have never made it to the finals weekend, while EP won the tournament in 2016 and Namibia made the semifinals last year.

Kenya and Mpumalanga are new additions to the tournament that was expanded from 16 to 20 teams this year, so in all it will be a very interesting three days of play, with all the sides expected to have a chance.

An exciting end to the weekend is also on the cards, with Border and EP set to battle it out in the late match on Sunday afternoon.

“With Namibia we are used to them as we play against them in the provincial set-up, but with Kenya we do not know what to expect, they are an unknown entity so we are really looking forward to that challenge,” admitted Nqolo.

“Everyone is excited for that game (EP) but it is more important that we start off well and make sure that when we get to that last game we have the upperhand.

“We are looking forward to renewing our rivalry with them however and it is going to be a great game to finish with.”

The action starts on Friday morning at 9.30am with EP against Namibia at Buffalo Park and Mpumalanga v Kenya at Police Park.

The afternoon games at 1.30pm then see Border taking on Namibia at Police Park and EP v Mpumalanga at Buffalo Park.