Border plan to give Cup their best shot

Border coach Mfuneko Ngam flings a delivery at a player at Buffalo Park in training on Tuesday.
Border coach Mfuneko Ngam flings a delivery at a player at Buffalo Park in training on Tuesday.

It is a new dawn for the Border semi-professional cricket team and they will be aiming to start it on the best possible note when they take part in the Africa T20 Cup competition in Pool C in Potchefstroom from Friday until Sunday.

Border were runners-up in last year’s Africa Cup T20, just losing out against Gauteng in the final that was played at Buffalo Park in East London, and they will hope to at least match or go one better this time round.

The team is under new leadership after former Warriors assistant coach Mfuneko Ngam took up the reins a few weeks ago.

“I have been happy with how things have been since I arrived. I think Lundi (Mbane, assistant coach) has done a very good job. The guys were not far behind with fitness and preparations when I got here, so we have just needed to work on our skills,” said Ngam.

“It has been an easy transition into the set-up. Everyone has been extremely welcoming and I am looking forward to the season ahead.”

Border have named a strong squad to battle it out in Pool C, where they will come up against Western Province, North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

The side has a good mix of youth and experience and a number of Warriors players to help bolster them going into the competition, while the team will be captained by the constantly impressing young Sinethemba Qeshile.

“I am really excited by the talent we have got in this team. We have some up-and-coming young players as well as senior players like (Phaphama) Fojela and Aya (Gqamane),” said Ngam.

“It is a good mix of youngsters and experience and I think we have covered all of our bases well.

“It is always nice to have Warriors players involved as they bring a lot of experience and calmness to a team, especially when you have a young side like we do.

“So having guys like (Gihahn) Cloete, Qeshile, (Sisanda) Magala and Mo (Vallie), it is going to be great. Those guys are all quality players and we are really excited to see what they will bring to the side over the competition.

“With Sine, he is a smart kid. We spoke about making him a vice-captain at the Warriors last season. His knowledge of cricket is good. He understands the game, knows what needs to be done and I am excited to see him lead Border in the competition.”

Border play their first match on Friday morning, followed by two games on Saturday and their final match on Sunday morning.

Fixtures: Friday, 9.30am – Border v Mpumalanga; Saturday, 9.30am – Border v Western Province, 1.30pm – Border v Limpopo; Sunday, 9.30am – Border v North WestBorder Africa Cup T20 squad: Sinethemba Qeshile (capt), Ayabulela Gqamane (v-capt), Jason Niemand, Mncedisi Malika, Clayton Bosch, Bamanye Xenxe, Phaphama Fojela, Bhongolwethu Makeleni, Joshua Dodd, Gihahn Cloete, Lilitha Reed, Sisanda Magala, Yaseen Vallie.