A confident start is what the Border semi-professional team will be gunning for when they get their 2017-18 Sunfoil 3-Day Cup season under way against Northerns at SuperSport Park in Centurion tomorrow.
It will be the perfect early test for the Border side as they gauge their readiness for the season against the team that won last season’s competition.
“Northerns is the perfect first challenge for us,” Border coach Frank Plaatjes said.
“It will give us the opportunity to see exactly where we stand right from the start and will give us a good idea of what we can achieve this season.”
A strong 13-man squad has been selected for the tour which will see Border play their first one-day match of the season on Sunday, after the three-day game.
Gionne Koopman will be leading the side in all formats since being named captain in the off-season, and will be hoping to make an early impression as leader.
“This is a very strong team and I am confident that they can do well,” said Plaatjes.
“I am very confident in our new captain Gionne, he is a well-respected member of the team, he has been one of our senior players over the last few years and I think having the captaincy will bring even more out of him.”
Border’s batting and bowling departments will also be aiming to get off to good starts
Warriors’s big-hitter Christiaan Jonker is available for the games and new top-order batsman, Gerhardt Abrahams, make his three-day debut for Border.
On the bowling front, the experienced Phaphama Fojela will be leading the charge, while a number of youngsters will be getting a chance to show their talent.
“It is great to have Christiaan Jonker available, he is a key player for us and I expect him to do well,” said Plaatjes.
“I am looking forward to seeing Gerhardt in action in the longer format, he is a quality player and I think he will become a star for us.
“As always we have a really good bowling department. Fojela will lead our attack again but we also have some exciting youngsters like [Sithembele] Langa and [Bamanye] Xenxe coming through and I look forward to seeing what they can do.” Border will be hoping for a positive start in the three-day fixture, so they can build some momentum and take it into Sunday’s one-day match.
“I think we are more prepared for the shorter format than the three- day, so I am confident that we are ready for the one-day match and I think the team can come away from it with a good result,” said Plaatjes.
The action starts at SuperSport Park at 10am tomorrow while Sunday’s one-dayer is at 9.30am.
The Border squad is: Mkhululi Calana, Gionne Koopman (capt), Gerhardt Abrahams, Somila Seyibokwe, Christiaan Jonker, Marco Marais, Avumile Mnci, Mncedisi Malika, Sithembele Langa, Phaphama Fojela, Sesona Ndwandwa, Clayton Bosch, Bamanye Xenxe.