No neighbourly love as old rivals battle

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Provincial cricket action is back on the cards this week as Border host neighbours Eastern Province in the Sunfoil 3-Day Cup and the CSA Provincial One-Day Challenge competitions, with play starting on Thursday morning.

Border coach Frank Plaatjes. Picture SIBONGILE NGALWA

Two entertaining encounters should be on show with the fierce rivals always eager to one-up each other and it is expected to be more of the same this week.

EP hold the current bragging rights after drawing the three-day and winning the one-day game in Port Elizabeth last season, while Border will be banking on homeground advantage to give them the edge this time around.

“It is always a good game against EP, it is a great rivalry and the game is always played in the best spirit,” said Border coach Frank Plaatjes.

“The guys are looking forward to the matches and we will be hoping to get the win this week.”

Border will however need to hit the ground running as it will have been close to four weeks since they last played when the teams get the three-day match under way on Thursday.

Border’s last game was against Western Province at the end of October, where they managed two good wins in the three-day and one-day matches, which kept their unbeaten run so far this season going.

A bit of an extended break then followed after the Sunfoil 3-Day Cup fixtures were juggled around to accommodate the Ram Slam T20 competition, with this match supposed to have been be played last week.

“It is difficult when you have a break of more than two weeks between games, you have to make sure that the team stays motivated and comes in every week to continue with the preparations,” explained Plaatjes.

“The guys are working very hard, they want to do well this season and after our good start they want it to continue.

“We have a nice young team that are bringing a lot of good energy to the side, while we also have our more experienced seniors who are guiding them.”

For EP they last played against South Western Districts over the first weekend of November.

In those games EP managed a draw in the three-day match, before losing the one-day game and they will be hoping to bounce back from that defeat against Border.

EP are sitting dead in the middle of the Pool B logs of both the three-day and one-day competitions after an up and down start to the season that has seen them pick up three draws in the three-day cup and one win against two losses on the one-day front.

Border are in a better position in that they sit in third place on both the three-day and one-day pool A logs, while holding two games in hand on the teams above them on both logs.

The action starts at 10am on Thursday with the Sunfoil 3-Day Cup match, while the one-dayer will follow on Sunday at 9.30am.

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