In what is set to be a pulsating end to the season; with two trophies up for grabs and three teams within touching distance of glory, including one team with one hand on each piece of silverware, the CSA Women’s Provincial One-Day and T20 Cup enters its final weekend of the 2022 / 23 campaign.
First up, the fate of this year’s One-Day Cup will be decided on Saturday, 01 April when the current log-leaders Six Gun Grill Western Province take on the DP World Lions at the Orban Oval in Johannesburg, with Province needing a win or shared points to secure the title.
If WP fail to beat the Lions, second-placed Hollywoodbets Dolphins will have an opportunity to take the top spot and the trophy if they manage to defeat the Six Gun Grill Garden Route Badgers with a bonus point at the Six Gun Grill Recreation Ground in Oudtshoorn.
WP currently lead the Dolphins by four points after nine 50-over matches, with a net run rate differential of 0.04 between the two sides.
In the T20 Cup competition, Western Province also have their destiny in their own hands as a victory over the Lions on Sunday, 02 April will be enough to secure a second consecutive T20 Cup title. With only a single point separating the two sides at the top of the table, the Lions can also claim the trophy with a victory on home soil in Johannesburg.
In the other set of 50-over and T20 Cup action in Division One, the recently relegated North West Dragons will host the Fidelity Titans in Potchefstroom over the weekend to wrap up the 2022 / 23 season.
All matches get underway at 10h00 (SAST) on Saturday and Sunday, with every ball streamed live on YouTube via the @ProteasWomenCSA page on Twitter and Instagram.
Ahead of an exciting and enthralling weekend for Western Province, captain and all-rounder Leah Jones states her side will look to take it one game at a time over the course of the weekend, with full belief that the team have what it takes to clinch a memorable double-winning season.
“We won’t have any specific approach, just to take it one game at a time and not get ahead of ourselves. We won’t look at the weekend as a whole, it is just every single day, we will do what we have to do,” Jones commented.
“All the girls have the ability to pull it over the line and everyone in our team has the ability to do extremely well and it is just about playing our best cricket and rocking up on the day.
“Winning the double would mean a lot to each and every one of us, I think the last time we took the double was when late Coach Cobus (Roodt) was still with us and we know that was a long time ago. It will be a massive achievement for us to do it again.
“We are one big happy family here and we will pull together as one this weekend because we all want it. It will be nice to have both trophies in the bag but as you know, cricket is a funny game and anything can happen on the day but us as players, we know what to do and we know what we want to achieve,” the skipper added.
The first of two teams threatening Western Province’s double-winning hopes are the Durban-based Dolphins, who head into the final round of the One-Day Cup in second place and prepared to take full advantage of any slip up from the leaders when they face up against the in-form Garden Route Badgers.
Dolphins captain, Nondumiso Shangase believes her side go into the clash in Oudtshoorn with little pressure after already surpassing their targets for the season.
“Going into to Saturday’s match, we are ready. As a team we are ready and we know what is at stake, if we win we have a chance to be the 50-over champions,” Shangase noted.
“But with that, we also don’t have a lot of pressure on us because we set a goal at the beginning of the season that we wanted to finish in the top three of which we are still on track with that and we are achieving our goal for this season.
“If we win the CSA One-Day Cup and be crowned as champions, that would be a bonus for us,” the all-rounder added.
In Sunday’s T20 Cup title-deciding finale between WP and the Lions in Johannesburg, the home side will not have to look too far back for inspiration to beat their opponents, with the Lions recently concluding a double victory in 50-over and T20 Cup action in Cape Town earlier this month.
Lions T20 captain, Yolani Fourie, who is bringing an end to her playing career at the end of the season – having also represented the Proteas Women in 15 One-Day Internationals and 10 T20 Internationals (2014 – 2018), is confident her side can come out on top in the all-important T20 encounter on Sunday.
“I don’t think we will change our approach going into Sunday’s game. We have been doing really well with our T20s and we will probably stick with the same methods and game plans against Western Province, which worked really well for us two weekends ago,” Fourie said.
“We are a team that believes we are (more of) a T20 team only because we have been doing so well in the T20s and messing up our 50-over games a little bit.
“it’s going to be a tough game because it is a final and we are one point behind Western Province at the moment, so whoever wins takes it, so it’s quite exciting and if we pull it through and we take the T20 Cup, it will do the world of confidence for our team.
“I believe we can do it and it is my final season so just to finish off my career with a win would be fantastic for me as well,” the bowling all-rounder concluded.
image: Yolani Fourie and Karabo Meso of the Lions celebrate winning the match during the CSA Women’s Provincial T20 Cup, top 6 match between Six Gun Grill Western Province and DP World Lions at Six Gun Grill Newlands (Gallo)