This weekend the country’s provincial women cricketers return to the ovals after a bye last weekend, and the girls will have enjoyed some well-earned rest and recreation as they approach the business end of the tournament.
In truth however, only the players of Boland, in the domestic Coastal league, and Northerns, in the Inland league, will be at ease.
Having achieved clean sheets in all 10 of their allotted 12 matches in the round-robin stage, Boland are comfortably at the top of their league log, and are assured a home semi-final when the round-robin stage closes.
With a home match to misfiring Free State and away game to a rebounding Western Province remaining, their untouchable no. 1 league spot is likely to see them play their semi-final against Kwa-Zulu Natal.
Western Province have two games remaining in which to cement their aspirations for a semi, and will hope that their home conditions will assist against Free State on Saturday, and against the dangerous Boland next Sunday.
In the Inland League, Northerns are at the top, but less comfortably so, with KwaZulu Natal a mere five points away, and Gauteng, with two games in hand, are also capable of narrowing the gap.
After taking on the two Natal sides this weekend, Gauteng will look for victories against Mpumalanga and the North West in their final group-stage matches, and will back themselves to make life difficult for KwaZulu Natal in the duel for the semi-final berth.
Northerns will feel confident of a win over Mpumalanga on Saturday, with their final group stage encounter a foregone 4-pointer, Limpopo having withdrawn from the competition.
Currently second on the log, KwaZulu Natal have two tough encounters remaining, playing hosts to Gauteng in Durban on Sunday, and then travelling to Pietermaritzburg rivals KZN-Inland for next weekend their final match.
For the latest women’s cricket information, visit the Cricket South Africa website for all the details, click here for Results and Match Summaries and Results; click here for Challenge Logs, and click here for upcoming Fixtures.