On Saturday, Western Province will travel to meet Griqualand West in Kimberley, and take on the Free State women on Sunday in Bloemfontein in their third last One Day match of the season.
After this weekend’s matches, the Western Province ladies will be at home for their last two matches in a drive to usurp Border for second place on the Coastal league, which could earn them a place against Northerns, current leaders in the Inland Log, in the tournament semi-finals.
Western Province will expect to win on the road against Griqualand West, who have suffered a miserable season, gaining a slim two points without a win in nine games to remain well at the bottom of the Coastal Challenge.
Against Free State on Sunday, WP will be hoping for an upset win against a Bloem side that will be disappointed by losses to Border and Boland at home earlier in the season.
Western Province coach Kim Price told gsport today. “We’ve had a bit of a downer, losing (former captain) Alison Hodgkinson and Yolandi van der Westhuizen, and (current captain) Shandre Fritz out with a neck injury. Those are three key players, and (their absence has) weakened out batting.
“We have no problem keeping scores down, but we are struggling to put runs on the board,” said Price.
“This puts pressure on the opening batsmen, (new captain) Olivia Anderson and Alexa le Breton.
“This weekend will be the crux of it,” Price continues. “If we don’t come away with full points, with bonus points, we’re really almost out of it. The girls know what they’ve got to do, it’s just a case of going out and doing it.”
The Free State ladies will be playing more for pride than in serious attempt to qualify for the semis, their meagre three wins in seven matches leaving them 12 points behind third-placed Western Province, and 16 points behind Border, tentatively in second place behind a rampant Boland.
“I must say, we still really want to do well,” said Free State vice-captain Susan Benade, “And show that we can take four points, that we can beat the bigger teams like Western Province and Boland. I’m sure we’re going to do our best, and put in a big effort."
Home losses to Border and Boland put Free State on the back foot early on in the season, a difficult set back to recover from. “I must say it was easy games that we lost,” said Benade. “We were just unlucky, I guess. But everyone is still very positive, and still want to show everyone that we can still do well.”
In their remaining matches, Free State will face Western Province and Boland in tough away conditions, and a plucky South Western Districts at home, their only easy match their final match of the season, away to Griqualand West.
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