Powerade South Africa A captain, Khaya Zondo is expecting a tightly contested One-Day Triangular Series final against India A when they clash at the Assupol Tuks Oval in Pretoria on Tuesday.
The two sides met twice during the round-robin phase of the competition, which also included Afghanistan A, with the hosts edging the first meeting by two wickets and the visitors scraping home by a single wicket in the second.
Both also beat the Afghans twice each, leaving them as the two sides fighting it out for the title and Zondo admits it is close to call.
“The final is going to be interesting,” he said. “India have a strong side, so it will be a good game. It’s 1-1 so far in the series, so it will be an interesting tussle there in the middle on Tuesday. Hopefully we can pull one over them and we’ll have a 2-1 and the series.”
Three of the wins for Zondo and his charges have been with bonus points and the skipper believes they have enjoyed a fruitful tournament thus far.
“We’ve done well considering the three wins we had were with bonus points,” he added. “We’ve lost one game and it was in the last over, so I'm generally happy with the performances.”
Meanwhile, coach Shukri Conrad wants his players to maintain their current bold gameplan going into the final.
“We just need to keep believing in what we do,” he explained. “I think far too often when teams get into finals, we then try and alter the way we play and we try and be a bit conservative. We don’t play the situations how they need to be played and I think that has to change.
“We need to go in the way we have been and try and be aggressive with the way we do things.”
The one area Conrad would like to see a bit of improvement on is the batting, which has been slightly inconsistent. The bowling, however, has been exceptional with the coach seeking a complete performance from his players.
He added: “The bowling has been very good so far and long may that continue. It has really set the tone for us.
“Batting wise, we’ve had some starts, but nothing complete yet. Hopefully we can turn in that complete performance tomorrow.”
The match will be broadcast live on SuperSport 8 and streamed at www.cricket.co.za from 09:15.
Powerade South Africa A team:
Khaya Zondo (Hollywoodbets Dolphins, capt), Reeza Hendricks (bizhub Highveld Lions), Henry Davids (Multiply Titans), Heinrich Klaasen (Multiply Titans, wk), Farhaan Behardien (Multiply Titans), Dwaine Pretorius (bizhub Highveld Lions), Beuran Hendricks (bizhub Highveld Lions), Aaron Phangiso (bizhub Highveld Lions), Dane Paterson (WSB Cape Cobras), Junior Dala (Multiply Titans).