THE South Africa Emerging team are bracing themselves for a key double clash over the next three days, starting with a showdown against University Sports South Africa (USSA) on Thursday, followed by a meeting with Sri Lanka Emerging as their One-Day Triangular Series in Pretoria takes shape.
Coach Shukri Conrad’s side lost to the Asian side in the competition opener last Saturday, before bouncing back with a strong win over USSA to get their campaign going.
They are now searching for twin wins that will almost assure them of a spot in the final.
“We obviously didn’t start very well against Sri Lanka,” Conrad said. “I think with the way I am wanting this team to play, every now and then you are going to see a performance like that. That’s not to make excuses for our poor start. I think batting first in the winter here is also tough, while it was the first game of the series.
“But in saying all that, we came back well in match two against USSA. I’m wanting our batters to play a certain way, which is aggressively as we showed in the second match, and that will be the way forward. Every now and again we will have a bit of a blow out or two.”
The Sri Lankans currently head the table with nine points from two matches, the extra point being a bonus-point that helped them thump the South Africans first time around. Conrad’s side have five points from their win over USSA, who are pointless at the bottom.
“It’s a big weekend ahead of us,” the coach explained. “We play USSA tomorrow and then Sri Lanka on Saturday again. We want to obviously nail a spot for that final as soon as we can and hopefully we’ll be able to do that this weekend.”
Conrad also praised both teams, saying there were no pushovers in the tournament.
“The USSA side has some really good cricketers,” he added. “Speaking to coach Kruger van Wyk, they should have beaten the Sri Lankans after being in a very good position heading into those last few overs, so it’s not a case of underestimating any of the sides.
“We know that anyone can beat anyone, so we have to make sure we play the type of cricket I’m wanting us to play.”
SA Emerging squad: Tony de Zorzi (Multiply Titans), Janneman Malan (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Raynard van Tonder (VKB Knights), Matthew Breetzke (Warriors), Wandile Makwetu (VKB Knights), Sinethemba Qeshile (Warriors), Sibonelo Makhanya (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Marco Jansen (VKB Knights), Tshepang Dithole (bizhub Highveld Lions), Tshepo Ndwandwa (SWD), Tladi Bokako (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Nandre Burger (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Kyle Simmonds (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Jason Smith (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Dayyaan Galiem (Multiply Titans), Thando Ntini (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras).
Thu 04: 4th One Day Match - USSA vs South Africa Emerging (Tuks Oval)
Fri 05: 5th One Day Match - USSA vs Sri Lanka Emerging (Tuks Oval)
Sat 06: 6th One Day Match - South Africa Emerging vs Sri Lanka Emerging (Tuks Oval)
Tue 09: 7th One Day Match - Sri Lanka Emerging vs USSA (Groenkloof Oval)
Wed 10: 8th One Day Match - Sri Lanka Emerging vs South Africa Emerging (Groenkloof Oval)
Thu 11: 9th One Day Match - USSA vs South Africa Emerging (Groenkloof Oval)
Sun 14: Final - T. B. C. vs T. B. C. (Tuks Oval)
Thu 18-Sun 21: 1st Four Day Match - South Africa Emerging vs Sri Lanka Emerging (Senwes Park)
Thu 25-Sun 28: 2nd Four Day Match - South Africa Emerging vs Sri Lanka Emerging (Tuks Oval)