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NCC in Border war

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Kimberley team has to reverse poor run in CSA Provincial competitions

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The Northern Cape Cricket (NCC) team landed in East London yesterday morning ahead of their CSA 3-Day Provincial Cup Challenge and CSA Provincial One-Day Challenge match against Border, where the visiting team will be hard pressed to make good on a hitherto unimpressive showing in especially the three-day series.

NCC coach Loots Bosman merely confirmed the team’s arrival in East London yesterday morning, and then seemingly immediately went to ground after he had consented to talk to the media “later” about his side’s preparations for the game against Boland.

It is not an unwise move, judging from the hard to ignore poor string of results his side has served up thus far, leaving them languishing at the bottom half of the series log for a prolonged period.

The outing to Buffalo Park happens in the immediate aftermath of NCC’s complete collapse in both the the three-day game as well as the one-day match at the Diamond Oval a fortnight ago against Free State. Then NCC seemingly had no reply to Free State’s relentless attack with ball and bat.

During the three-day clash NCC’s highest scores against Free State in their first innings came via Tristan Traugott and Avumile Mnci who each raked in 32 runs, Mtabozuko Nqam who scored a patient 41 runs off 111 balls and Aubrey Swanepoel top scored 42 runs off 63 deliveries. In the second innings skipper Farhaan Sayanvala top scored with 26 runs. The Free Staters had no problem knocking off the winning runs, romping to an eight-wicket victory.

This pattern was carried through to the One Day clash. Even then NCC failed dismally to impress, posting a paltry 166 runs in their innings. Free State hauled the total in with 35 balls remaining, winning the match by 4 wickets.

As for this weekend’s challenge, Border is traditionally viewed as the weakest side in Pool B where they have played one game fewer than NCC. In the one-day competition Border has recorded a solitary win to sit at positions seven with two points, while NCC have two wins to their account and sit at position five with eight points in the bag.

In the 3-Day Provincial Cup competition NCC are barely holding on to sixth spot with 51.17 points to their account, and Border, with a game in hand are in seventh spot on 50.22 points. NCC will be all too aware that they have it all to do this weekend to stay ahead of the East London side.

Border’s poor record notwithstanding, it would be premature to write them off just yet in this game as the visitors have shown that they aren’t good travellers.