Captain Parnell upbeat ahead of playoffs

The other side of the CSA Provincial T20 Knock Out Competition quarter-final draw presents an intriguing battle of wit when four sides featuring hardened domestic cricketers and internationally experienced players collide in the knockout stages in Kimberley this week.

The ITEC Knights will be up against the Six Gun Grill Western Province in the fascinating second quarter-final of the last eight doubleheader at The Oval, Kimberley on Tuesday, 19 October from 14h30. While the GbetsRocks take on the North West Dragons in a Paarl vs. Potchefstroom parley on Wednesday at 14h30 to finalize the TKO semi-final places.

The winner of both games will go head-to-head in the second semi-final on Thursday ahead of potential trophy celebrations in Friday’s showpiece final. That game will be against the winners of the other side of the draw between the Six Gun Grill South Western Districts, Momentum Multiply Titans as well as the Hollywoodbets Dolphins and the Gbets Warriors.

The Knights, coached by South African cricket legend Alan Donald were in fine fettle in Pool B, recording two wins and a rained out game against Mpumalanga to end the group in top spot ahead of the Titans. The experienced and exciting pair of Farhaan Behardien and Rilee Rossouw starred with the bat for the Free State side, as the latter smashed two half-centuries and scored 140 runs in his two innings.

“We are obviously very happy with our first-round performances. Two wins and a rainout, the guys played really good cricket,” said Knights captain, Pite van Biljon regarding his team’s showing in the first round.

“We started quite slowly in the pre-season with our build-up against Namibia but we got it right in the last couple of games against them and that carried over into this competition so hopefully we can carry our form and our confidence into the knockout rounds,” the skipper added.

Similarly, their quarter-final opponents Six Gun Grill Western Province head into the contest with vigour in their step after they overcame a must-win game in Pool A to qualify. With the form of players like Zubayr Hamza, who raised his bat for the tournament’s first hundred, and the involvement of left-armer Wayne Parnell, it is an exciting time at the union under the domestic cricket restructure.

Ahead of his team’s quarter-final, the Province skipper, Parnell said: “We take pride in getting through to the playoffs. In our last game against Northern Cape Heat we had to win within a certain time frame and overs, and we managed to do that which was very pleasing.

“Now it is a fresh start, every game is a one-off game and it’s just about trying to stay in the moment. It’s massively important to put a marker down to try and win every competition that we play in.

“This one especially, being the (re-)start of the Western Province Union, will mean a lot to the players and to everyone back home in Cape Town if we can get over the line,” Parnell added.

Meanwhile, the Rocks were one of only two sides (Dolphins) to finish with a 100% record in the pool action as they swept aside all before them, including the Warriors, Eastern Cape Iinyathi and the Limpopo Impalas. Although Clyde Fortuin’s magical century against his former Warriors team grabbed the headlines, it was the side’s bowlers, including Ziyaad Abrahams’ six wickets, that contributed heavily according to captain Pieter Malan.

“We were quite happy with our performances in the first round, especially from the bowlers, they really put their hands up and carried the team through,” he commented.

“As a batting unit, there’s still a bit we want to improve on but as a unit we were pretty happy, especially as it’s the first time playing together as a group, we are quite satisfied with how it went.,” Malan said.

“In terms of batting conditions, there are definitely shorter boundaries here (Kimberley) than it would have been the case in Bloem and the ball does travel at altitude, we are aware of that.

“But again, with the bowling attack we have, we are quite confident that we can restrict teams to manageable scores,” he added.

The Rocks won’t have it all their own way when they go toe-to-toe with the Dragons under the captaincy of veteran wicket-keeper batter, Nicky van den Bergh, impressive youngsters in the squad and an all-action Senuran Muthusamy racking up consistent performances.

The North West side overpowered a tough Eastern Storm outfit in Pool C to seal their spot in the knockout round and as a Division One side under the new system, with a point to prove.

“Success in this tournament will be massive for us, especially as one of the non-franchise teams from the last system who came up to the first division,” Van den Bergh stated.

“It is still a learning curve for a lot of the players, a lot of the youngsters who are having their first year in full professional cricket, so to taste a bit of success in this tournament already is great for the guys.

“The way that the guys have pulled together, they have rallied around with senior players still being injured, showing real character and showing there is depth, not just in the North West but in South Africa and I am really excited to see what this team has to offer,” the returning captain added.

All seven knockout matches of the competition will be broadcast live on SuperSport with commentary available in English, Afrikaans, and IsiXhosa. The action will also be broadcast on multiple global networks including Free Sports (UK) and Fox Sports (Australia), and live-streamed via FanCode (Indian sub-continent).

Live updates will also be available on the CSA App, which is downloadable on IOS and Android devices via the App Store and Google Play.

ITEC Knights: Pite van Biljon (Captain), Farhaan Behardien, Patrick Botha, Mbulelo Budaza, Gerald Coetzee, Matthew Kleinveldt, Patrick Kruger, Gregory Mahlokwana, Wandile Makwetu, Mangaliso Mosehle, Alfred Mothoa, Migael Pretorius, Rilee Rossouw, Jacques Snyman, Nealan van Heerden, Raynard van Tonder

Six Gun Grill Western Province: Wayne Parnell (Captain), Aviwe Mgijima, Basheer Walters, Beuran Hendricks, Daniel Smith, Jonathan Bird, David Bedingham, Yves Kamanzi, Kyle Simmonds, Kyle Verreynne, Mihlali Mpongwana, Nandre Burger, Tony de Zorzi, Tshepo Moreki, Zubayr Hamza,

GbetsRocks: Pieter Malan (Captain), Ferisco Adams, Janneman Malan, Stiaan van Zyl, Christiaan Jonker, Clyde Fortuin, Sinalo Gobeni, Hlomla Hanabe, Imraan Manack, Hardus Viljoen, Siyabonga Mahima, Zakhele Qwabe, Ziyaad Abrahams, Khanya Dilima Shaun von Berg,

North West Dragons: Nicky van den Bergh (Captain), Senuran Muthusamy, Wesley Marshall, Eben Botha, Shaylen Pillay, Lesego Senokwane, Jason Oakes, Duan Jansen, Eldred Hawken, Chad Claasen, Lwandisa Zuma, Chris Britz, Tahir Isaacs, Johannes Diseko, Caleb Seleka, Heinrigh Pieterse

Fixtures – All matches to be held at The Oval, Kimberley. 

Tuesday, 19 October 2021 

QF 1 – Six Gun Grill SWD vs Momentum Multiply Titans at 10:00

QF 2 – ITEC Knights vs Six Gun Grill Western Province at 14:30

Wednesday, 20 October 2021

QF 3 – Hollywoodbets Dolphins vs Gbets Warriors at 10:00

QF 4 – GbetsRocks vs North West Dragons at 14:30

Thursday, 21 October 2021

SF 1 – Winner of QF 1 vs QF 3 at 10:00

SF 2 – Winner of QF 2 vs QF 4 at 14:30

Friday, 22 October 2021

Final – TBC at 13:00