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WESTERN PROVINCE EAGER FOR FIRST WIN

NEWLANDS – As we gear up for the third round of the CSA 4 Day Series campaign, the Western Province men have ticked all the boxes ahead of the Momentum Multiply Titans’ visit to Newlands Cricket Ground on Thursday.

This was the view from Province’s left-arm spinner Kyle Simmonds. He says the team have been working hard at training to tick all the boxes for Thursday’s clash.

The match is set to start at 10:00, as Salieg Nackerdien’s charges are still searching for their first win of the tournament.

“The team is in a good space, we’ve had some time off from our last game and I think is sometimes important to get away from the game when you can, but since we’ve been back at training I think it’s been really good,” said Simmonds.

“There’s been a focus on switching on and making sure our intensity and focus is where it needs to be,” said Simmonds.

“We’ve lost key players to the SA’A side but we spoke about it at training today [Wednesday] that this opens up opportunities for other players to showcase their talent. It takes more than 11 players to get through a season so this is part of how things go.”

“As a team, we are happy for the guys who have been called up, that’s one of the reasons why we play the game is because players get rewarded for good performances.

Simmonds knocked a solid 120 runs off 155 balls against the DP World Lions earlier this month at Newlands and took a crucial 6/129 in our last match against the AET Tuskers at Pietermaritzburg Oval.

Simmonds celebrated 50 First Class Matches and in the process took his 200th First Class Wicket against the Tuskers.

He believes he is in good space and his key focus is to help the Province whenever and wherever he can.

“I’m in a good space, taking it one game at a time, because of the competitiveness of our squad, game time is not always guaranteed so I’m just hoping to contribute where I can when I get the chance to. So far this season there hasn’t been a stand out player,” he said.

“I think our positive mindset as a group has brought out the best in each player, the next few days are just another opportunity that I hope I can make the most of.

“It’s easy to get caught up in the season as a whole, from now onwards until the end of April there is a lot of cricket to be played, staying present is something I want to focus on and just doing what the team requires for each situation.

Simmonds says the team will be wary of the Titans and what they are bringing.

“The Titans are always a competitive team and have been for a long time, I think there’s a mix of experience and younger players in their side which we’ve discussed earlier in the week,” he adds.

“We’re just going to focus on what we need to do to make sure we’re at our best for the next four days”.

“We want to go out and get a win at Newlands, our 4-Day record hasn’t been great recently and we’ve acknowledged that there will be key moments over the next 4 days and we want to go out and win the small battles and hopefully walk away on Sunday with a win.”

Playing Squad: Asakhe Tsaka, Beuran Hendricks, Daniel Smith, Edward Moore, Jonathan Bird, Juan James, Liyema Waqu, Kyle Simmonds, Kenan Smith, Kyle Verreynne (c), Mthiwekhaya Nabe, Nandre Burger, Valentine Kitime, Yaseen Vallie.

Catch the match live on the CSA YouTube page.