Preview: Clash between equally matched sides
After an exciting few weeks, the CSA Provincial T20 Cup – South Africa’s premier domestic T20 competition – has finally reached its culmination. The final of the tournament will be played at Benoni on the 24th of September between KwaZulu-Natal Inland and Easterns. Both the teams were in the top two positions at the end of the league stage in the Group A. And now, they will clash in the high-octane final to decide the winners of this competition.
This will be one of those finals where both the teams are equally matched. However, the Easterns can have the mental advantage of beating the KwaZulu-Natal Inland side in the last two matches they have faced off.
Led by Cody Chetty, KwaZulu-Natal Inland has a very good an in-form unit. The captain himself has been leading from the front and has been leading run-getter for the team this tournament with 228 runs in 5 matches. Following him closely is Grant Roelofsen (200 runs in 5 matches). The team’s batting will be heavily dependent on these two star batsmen. However, the other all-rounders for the team like Kyle Nipper and Robbie Frylinck might come in handy too in the final match.
KwaZulu-Natal Inland’s bowling is pretty good with most of their bowlers being amongst the wickets. Fast bowler Kerwin Mungroo (7 wickets) has been the star performer for the team and should have a say in the finals. The medium-pace of Robbie Frylinck and Kyle Nipper could be useful too. However, left-arm spinner Nduduzo Mfoza (8 wickets) has been terrific for the team and can really strangle the opposition in the final with his dexterous and economical bowling.
Meanwhile, the Easterns would be quietly confident of their chances in the final too. They were the table toppers in the league stage from their group and have a very good all-round unit. In the batting department, players like Wesley Marshall (182 runs), Matthew Arnold (119 runs) and Jurie Snyman (106 runs) would be the batsmen to watch out for in the final. They have been consistent for the team and would like to end on a high. Captain Grant Thomson has had a quiet tournament so far with a highest score of 48. He would like to leave a big impression on the final game with his batting.
Their bowling is settled with great variety. Left-arm seamer Khwezi Gumede (7 wickets) will be crucial in the opening spell. However, spinners Khwezi Gumede (9 wickets) and Dyllan Matthews (6 wickets) can be the biggest game-changers in the final match. Gumede, especially, has been sensational and will be a major threat for KwaZulu-Natal Inland.
Prediction – Final, KwaZulu-Natal Inland v Easterns:
The pitch at Benoni is expected to be a true surface all through the game. Historically, the surface at Benoni has been good for batting. Hence, in the final match of the CSA Provincial T20 Cup between KwaZulu-Natal Inland and Easterns we can expect another good pitch that should produce a combined total of 320-odd runs.
Both the teams are equally matched in this final face-off. And anyone can win the clash on the day. However, the Easterns look to have more bases covered and are in better form. They are the likely winners of the CSA Provincial T20 Cup final. The only thing that might stop them is KwaZulu-Natal Inland’s batting. We are hence in for an exciting contest.