January 9, 2003

Standard Bank Cup set for entertainment

With all the national players available, the Standard Bank Cup semi-finals sees full strength Border and Western Province meet in East London while the giant killers Boland and Griqualand West meet in an interesting encounter in Paarl.

Border have included Mark Boucher, Makhaya Ntini and Monde Zondeki in their squad on a pitch has been very lively throughout the season, and even more so when the lights come on. The side winning the toss will look bat first and a bruising match is expected with the bowling strength of Border and the batting strength of Western Province.

Western Province could not find a place for provincial captain HD Ackerman and boast a top order of Herschelle Gibbs, Graeme Smith, Neil Johnson, Jacques Kallis and Ashwell Prince. Gary Kirsten will captain the visitors.

In Paarl the home ground advantage may just be enough to swing the result into Boland's favour. Both teams, without the stars of the other unions, reached the semi-final stage with pure guts and determination.

Boland lost once to Free State but has won all their home games, while Griqualand West took care of both Northerns and KwaZulu-Natal to reach their second semi-final after having won the Cup in the 1998/99 season. Boland will also be contesting their second semi-final having won the Cup in the 1999/2000 season.

Both matches are day-night affairs starting at 15:45 local time.