January 14, 2003

Western Province hold the aces over Griqualand West in the Standard Bank Cup Final

Western Province and Griqualand West meet in the Standard Bank Cup Final at Newlands on Wednesday 15th January to bring to an end a shortened South African 2002-03 domestic cricket season.

Western Province holds all the aces with home ground advantage and all their international players available for selection. Herschelle Gibbs, Graeme Smith, Gary Kirsten, Jacques Kallis, Ashwell Prince, Neil Johnson, Alan Dawson and Claude Henderson all have international experience and on paper they should be far too strong for the visitors from Kimberley.

Cricket however is not played on paper, as Griqualand West has shown throughout the tournament. Giant killers in every respect they have accounted for KwaZulu-Natal, Northerns and Boland, all games played away from home, with total team effort and commitment.

In Wendell Bossenger they have a captain that leads from the front and he has been ably assisted by the likes of Pieter Koortzen, Johann Louw, Brett Tucker, Alan Kruger and Charl Pietersen throughout the season.

A lot will once again depend on the start that Loots Bosman and Martin Gidley gives the visitors. Against a Western Province bowling attack that has, this season, not fired on all cylinders they might just give the locals a big scare.

With the Western Province batting line-up top heavy with class players, the pressure will squarely be on the Griqua Diamond bowlers and a repeat of the 30 extras given away in the semi-final will signal their downfall.

Many a favourite team has been beaten under the lights at Newlands but Griqualand West will have to pull out all the stops to end the evening with their second Standard Bank trophy.

The match is scheduled to start at 15:45 local lime.