As one of the players who left, leaving a bitter taste in South African cricket's mouth (remember the time he sent the then national coach Russell Domingo an email when he signed a Kolpak deal, and spelt Russell incorrectly?), Rilee Rossouw is already catching eyes on his return. He scored an unbeaten 73 off 51 balls to anchor the Knights' chase of 144 against the Titans and then scored 67 off 47 balls to help the Knights post a match-winning 154 for 5 against Kwa-Zulu Natal Inland. His two half-centuries put him second on the run-scorers' charts, behind Zubayr Hamza, and potentially back on the national radar.
Another returnee is Cameron Delport , who played for South Africa before becoming something of a journeyman. Delport has an impressive array of teams to his name including franchises in the PSL, CPL and Afghanistan's Shpageeza Cricket League and has now signed on for Kwa-Zulu Natal Inland. He made an instant statement with his 39-ball 72 not out in their successful chase of 113 against Mpumalanga and though it may be too late for him to continue pushing for an international career, he is guaranteed to entertain.
Test captain Dean Elgar is one of very few nationally contracted players in this competition - those who are not at the IPL are in a camp ahead of the T20 World Cup - but even his appearances were limited. Elgar captained the Titans in their first two matches, where he scored 41 in a losing cause against the Knights and 7 in their victory over Mpumalanga but sat out the must-win third game against Kwa-Zulu Natal Inland. Aaron Phangiso led the Titans in Elgar's absence, while Jandre Pretorius opened the batting in his first appearance for the province and scored 40 runs off 39 balls to help the Titans post a winning target.
Their twin defeats and the fact that they are one of two teams (Limpopo being the other) whose red-ball matches will not count as first-class fixtures, Mpumalanga have a lot of pride and a reputation to make. So little known are they that they were incorrectly called Limpopo by the broadcasters, and their coach Gordon Matheson was quick to point it out at the first chance he got. They may be little-known, but Mpumalanga have a few potential headliners. Wicketkeeper-batter Rubin Hermann was their top-scorer with 32 off 31 balls against Kwa-Zulu Natal Inland, and their captain, pace bowler Luvuyo Nkese, appears a good prospect.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent