“The players are raring to go. We have a quality team and our minds are right,” said Adams, head coach of Western Province.
Easterns beat WP by 58 runs in the Africa T20 Cup in September, but Adams doesn’t think they hold a psychological advantage. “We had a lack of game time and we were also behind them in terms of intensity at that time.
“We are calm, we understand what we should do to focus our game and we should be able to pull off a win,” Adams said.
“We have a good balanced attack and we have the variety. We have four seam bowlers – Renaldo Meyer, Justin Dill, Mpilo Njoloza and André Malan – and two spinners – George Linde and Matthew Kleinveldt.”
Another seam bowler at Adams’ disposal is Michael Cohen, but he misses out on the opening clash through injury.
“Up front with the bat we have Matthew Kleinveldt, who has shown he has the ability to bat for long periods of time. André (Malan) has a record that speaks for itself and he is a determined character who has scored many hundreds for North West. Qaasim Adams is very experienced and we have all-rounders (like George Linde). The young batsmen don’t need to feel big pressure. They can bat with the senior players and we are looking to groom and grow them within our team,” Adams said.
Western Province will lean heavily on Malan, who has scored seven centuries and five half-centuries in his first-class career and boasts a first-class average of 42.90.
He produced a career-best 5-37 with the ball last season and also averaged 45.20 with the blade in the List A competition as North West won the cup in the CSA One-Day competition. He also smashed 151 against South Western District for North West last season.
The middle-order consisting of Malan, Adams and Linde will be a key to Western Province’s success this campaign.
The WP squad is: Qaasim Adams, Givon Christian, Isaac Dikgale, Justin Dill, Matthew Kleinveldt, Carlos Koyana (wk), George Linde, Andre Malan (capt), Renaldo Meyer, Neo Mlumbi, Jack Newby, Mpilo Njoloza.