Saturday’s victory over Rajasthan Royals was satisfying because the Kimberley pitch was conducive to slow spin and suited them more. This was our second win over the Shane Warne-led side and it, more or less, guarantees us a place in the semifinals. We need one more win to cement a berth in the last four.
We are feeling very confident and I’m sure that if we keep playing the way we are, we will get to the final.
The four-day break after the match against the Royals was most welcome. We took a trip to the Inkwe Valley Game Lodge in Limpopo, just to relax after a hectic week and keep everybody fresh for the next round where we play four games in seven days!
And it begins today in Durban against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. We have beaten them earlier in tournament but they are coming off a good win over Kolkata, and can be very dangerous.
Let me do a SWOT analysis of them.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Strengths: They have good all-rounders in Jacques Kallis and Jesse Ryder. Ross Taylor, who is having a rather quiet tournament, can be very aggressive as he showed against Kolkata on Tuesday. They also have a lot of bowling options in Ryder, Kallis, Dale Steyn and, of course, Anil Kumble.
Weaknesses: They still seem a bit unstable. They have had a roller-coaster ride in the tournament and have been chopping and changing their side to find the right mix. If they can find it, they will be able to do some real damage and even make a bid for a semi-final spot.
Opportunities: We have been more consistent. All the players have come to the party now. Batting has always been our strength and bowling has improved. We can apply pressure on Bangalore by posting a big score, if we bat first. The pitch at Durban can be a tricky one, so we will have to wait and see how it is on the day. However, we have a balanced side and I am sure we will be able to make something of it.
Threats: Bangalore have a balanced batting line-up. The main threats to us are Kallis, Boucher, Taylor and Ryder as they can all be very destructive. Knocking them over as quickly as we can will be the key.