Province batsmen keep their heads to edge out Northerns
WESTERN PROVINCE began their Khaya Majola campaign on Thursday with a thrilling one-wicket win over Northerns in a low-scoring time match at Rondebosch Boys’ High.
Set a modest 143 for victory, Province lost wickets at regular intervals and were left still requiring 10 runs for victory with one wicket in hand.
Taariq Chiecktey (30) and No 11 Ntsika Shushu (3no) handled the pressure to get the win.
Province’s run-chase on a lively pitch saw in-form opener Seb Golding out for a duck, one of five victims for impressive speedster Charl van der Merwe who took three of the first five wickets to finish with figures of 5/20 off 10 overs.
He was ably supported by all-rounder Jovaun van Wyngaardt (3/37).
Province lost opener Matthew Norris (19), Rudolph Cronje (9) and David Bedingham (9) as they struggled to 51/4. But an aggressive 45-ball 40 from captain Hilio de Abreu (top score; 45 balls) saw him and Jason Smith add 35 for the fifth- wicket before Smith departed for seven.
De Abreu and Chiecktey were the only Province batsmen to break the 20-run barrier as ball dominated throughout.
When De Abreu departed with the score on 94/6, a tense run- in ensued. Northerns gained the ascendancy with three quick wickets to reduce Province to 134/9.
Province, thanks to a wellplayed 30 off 56 balls from wicketkeeper/ batsman Chiecktey, held on to scrape home.
Earlier, after being sent into bat, Northerns found the going tough on a lively pitch early on as they as reached tea on 49/5.
A stubborn seventh-wicket stand between Dimitri Saunders (21) and Van Wyngaardt (49 not out off 69 balls, six fours and one six) saw them recover to 129/7.
The Province bowling attack, a mix of pace and spin, while erratic at times, did well to restrict Northerns to 142 off 56.5 overs. Pacemen Travis Muller (2/23 ) and Josh Frans- man (2/11) bowled with venom and pace with the new ball to cause the initial damage, while spinners Golding (2/34) and De Abreu (2/30) kept it tight.
But on an opening day where runs were hard to come by, no less than five bowlers managed five-wicket hauls.
The five – Gareth Harte ( Gauteng), Anrich Nortjé (Eastern Province), Marcello Piedt ( South Western Districts), Charl van der Merwe (Northerns) and Wehan Joubert ( Mpumalanga) – all got the most from the bowler- friendly conditions.
None of the Boland’s attack picked up five-wicket hauls, but they still bundled out Border for a mere 31 runs. Clint Brockman (3/1), Jan Frylinck (3/15), Jean Bredenkamp ( 2/ 5) and Rabian Engelbrecht (2/8) produced a brilliant combined effort to restrict Border to such a meagre total.
The highest score of the day was posted by South African under-19 and Griqualand West allrounder, Diego Rosier who scored 87 runs against Namibia.