Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition)

Downs, Chiefs and Wits: It’s the same old story for City

Too many chances go begging for Cape side Everything just went right for the Indian women

- RODNEY REINERS ZAAHIER ADAMS

CAPE TOWN CITY finally got to know what it feels like to lose to Bidvest Wits when the Clever Boys edged the Cape side 2-1 in an entertaini­ng PSL fixture played at the Athlone Stadium last night.

Having beaten Wits on four previous occasions this season, a fifth victory proved to be out of the Citizens’ reach.

It was certainly a case of contrasts for the two teams:

Mosiahlaga was particular­ly impressive. He has had loan spells at Cape Town All Stars and Stellenbos­ch FC, and it showed, in that he looked quite at home at Athlone. He looks a real prospect –tricky, quick and really confident on the ball.

Wits’ goal was against the run of play because, up until then, City had made all the running, but were just unable to make their possession count.

The Clever Boys made their intentions clear right from the start, with some really feisty tackles. In the opening 20 minutes, the Johannesbu­rg side had both Edwin Gyimah and Keegan Ritchie booked as they brutally got stuck into City’s Teko Modise, Craig Martin and Thabo Nodada.

The Cape side’s best opportunit­ies early on fell to Matthew Rusike when he headed over in the opening minute, while Martin’s goalbound effort was cleared by Wits defender Buhle Mkhwanazi.

Both teams lost players to injury in the opening 25 minutes, with Wits’ Gabadinho Mhango off and replaced by Vincent Pule, while Rusike pulled a hamstring and on came Nana Akosah-Bempah.

With City in need of some inspiratio­n to get back on level terms in the second half, it duly arrived in the form of the industriou­s, magical Nodada. Usually known for his lung-busting drives from midfield, Nodada showed that he has some trickery too. Cramped for space on the goalline, near the corner flag, he ghosted beyond his marker with quick feet and some incredible skill, turned in the cross, and Martin whipped in a delightful shot that thundered into the net.

With the score at 1-1, and all to play for, it was Wits who again took the game to the home side. Another lapse in defence from the Capetonian­s allowed that ace goal poacher Majoro in again, and the striker made his former club pay with another fine finish in the 73rd minute.

As the game finally started to open up towards the end, Modise produced a special moment so reminiscen­t of his glory years when he fired in a powerful angled shot, but Wits goalkeeper Darren Keet’s acrobatic save denied the veteran.

So, yet another defeat for City, and that’s three on the trot – to Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns and Wits. The problem is still the same: as much as they create, too many opportunit­ies go begging. INDIA’s experience and youthful energy helped them power past the Proteas in the Women’s T20 series-decider at Newlands yesterday.

On a day when everything went right for India, the visitors posted 166/4, with Mithali Raj (62) and Jemimah Rodrigues (44) putting on a 98-run stand in what was a surreal display of the team’s present and future batting in tandem. Then, the 34-yearold Rumeli Dhar picked up a three-wicket haul – her first wickets since coming back into the side after six years out – as South Africa were restricted to 112.

India’s 54-run victory ensured they claimed the series 3-1 to go with their 2-1 win in the ODIs earlier in the tour.

The visitors were put in, and after a brief rain delay, play got under way. South Africa had the breakthrou­gh fairly early on – Marizanne Kapp repeatedly probed outside Smriti Mandhana’s offstump, forcing a couple of false shots. She soon resorted to slogging, and a mistimed effort found more height than distance, with Masabata Klaas putting in a dive to take a fine catch at deep mid-wicket.

However, for a while thereafter, South Africa didn’t have much going for them as Raj and Rodrigues got going. They took a couple of overs to settle in before Raj signalled the changing of gears with a mammoth six off Klaas. In the next over, she charged down and lifted Proteas captain Dane van Niekerk over long-on for another six. She did so again in the next over off Raisibe Ntozakhe.

Rodrigues got into the act as well in Ntozakhe’s next over, hammering a six over mid-wicket. The 100-run mark was crossed in the 14th over, before Raj brought up her 13th half-century in T20Is. The two then picked on Shabnim Ismail, Rodrigues going for a biggie with a slog, before Raj threaded consecutiv­e fours.

India then lost two wickets in quick succession: Ismail had Raj caught behind for a brilliant 50-ball 62, before Rodrigues, having scored an adventurou­s 34-ball 44, mistimed a pull and was caught by Ayabonga Khaka off her own bowling.

Harmanpree­t Kaur and Veda Krishnamur­thy, had no time to settle in the death overs, but Harmanpree­t hammered a 17-ball 27.

South Africa started badly, and were reduced to 20/3, with Dhar getting the all-important opening wicket, dismissing Van Niekerk for a 12-ball 10. Sune Luus (5) lasted just eight balls before Pandey had her bowled with an excellent yorker.. When Lizelle Lee’s 13-ball stay was ended by Dhar, SA were in all sorts of trouble.

It never really got better. Mignon du Preez and Chloe Tryon added a quick 20 before Pandey had du Preez (17) chipping one to cover for her second wicket. Three balls later, she had her third, Van Niekerk letting an inside-edge trickle onto her stumps. At 44/5, South Africa seemed to have no way back.

Kapp came in and provided good support to Tryon, the two adding 27 before Tryon holed out off Gayakwad. Kapp then went on the aggressive, adding 29 runs with Ismail (8) before the latter was beaten by Poonam Yadav’s wrong’un and was stumped.

When Kapp perished for a 21-ball 27, SA’s fight was over. Gayakwad had both Klaas and Khaka dismissed in consecutiv­e balls as India sealed a hugely impressive victory.

 ?? AYANDA NDAMANE, AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY/ANA ?? EXQUISITE EQUALISER: Craig Martin celebratin­g his goal against Bidvest Wits at Athlone Stadium
AYANDA NDAMANE, AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY/ANA EXQUISITE EQUALISER: Craig Martin celebratin­g his goal against Bidvest Wits at Athlone Stadium
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 ??  ?? MARIZANNE KAPP: Early breakthrou­gh
MARIZANNE KAPP: Early breakthrou­gh

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