Saturday, 07 December 2019

On a day filled with plenty of big shots, wickets falling and close finishes, it was the Central Gauteng Lions and Easterns who ended the day’s play the happiest after winning both their T20 encounters on the third day of the Momentum under-15 Boys Week in East London.

After winning their first two time cricket matches, Gauteng claimed a convincing victory against home side, Border and a hard-fought single-wicket win over Boland, while Easterns followed up their impressive start to the Week with two dominant displays against the same opponents.

There were also back-to-back wins for five other sides during the day’s play, with KwaZulu-Natal Inland, North West, Northerns, Western Province and South Western Districts all showcasing their prominence in the shortest format.

In Gauteng’s first match of the day, they had Richard Seletsane to thank after the right-handed batsman top-scored with a 47-ball 43 to lead his side to 124/5 before they managed to dismiss Border for 100 all out, with Christopher King taking figures of 3/14 to clinch the 24-run win.

Against Boland, Shervaan Govender picked up three wickets for 24 runs to restrict them to 117/5, which was followed by an exciting run chase that saw Seletsane (35) and an unbeaten 34 off 37 balls from Ethan Perry get Gauteng over the line with one ball remaining.

Easterns experienced similarly exciting but tough matches against Boland and Border, respectively. In the first T20, the Benoni-based side could only manage to get 103/8 on the board, mainly thanks to Abdullah Patel’s 45 off 43 balls, but was bailed out by a superb bowling performance, led by Wickus Arnott’s return of three for four to dismiss Boland for just 65 in 18.2 overs.

Their second game of the day played out in the same fashion after posting a hard-fought 120/5 against Border, with Tristan van Schalkwyk (44) the protagonist with the bat. With the ball, Easterns’ Arnott (3/12) and Kabelo Mohalane (2/6) combined to help remove the home side for 53 within 15 overs.

KZN Inland’s Jake Carstens notched up the highest score of the day in his team’s match against Limpopo.

The batting all-rounder dispatched eight fours during a faster than a run-a-ball half-century (88 off 65 balls) to help his side clinch a big 55-run victory over Limpopo. The side from the KZN Midlands then claimed a one-wicket win over Free State in a closely contested, low-scoring tie.

Meanwhile, North West claimed the biggest winning margins after they defeated KZN Coastal by five wickets and Mpumalanga by eight wickets to claim consecutive wins. Northerns overpowered Mpumalanga and KZN Coastal in two thrilling clashes, with Western Province also showing their class in T20 cricket by dispatching Northern Cape and Eastern Province with relative ease after limiting both teams to a score of less than a 100.

SWD also dominated proceedings against their opponents during the day’s action following their two-wicket win against Free State, which preceded their last-ball heroics against Limpopo, after needing to score three runs off the last ball to claim a one-wicket win.

In the other match on the morning of Day 3, Eastern Province defeated visiting nation, Namibia and in the afternoon’s round of matches, Namibia bounced back with a 44-run triumph over Northern Cape to bring an end to an action-packed day of T20 cricket.

Scorecards can be located on Day 4 of the Momentum U15 Boys Week will continue on Sunday, 08 December with 50-over matches scheduled for the last two days of the Week.