Sunday, 15 December 2019

A half-century from Tim Ferguson and another superb bowling display from Jan Hendrik Coetzer helped Northerns confirm their hundred percent record at this year’s Momentum under-17 Boys Week with a sixth victory over Eastern Province in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.

On the final day of the U17 national tournament, the second round of 50-over matches saw Western Province bounce back from the disappointment of losing against Northerns to defeat the Central Gauteng Lions. Free State, KwaZulu-Natal Inland, North West and Limpopo also ended the Week on a winning note.

The matches involving Boland, KwaZulu-Natal Coastal, Eastern Cape Invitational and South Western Districts were abandoned due to rain and wet outfields across the respective grounds.

Despite the unofficial final – hosted at Woodridge College’s main field – also being interrupted by the rain, Northerns had their in-form batsman, Ferguson, to thank as they were crowned champions after a 33-run win on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method. The right-hander notched up a crucial 58 off 108 balls (5 fours) to anchor his side’s innings, before Lungelo Khoba’s destructive 40-ball 53 (4 fours, 2 sixes) propelled the team from Pretoria to 205/8.

Although they outscored Gauteng on Day 4, EP’s batsmen couldn’t replicate their form against Northerns this time around as Coetzer led from the front with the ball, taking four wickets for 32 runs in his 10 overs to restrict the chasers to 173 all out.

Coetzer was ably supported by Letsolo Selemela (2/28), Dewald Brevis (2/28) and Conrad Mouton (2/28).

In the other key match on Sunday, Kai Curran continued his fine form at the crease to record another fifty (68 off 100 balls; 7 fours) for WP in their successful chase of Gauteng’s innings score of 153 all out. This was after Asakhe Ntsaka 3/21 led a clinical WP bowling attack to skittle out the Johannesburg-based outfit within 42.4 overs.

Curran combined with Michael Levitt (37 off 48 deliveries, 5 fours, 1 six) to make light work of the chase, as the former showed his promising talent once again to see his team home with six overs to spare.

Free State overcame Mpumalanga by 39 runs after posting 217 all out in their innings despite a notable return from Jared Bone (4/34) with the ball and a hard-fought 72 (off 105 balls; 7 fours, 1 six) from his teammate, Luco van der Walt as Mpumalanga fell short of their target, ending on 178 all out.

Meanwhile, KZNI’s score of 166 all out was enough to beat Easterns, who could only manage 160 in their chase, with Keegan Crawford the leading bowler for the KZN Midlands side with figures of four for 31.

Limpopo’s Ruan Paulse (52) and Khaif Patel (4/59) were the main protagonists in their two-wicket victory against Border, while North West’s Christopher de Freitas top-scored with an unbeaten half-century (55 off 47 balls; 7 fours, 1 six) to help his team over the line by eight wickets against Northern Cape.

WP’s Curran finished the Momentum U17 Boys Week as the leading runs scorer with a dominant batting average of 104.5 following his 418 runs in six outings, including one hundred and three fifties. 

Christoffel Frederick Kotze’s (Easterns) 19 wickets in five matches at an average of 7.2 was enough to see him end as the tournament’s top wicket-taker over Northerns’ Coetzer, who took 17 scalps in his six encounters.

Full scorecards from Day 5 of the Week can be located on www.websports.co.za.