First strike to Gauteng in Provincial three-day Challenge

2010-02-26 00:00

THE Highveld Strikers of Gauteng stepped up to the plate on day one of the Provincial Three-Day Challenge against KZN Inland to dismiss the home side for 186 and were handily placed at 55 for one at stumps.

Inland won the toss and the Strikers’ seamers had a fling at Inland’s top-order, but apart from former Dolphin Ugasen Govender’s dismissal of Mario Olivier with the total 49, it was left to slow left-arm orthodox Jean Symes to do the damage.

The 23-year-old played a key role with an unbeaten 30 in the last-ball win of Strikers’ franchise team, the Lions, over a bewildered Titans in their Standard Bank Pro20 semi-final, first-leg bash in Johannesburg the night before.

Symes continued his 24-hour purple patch with the next four top-order wickets in a little over an hour’s cricket.

His achievement is made even more significant by the fact that he had taken just 11 wickets in his previous six provincial challenge matches this season, and a career-best six for 61 at the PMB Oval yesterday was just reward for what could be a match-winning performance.

For much of the time, Symes operated in tandem with slow left-arm chinaman bowler Tabraiz Shamsi, who is barely 20, and Shamsi withstood an early barrage before taking his debut first-class season tally of wickets to 29, the spin duo realising almost exactly the same first-innings figures.

Inland skipper Tim Drummond, Brad Moses, Ollie Humphries and Chad Barron all got starts, but couldn’t kick on.

Returning to the middle with Stephen Cook this morning is Grant Mokoena, one of the wave of black South African batsmen currently establishing a foothold in the first-class game.

The former Queens College boy made SA Schools’ in 2005 and was in the SA squad at the U19 World Cup in Sri Lanka a year later. A couple of disappointing years followed, but Mokoena signalled his re-emergence with a fine 121 against a world-class England High Performance attack that included Ryan Sidebottom and Liam Plunkett.

The next man in is another black batting diamond, Temba Bavuma, who hit an unbeaten 152 against Easterns last month.

The former SA Schools’ and U19 cricketer will be hoping the recent form displayed by Sachin Tendulkar, his favourite player, rubs off on him today.

However, Inland will be hoping to hit a home run or two by harvesting a bagful of wickets to re-establish parity.

With a 9 am start today due to the 15-odd overs lost due to inclement weather, the first hour or two should make for fascinating cricket given the enthusiasm with which the muggy conditions and usually responsive early-morning pitch encourages the cricket ball to play tricks on batsmen.

At Kingsmead, KZN Coastal trail Griquas by 90 runs with nine wickets intact on the first innings.

SCOREBOARD

KZN Inland first innings

M Olivier c Mokoena b Govender13

T Drummond st Van Zyl b Symes38

B Moses lbw b Shamsi35

K Nipper b Symes13

G Addicott c&b Symes0

O Humphries c&b Symes19

C Barron lbw b Symes26

R Hlela b Symes9

K Chetty c Cook b Shamsi13

B Barends not out5

N Harridave lbw b Shamsi3

Extras (lb12)12

Total (all out, 64.1 overs)186

Fow: 1-49, 2-52, 3-78, 4-78, 5-118, 6-128, 7-149, 8-174, 9-178, 10-186.

Bowling: Mafa 7-2-24-0, Hume 6-2-10-0, Govender 5-1-11-1, Shankland 4-2-7-0, Shamsi 21.1-5-61-3, Symes 21-7-61-6.

Gauteng first innings

J Symes c&b Chetty27

S Cook not out21

G Mokoena not out7

Extras0

Total (1 wkt, 24.1 overs)55

Fow: 1-30.

Bowling: Chetty 9-5-25-1, Hlela 6-4-5-0, Humphries 4-2-7-0, Nipper 3.1-1-6-0, Barends 2-1-12-0.

Scores in brief: Griquas 1st inn 154 (G Cloete 32, A Swanepoel 38; K Abbott 6-42, K Maharaj 2-36). KZN Coastal 1st inn 64/1 (B Barnes 36*, K Zondo 26).

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