Pinetown marches through to Challenge 20/20 semi-final

2014-03-27 00:00

PINETOWN Cricket Club’s first team continued their impressive form in the Challenge T20 A division, winning both their matches on Sunday for a full house of four wins from four games to date.

Playing at Lahee Park, the well-drilled unit powered past Umlazi in the morning and then dealt with Umzinto, their toughest opposition, in the afternoon.

There was more than just cricket on offer early in the clash with Umlazi as, after Pinetown’s batsmen had faced three overs, a burst water pipe produced a saturated and dangerous outfield which saw players leave the field.

With all hands on deck and keen for the game to continue, the Pinetown lads managed to divert the flow of water, remove the stationary water from the field, and play dutifully resumed, the match altered to 11 overs a side.

The two Bruces, Kerr and Kruger, sensed the urgency and flung their bats at everything coming their way as they raced to a superb 142-0, Kerr finishing on 81* and Kruger 50*. But for the overs being restricted, players and supporters were confident Kerr would have reached three figures.

In reply, Umlazi showed no intention of making a game of things. A dull, dour approach saw the batsmen mysteriously playing for their averages more than the team as they plodded along to 73-3 in their overs, giving Pinetown a 69-run win.

With 12 points from their three games and a semi-final spot assured, there was no pressure for the home side as they took to the field after lunch to face Umzinto.

In the back of their minds though loomed the thought of meeting rivals UKZN in the semis and focus and purpose was key in getting past the South Coast team. Kruger (47) and Kerr (28) again made merry, assisted by Grant Olivier (25) and Kyle Stirling (29*) as Pinetown reached 166-7.

For the first time in the competition, Pinetown’s bowlers were tested as, in stark contrast to the morning game, the visitors approached the chase with purpose and enthusiasm. Sticking to their task, Pine­town’s bowlers struck at vital times with two wickets apiece to Quinn Jones, Nick Tatham and Wesley Luchai strangling Umzinto to 115-7, 51 runs short.

With maximum points from all their four games, Pinetown topped the Challenge Group A log with 16 points, setting up what should be a no holds barred semi-final with UKZN, who looked untroubled in topping the D league. This match is at DHS Old Boys this Sunday at 9 am, with iLembe and Verulam contesting the other semi at Lahee Park.

Winners of the semi travel to Kingsmead for the final on Saturday 5 April, where Pinetown will hope to be as they endeavour to add the T20 title to their League title, thereby completing a notable double in the club’s 140th year.

Challenge T20 A

East Coast 63 (Hoosen 3-9)

Umzinto 65-3 (Ramkalawan 44*)

Umzinto won by 7 wickets.

Pinetown 142-0 (Kruger 50*, Kerr 81*)

Umlazi 73-3

Pinetown won by 69 runs.

Pinetown 166-7 (Kruger 47)

Umzinto 115-7

Pinetown won by 51 runs.

Railways 192-5 (Pillay 104)

East Coast 127 (Mabanga 30, Kylin Govender 39; Moodley 4-9)

Railways won by 65 runs.

Challenge T20 B

ILembe 156-5 (Nadasen 71*)

ACC 129

ILembe won by 27 runs.

Quins 130-6 (Labushagne 53)

Tongaat 61 (Labushagne 4-7, Liebenberg 3-18)

Quins won by 69 runs.

Challenge T20 C

Newlands E/K 75 (Muhammad 32; Paul 4-8)

Simplex RHCSC 78-4

Simplex RHCSC won by 6 wickets.

Verulam 144-4 (Kistan 36, Razak 63*)

Phoenix 92 (Govender 3-4, Thamsanq 4-13)

Verulam won by 52 runs.

Simplex RHCSC 91 (Kimber 32; Govender 3-7)

Verulam 95-1 (Anthony 73*)

Verulam won by 9 wickets.

Hillary Malvern 54 (Suleman 4-9)

Newlands E/K 59-7

Newlands E/K won by 3 wickets.

Challenge T20 D

UKZN 78-1 (Muthusamy 55*)

Chatsworth forfeit match.

Dawnheights 67 (Chislet 5-13)

Clares 68-3 (Joita 38*)

Clares won by 7 wickets.

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