Rovers hot on the heels of log leaders Crusaders

2013-11-21 00:00

DESPITE a strong 118-run win against Topham on Sunday in a Premier League clash, Berea Rovers remain two points adrift of log leaders Crusaders. They thumped African Warriors by eight wickets to strengthen their position at the front of the pack.

Posting a useful 238 in a match at Rovers, the hosts then made short work of Topham’s reply, finishing them off for 120 in a strong performance.

Rovers skipper Byron Whatmore’s luck finally ran out as he called incorrectly and was asked to bat first. Having been under the covers for three days, there was no guessing what the pitch might offer and Topham struck early, having Rovers two wickets down in the first over.

Needing to knuckle down, Rovers batsmen Richard Pentecost (23) and Cody Gertze (57) kept the scoreboard ticking, Gertze compiling his first half century of the season. He showed glimpses of the form he enjoyed on the club’s recent tour to the UK and he set the foundation for the middle-order batsmen to make merry.

Make merry they did. Neville Talbot hit lustily for 58, clearing the ropes a few times before throwing his wicket away after a drinks break. Byron Segal added a steady 15, and with 31 from Whatmore and 16 from Grayson McMullen, the 200 mark was easily passed.

Rovers coach Paddy Steytler was satisfied with the side’s recovery, his only concern being their failure to bat through their 50 overs, being dismissed in the 46th over.

Having enjoyed some tough training sessions during the week, Rovers’ bowlers were keen to take up the attack and they did not disappoint. Whatmore and current Dolphins all rounder Robbie Frylinck opened the bowling, restricting Topham to 23 without loss after 10 overs.

Topham’s batting was opened by former Rovers player Mark Airey who had a point to prove, but the introduction of left-arm seamer Dylan Buckthorp put the skids on any resistance Topham may have offered.

He proceeded to pick up 4-25 in his ten overs, knocking the stuffing out of Topham’s reply. He was ably supported by the oldest member of the team, Anthony Abiet, who sent down his 10 overs for an incredible 12 runs and one wicket.

With the game all but lost, former Rovers skipper and off spinner Ryan Vaughan finished off matters, bagging 4-8 in 3.1 overs. The crunching 118-run win was enough to give Rovers a bonus point as they attempt to chase down Crusaders, bowling out Topham in 41.1 overs.

A highlight of the match was the guard of honour formed by Rovers to recognise former Rovers player and club cricket legend Oss Gcilitshana when he came out to bat.

This Sunday, Rovers need to hit their straps against the strong Chatworth United team. While fourth on the log and nine points behind Rovers, United are the in form team at the moment.

Premier League Results

African Warriors 61 (Jason Biddulph 4-10, Shaun Dixon 3-5)

Crusaders 66-2

Crusaders won by 8 wickets.

Berea Rovers 238 (Cody Gertze 57, Neville Talbot 58, Byron Whatmore 31; Ryan Reeves 3-38, George Bronkhorst 3-53)

Topham 120 (Singitha Gcilitshana 34; Dylan Buckthorp 4-25, Ryan Vaughan 4-8)

Berea Rovers won by 118 runs.

Chatsworth Sporting 248-8 (Cody Chetty 35, Jonathan Vandiar 114, Deepak Anand 47; Juan Ludick 4-49)

Southern Natal 75 (Prenelan Subrayen 4-19)

Chatsworth Sporting won by 173 runs.

Chatsworth United 192-7 (Benjamin Compton 46, Devon Kupperman 30, Vaughn van Jaarsveld 70; Abdul Razak 4-31)

DHS Rhythm 37 (Chester Comins 6-17)

Chatsworth United won by 155 runs.

Uthungulu 172-8 (Stephan Joubert 31, Otto Rode 35, Daryl Hatting 38; Yuvan Maharaj 3-22, Daryn Smit 3-28)

Delta 161 (Mishkal Ramsaroop 43; Neill Jordan 3-32, Daryn Dupavillion 4-27)

Uthungulu won by 11 runs.

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