Ilembe crowned KZN Challenge League T20 champions

2015-10-28 06:00
Ilembe Cricket Union were crowned KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union Challenge League Twenty-20 champions after beating Amanzimtoti by 10-runs at the Kingsmead Stadium in Durban on Sunday.   Photo: supplied

Ilembe Cricket Union were crowned KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union Challenge League Twenty-20 champions after beating Amanzimtoti by 10-runs at the Kingsmead Stadium in Durban on Sunday. Photo: supplied

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ILEMBE Cricket Union were crowned KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union Challenge League Twenty-20 champions after beating Amanzimtoti by 10 runs at the Sahara Stadium Kingsmead in Durban on Sunday.

Ilembe won the toss and elected to bat first in hot and humid conditions. Alveiro Nadasen and Lucky Gebane put on an opening partnership of 34 runs in the first five overs before Gebane (18) was stumped by wicket-keeper Robin Smith of the bowling of Jarryd Michaux.

Preshen Rampersad joined Nadasen at the crease and this pair took the tally to 54/2 before Nadasen (18) was brilliantly caught at point by Janco Hennop off the bowling of Devon Kaupherman.

Rampersad, who impressed with the bat throughout the tournament, made a note-worthy 42 runs which included four boundaries before being caught at point by Hennop off the bowling of Robert Worrior in the 15th over.

Two overs later (17th over) Ismail Muhamed was clean bowled by Johannes de Wet for 19 runs. Dillon Rautenbach, hoping to keep the score-board ticking, mistimed his shot after being caught at long off by Kaupherman off the bowling of Michaux for 4 runs.

With just three overs remaining Michaux claimed two vital wickets in the 18th over, clean bowling Mohamed Mhlongo for a duck before dismissing Bilal Ismail for 5 runs. Former Dolphins cap, Saidi Mhlongo returning to Kingsmead after almost five years was run out for a duck off the last delivery of the match.

Ilembe posted a respectable 135/8 in their allotted 20-overs with Yusuf Ismail notching up an unbeaten 21 runs contribution. Michaux was the pick of the Amanzimtoti bowlers claiming 3/15 from 4 overs and Johannes de Wet grabbed 2/34 from 4 overs.

Chasing 136 runs for victory (at a rate of 6,8 runs per over) Smith and Fry were slow off the starting blocks, putting on an opening stand of 39 runs from 9 overs (at a rate of 4, 33 runs per over) before Smith (26) was caught at long on by Aaron Pillay off the bowling of Saidi Mhlongo.

Fry (11) was brilliantly caught at mid-off by Nadasen off the bowling of Pillay in the 10th over. Kaupherman and Jones upped the tempo in the next three overs, taking the tally 40/2 in the 10th over to 66/3 in the 13th over before Jones (6) was caught in the covers by Rampersad off the bowling of Bilal Ismail.

Kaupherman and Michaux frustrated the Ilembe attack and looked to have swung the pendulum in favour of Amanzimtoti. They put on a brilliant 48 runs partnership before Muhamed made a crucial breakthrough after dismissing Kaupherman for 30 runs.

With two overs remaining Toti needed 20 runs for victory. They pinned their hopes on Johannes de Wet, but Muhamed became an instant hero after clean bowling De Wet for a duck.

Despite the efforts of Michaux who notched up an unbeaten 41 runs, which included three fours and two sixes, Toti were restricted to 125/5 in their allotted 20-overs, falling short by 10 runs to the newly crowned KZN Challenge League Twenty-20 champions, Ilembe.

An ecstatic Ilembe manager, N.R. Singh said: “I am indeed proud of the achievement of my charges. Team effort must be attributed to our success. Last year we emerged runners-up at Kingsmead and it was indeed a long, long way back home, but today we can relish our outstanding achievement despite sub-standard conditions back home.”

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