Crusaders retain their Premier League title

2014-03-06 00:00

CRUSADERS retained their Premier League cricket title with a seven-wicket win against Chatsworth Sporting in the final round of fixtures at the weekend.

The win was enough to see them remain four points clear of nearest rivals Berea Rovers after a season that saw the clubs from opposite sides of the Umgeni River fight for the spoils from ball one.

In the two matches they played in the season, Crusaders had the better of a Duckworth Lewis result first time around on their turf, with Rovers turning the tables in their home fixture.

DHD Rhythm came into the mix late in the season as the two contendors stumbled slightly, but in the end, Crusaders enjoyed the more prolific season and reaped the benefits.

Sunday’s match against Sporting saw Crusaders get home by seven wickets as they chased only 94 to win.

Batting first, Sporting mustered 93-9 as Reuben Hatting (3-31) and former Dolphins bowler Nick Hewer (4-13) stifled any resistance. Only Deepak Anand with 32 managed anything worthwhile with the bat.

Hattingh was again in the picture chasing the runs, scoring a fine 52* as Crusaders crossed the line and celebrated being champions.

Rovers had to settle for second, despite a two-wicket win against Rhythm. Grant Hodnett’s superb 111*, supported by Abdul Razak’s 52, saw Rhythm reach 209-8, a defendable total which Rhythm made a fight of protecting.

Byron Langley (3-29) and captain Byron Whatmore (3-33), the stalwarts of Rovers’ bowling throughout the season, rose to the occasion once more.

Only Neville Talbot (68) went beyond 50 for Rovers, but useful contributions from Kyle Buckthorpe (42*) and Nick Pentz (38) saw Rovers home.

Premier League results

Uthungulu 241 (Riekert 46, Zwart 75, Jordan 58; Townsend 4-29)

African Warriors 86 (Joubert 5-20)

Uthungulu won by 155 runs.

DHS Rhythm 209-8 (Grant Hodnett 111*, Razak 52; Langley 3-29, Whatmore 3-33)

Berea Rovers 213-8 (Pentz 38, Talbot 68, Kyle Buckthorpe 42*; Kyle Hodnett 4-20)

Berea Rovers won by two wickets.

Chatsworth Sporting 93-9 (Anand 32; Hatting 3-31, Hewer 4-13)

Crusaders 95-3 (Hatting 52*)

Crusaders won by seven wickets.

Chatsworth United v Southern Natal

Chatsworth United won by walkover.

Topham 227-5 (Roderick 99*, Schlemmer 104*; Fowler 3-48)

Delta 229-5 (Maharaj 42, Ramsaroop 63, Badat 43, Frost 33*)

Delta won by five wickets.

Final points (18 matches)

Crusaders - 65

Berea Rovers - 61

DHS Rhythm - 61

Delta - 46

Topham - 40

Chatsworth United - 35.5

Uthungulu - 34

Chatsworth Sporting - 31

Southern Natal - 16

African Warriors - 14.

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