Rovers lose ground in Premier League title race

2014-02-06 00:00

IN a disappointing weekend, Berea Rovers’ 1st cricket team lost ground on Premier League leaders Crusaders when they went down to Delta by 69 runs.

Playing at Rovers, Byron Whatmore returned to winning ways with the toss and asked Delta to take guard.

With ideal bowling conditions, Rovers soon had the visitors on 141-6.

That was the only positive of the day for them as from that point on, it went sour and off course.

Some moments of bad fielding, including a dropped catch on the boundary, allowed the Delta batsmen to progress to a decent score.

Led by Kershwin Reddy’s undefeated 57, Delta posted 250-8, something for the bowlers to defend.

On reflection, both captains — Whatmore and Jonathan Fowler — agreed the wicket was a belter and the target was 20 to 30 runs shy of what it should have been.

In the end, it proved more than enough as for the first time this season, the Rovers batsmen failed to get going. One of the top order strikers needed to knuckle down and guide them home, but no one stood firm, Delta needing only 38 overs to complete the job.

Sahil Ramdin (44) and Neville Talbot (47) were the only Rovers batsmen to get anything near a decent score but the home side was all out for 181, giving Delta a rather convincing win.

Director of cricket at Rovers, Paddly Steytler, was not happy with the performance, asking for a more determined effort this Sunday, when Rovers host Chatsworth Sporting.

“The batsmen need to take a hard look at themselves and dig deep if they wish to make up lost ground,” he said.

“There’s still a while to go before we pack our kit away for the season and the league is by no means over. Sporting will be another strong test of character for us and we need to step up to the plate.”

On the positive side ahead of this weekend’s clash, Rovers welcome back opening bowler Dylan Buckthorp from injury.

He has been getting back to his best in the second team, taking five wickets in the weekend match against Crusaders.

League leaders Crusaders maintained their winning ways in an entertaining match against Uthungula, edging home by 18 runs after setting a target of 237 for victory. Riaan Minnie stole the show with a superb 140*. Uthungula made a fist of it, all out for 218, in one of their stronger showings this season.

The win sees Crusaders pull slightly ahead of Rovers, topping the standings on 55 points after 14 matches, to Rovers’ 48 points after the same number of matches. DHS Rhythm are third, a point adrift of Rovers, with Delta on 37 points and Topham 31 points closing out the top five.

Premier League Results

Chatsworth Sporting 166 (Padayachee 37; Ndlovu 5-31, Ngongoma 3-48)

African Warriors 110 (Nkwanyana 35; Mhlongo 3-15)

Chatsworth Sporting won by 56 runs

Delta 250-8 (Badat 40, Pruthab 30, Reddy 57*; Vaughan 3-37, Whatmore 3-37)

Berea Rovers 181 (Ramdin 44, Talbot 47; Arshad 3-32)

Delta won by 69 runs

Chatsworth United 130 (Pillay 37, Govender 46; Patel 3-23, Bronkhorst 3-16)

Topham 131-9 (Ramnarain 3-23)

Topham won by 1 wicket

Crusaders 236-8 (Minnie 140*, Clift 43, Van Rensburg 3-29)

Uthungulu 218 (Basson 64; Biddulph 4-58)

Crusaders won by 18 runs

Southern Natal 113 (Hodnett 3-19)

DHS Rhythm 114-3 (Redinger 36, Hodnett 43*)

DHS Rhythm won by 7 wickets.

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