FS run chase stellar

2016-02-24 06:00

PIETER MALAN and Zubayr Hamza both scored their third centuries of the season to take their aggregates past 600 runs in the latest round of Sunfoil Cup matches, yet the Western Province pair ended up on the losing side following a memorable run chase by Free State.

The home side, who had been set a target of 281 for victory, pulled off the chase in only 57 overs, thanks to a 170-run third-wicket partnership between Obus Pienaar (109 off 173 balls, 11 fours and a six) and Leus du Plooy (85 off 108 balls, 7 fours and 3 sixes).

Malan (177 not out off 354 balls, 21 fours and 5 sixes) and Hamza (118 off 137, 19 fours and 2 sixes) had earlier shared a stand of 183 for the third wicket in Western Pro­vince’s first innings.

Not surprisingly, there were three declarations in the match before Free State won in the fourth.

In spite of this defeat, Western Pro­vince are still well in the race in Pool A, trailing North-West by six points with a game in hand.

KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) also have a game in hand over North-West and are a further six points back, while Northerns are in the race as well.

KZN won their match against Namibia by an innings and 91 runs, with Namibia unable to reach three figures in either innings. Rabian Engelbrecht took 5/18 in the first innings and Daryn Dupavillon had an identical return in the second.

South Western Districts (SWD) were the others to end up on the winning side, beating Northern Cape by 2 wickets with Gurshwin Rabie extending his lead as the top wicket-taker to 43 dismissals.

Kelly Smuts, after his brilliant all-round performance the previous weekend, continued his good form with another century (109 off 136 balls, 15 fours and 2 sixes) for Eastern Province (EP) in their drawn fixture against Gauteng. Another EP player, Akhona Kula, had the best bowling return of the weekend of 6/61.

EP remains top of Pool B with a cushion of 23 points, although both Easterns and KZN Inland have two games in hand.

In the CSA Provincial One-Day Challenge, Gauteng beat EP by 117 runs while Northern Cape beat SWD by 3 wickets.

EP remain comfortably top of Pool B while SWD, North-West, WP and Northern Cape are all in the running in Pool A.


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