AFTER three disappointing losses in the KwaZulu-Natal Challenge League (First Stream) which saw them slide from the summit of the log standings to third spot, Ilembe finally got back on the winning trail after beating Verulam by 40-runs at the Country Club Ground on Sunday.
The decision by the visitors to field first after winning the toss backfired with Ismail Mahomed and Alveiro Nadasen taking the challenge to their rivals with a splendid opening stand of 61 runs.
Mohamed smashed 32 runs which included three boundaries before being trapped LBW to a Tami Mali delivery in the 14th over. Nadasen (22) was dismissed in the next over after being caught behind by wicket-keeper Shinga Appanna off the bowling of Indresan Pather.
Abdullah Mahomed and Bilal Ismail did not let the setback to distract them as they went about their business as usual with a splendid 52-runs partnership for the 3rd wicket.
Ismail scored 33 runs which included three fours after being adjudged LBW to a Dustin Chetty delivery in the 28th over. Chetty struck again in the 34th over trapping Mahomed (23) LBW.
Saidi Mhlongo and Comfort Shange put on an unbeaten 97 runs partnership guiding Ilembe to 232/4 in their allotted 50-overs. Mhlongo notched up a brilliant half-century (57) which included four 4’s and a 6 with Shange chalking up an unbeaten 42 runs which included four boundaries.
Chetty was the pick of Verulam bowlers claiming 2/27 from 10 overs. Chasing 233 runs for victory, the visitors were far from disgraced after being bowled out for 192 runs in the 40th over.
Tyronne Anthony (89) and Joash Pillay (28) registered double digits for Verulam. Alex Pillay was the pick of the Ilembe bowlers claiming 4/34 from 9 overs. He received good support from Nadasen who grabbed 2/17 from 5 overs.
Meanwhile, the high riding United outfit were brought down to earth after slumping to a humiliating 9-wickets defeat at the hands of a youthful Dawnheights outfit in an Ilembe Cricket Union 50 Overs League game played at the Gledhow Ground on Sunday.
United batted first and were bundled out for 107 runs in the 45th over. Ahmed Ismail (21), Mohamed Ismail (16) and Boetie Ismail (13) were the only United batsmen to notch double digits apart from the 35-runs in extras (including 27 wides) conceded by Dawnheights.
Dawnheights opened their run-chase with a splendid six by Zain Hoosen, but three balls later United were celebrating after Santir Bageloo was bowled by Mohamed Mansoor for a duck. Shrivar Maharaj and Hoosen took the tally from 8/1 to 44/2 before Maharaj (15) was dismissed by Ahmed Ismail.
Dawnheights cantered to a bonus-point victory, finishing the game in the same way they started their innings after Tauqeer Malik (48 not out) smashed a massive six to guide his team to an emphatic 8-wickets victory. Hoosen was unbeaten on 34 runs.