ILEMBE Cricket Union snatched a nail-biting 23-runs victory in a KZN Challenge League (Stream One) game played at the Umlazi ICC grounds on Sunday.
The decision by the visitors to bat first after winning the toss turned out to be a disastrous one after Ilembe were trailing at 25/4 in the 8th over. Opener Ismail Mahomed (3) fell prey to a Darryl Govender delivery in the first over.
Faheem Hoosen wreaked havoc with the new ball dismissing Preshen Rampershad (7), Mohamed Mhlongo (4) and Alveiro Nadasen (2) cheaply. Bilal Ismail and Lionel Jali virtually doubled Ilembe’s tally (taking the score from 25/4 to 55/5) with a hard earned 30-runs partnership.
Ismail notched up a painstaking 22 runs before being adjudged LBW to a Preneshan Pillay delivery in the 17th over. Yusuf Ismail and Jali added 17-runs to the tally before Jali was clean bowled by Massellan Govender for 21 runs.
Comfort Shange and Yusuf Ismail saved the blushes of the visitors with a note-worthy 38-runs partnership for the 7th wicket before Shange (24) was caught at gully by Thayuren Govender off the bowling of Darrel Govender.
Iqbal Sher was caught on the covers by Thavashen Shanmagum off the bowling of Pillay for 5 runs. Ismail chalked up 29 runs which included two boundaries before being caught at first slip by Sahil Ragubhir off the bowling of Darrel Govender.
Ilembe were bundled out for 123-runs in the 39th over after Alex Pillay was caught at mid-on by Amin Ismail off the bowling of Darrel Govender for a duck. Darrel Govender was the pick of the Umzinto bowlers claiming 4/26 from 10 overs. He received good support from Hoosen (3/16 from 6 overs) and Pillay (2/24 from 10 overs).
Chasing 124 runs for victory (at a rate of 5,48 runs per over) the hosts miraculously shot themselves in the foot after being dismissed for a paltry 103 runs in the 48th over. Amin Ismail (31) and Austin Pillay (28) were the only Umzinto batsmen to record double digits. Nadasen grabbed 3/11 from 10 overs and Bilal Ismail claimed 2/14 from 9 overs. On Sunday, Ilembe will entertain Southern Natal at the country club ground.