Club champs starts with a bang
Cape Town - The 2011 Cricket South Africa (CSA) National Club Championships were not short of entertainment when teams gave their best on the opening day at the University of Pretoria on Monday.
Last year’s tournament runners up, KwaZulu-Natal’s TIB Crusaders CC drew first blood in their Section One match when they claimed a four-wicket victory over Assupol Tuks CC.
Tuks took to the crease first and posted 277/8 in their 50 overs with Leon Nel smashing an unbeaten 107 runs with great support from Francois le Clus, who scored 75 and Theunis de Bruyn, who made 51 runs. Even though they couldn’t bowl Tuks out, the Crusaders’ Nick Hewer took three wickets for 62 runs in his allotted ten overs, breaking partnerships at crucial intervals.
The Crusaders’ domestic star players all made a mark in their opening game with Vaughn van Jaarsveld standing out with his innings of 114 runs. Kyle Abbott also took to the crease determined to leave a mark and returned with a well played 58 runs and David Miller rounding things off nicely with his 35 runs.
Crusaders won the match by four wickets with four balls to spare.
Crusaders captain Duncan Miller was suitably delighted in his team’s achievement. “I’m very chuffed about the win. We were playing against serious competition and we knew we needed to start this tournament well. We saw good innings by Vaughn (van Jaarsveld) and Kyle (Abbott) who set us up nicely from the front and led us to a good win,” said Miller.
In other matches, Boland's SDL Brackenfell CC beat WP's Western Province CC (WPCC) by 16 runs when they set a target of 200 runs after batting first. Western Province were thwarted by the bowling of Henco Bornmann, who took five wickets for 38 runs in nine overs.
Province were bowled out for 185 in 41.2 overs, giving Brackenfell a winning start.
KZN Inland’s Standard CC beat ABSA NWU-Pukke by 66 runs to give them a confident start to the tournament. Devon Conway set the ball rolling with a well played 99 runs before his unlucky dismissal. Skipper Kyle Nipper pitched in with 41 runs before his dismissal, helping to lead his team to 247/6 after 50 overs.
Pukke struggled with the bat while Nipper tore through the line-up, claiming four wickets for 34 runs at the end of his ten overs. Marchant Genis did a fine job in putting runs on the scoreboard before being dismissed for 55 runs. Pukke were bowled out for 181 in 45 overs.
Other matches included Eastern Province’s Mecer NMMU Madibaz beating the Free Stat’s Absa Central University of Technology by 35 runs and placing them firmly on the number one spot in the log.
Section Two saw Volcano Kempton Park CC defeat Griqualand West’s Olympian Wanderers CC by 83 runs with just over 18 overs to spare.
The Highveld Lions' University of Johannesburg (UJ) trounced Border's BA Travel Clinic Old Selbornians CC by 101 runs with a super effort from the bat of Mat McGillivray, who made the highest individual total of the day (126) when UJ batted first. He was well backed up by Richard Cameron and André Seymore who added 87 and 72 runs respectively to the scoreboard, ending their innings with a daunting 321/1.
The Selbornians tried to post a decent score, with Bryan Voke contributing 64 runs and Luke le Marquand playing well for his half century (51). In the end, they were bowled out for 228 with two overs to spare, giving UJ a confidence boosting 101-run victory.
If the first day is anything to go by, this year’s tournament is set to be a thrilling nail-biter with everyone out to win the title of National Club Champions.