Grey College victory over Rocklands RPC in Momentum Friendship Games clash

MFG _ Grey Bloem batsman in action against Rocklands RPC
MFG _ Grey Bloem batsman in action against Rocklands RPC
©BackPage Pix/Frikkie Kapp
 
MFG _ Rocklands vs Grey Collge Group Photo
MFG _ Rocklands vs Grey Collge Group Photo
©BackPage Pix/Frikkie Kapp
 

In another example of the incremental improvements made by Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) Regional Performance Centres (RPC) and Hub players, the Standard Bank Rocklands RPC missed out on a momentous victory when they went down by 45 runs in their Momentum Friendship Games encounter against Grey College in Bloemfontein on Monday.

Two wickets from Grey’s all-rounder, Alec McIntyre led the charge for the hosts as they successfully defended their first innings total of 120 all out, restricting the Rocklands side to 75/6 in their allotted 20 overs to claim a deserved win at the Johan Volsteedt Cricket Oval.

The Friendship Games represent a vision shared by partners, Momentum and CSA, where budding, under-resourced cricketers who are part of CSA’s RPC and Hub structures take on traditional cricketing schools. This initiative is aimed at bridging the gap between communities, encouraging the values of true sportsmanship and providing an increased number of quality matches and exposure for the RPC and Hub players.

The home side won the toss and elected to set a target but were pegged back almost immediately when Rocklands captain, Amogelang Sebueng (2/29) combined with Junia Khali (3/24) to take four quick wickets in the opening four overs of the contest. Reeling at 26/4, McIntyre (22) was joined by Armand Havenga at the crease, coming together for a crucial 33-run stand to stabilize their side’s innings.

Despite more wickets falling around him after a middle-order collapse thanks to Khanyisile Nondwagu’s heroics with the ball, Havenga’s knock of 39 off 26 deliveries (5 fours) proved pivotal for Grey College as they continued their recovery. Cameos from Plaatjies Wendell (18) and Jason Steyn (14), helped propel Grey Bloem over the 100-run mark before eventually being bowled out with 11 balls remaining.

Nondwagu finished as the RPC’s leading bowler, recording figures of three for 20 runs in his four overs.

In their innings, the Rocklands RPC struggled to find the rhythm required to chase a nearly run-a-ball target of 121 for victory. Thanks to the accurate bowling from Grey’s openers, the visiting side were limited to just 8 runs within the first 30 balls of their reply. Pouncing on the pressure that was built, McIntyre and Wium Erasmus (1/19) removed both openers in quick succession to leave their opponents on 29/2 after 10 overs.

 Although the Rocklands batters were hardly troubled at the crease, the run-scoring opportunities continued to be hard to come by despite Morena Tshifa’s valiant effort of 24 off 33 balls (2 fours).

 With the increased pressure to get runs on the board for their opposition, Grey began to pick up wickets at regular intervals as they kept the RPC’s run-rate to under four runs per over, eventually running down the overs to claim the victory.

McIntyre added to his contribution with the bat by ending as his team’s top wicket-taker, finishing the game with a return of two wickets for 11 runs in his four-over spell.

Scores:

Grey College U15 A: 120 all out after 18.1 overs

A. Havenga 39 (26), A. McIntyre 22 (21); K. Nondwagu (3/20). J. Khali 3/24

Standard Bank Rocklands RPC 75/6 after 20 overs

M. Tshifa 24 (33), J Khali 14 (16); A. McIntyre 2/11, J Prinsloo ¼