Victories for North West, Gauteng and Easterns at Khaya Majola Week

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On another enthralling day of time cricket in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, it was the batters who provided the impetus as North West, the Central Gauteng Lions and Easterns helped themselves to their second victories on Day 2 of the Khaya Majola Cricket Week on Tuesday.

South Africa under-19, spinner, Odirile Modimokoane stood tall with the ball when his team needed it most, taking six wickets for 60 to help North West defeat Border on the first innings, while Gauteng had Jack Lees and Levert Manje to thank for overcoming KwaZulu-Natal Inland by the same result.

Mpumalanga also defeated Namibia thanks to their first innings total.

Easterns and Limpopo clinched outright victories against Northern Cape and South Western Districts, respectively. 

Despite notable individual performances, the matches between Free State-Eastern Province, KwaZulu-Natal Coastal-Boland and Western Province-Northerns finished as a draw.

After winning the toss and batting first, North West batted aggressively throughout the innings with Van Zyl Smit racing to 95 off 102 balls (16 fours) before Jannie Classens followed suit, recording a 59-ball 65 (6 fours, 4 sixes) to help their side post 296/7 after 62 overs.

With the ball, the team from Potchefstroom fought tooth and nail to restrict Border to 190 all out despite a 107-run stand between Stuart Else (73) and Emihle Mgoqi (57) thanks to Modimokoane’s stunning return of 6/60 and Karabelo Matlawe’s four wickets for 66 runs.

In the other enticing contest on Day 2 at Michaelhouse, Gauteng bounced back from 24/3 with the help of the SA U19s’ duo, Manje (49) and Lees along with Emmanuel Motswiri (40) to post 220/7 in reply to KZNI’s 204 all out in the first innings after Tumelo Yeki took five for 46.

Lees played an integral role, dispatching six fours and a six on his way to a measured 81-ball 63 to see his team home thanks to a superior first innings score.

Bonginkosi Skhosana’s unbeaten 61 off 98 balls (5 fours) along with Badaal Parag’s figures of 4/13 in the first innings helped Easterns seal their second consecutive victory at the Week against Northern Cape, beating them outright by a convincing innings and 53-run margin.

Limpopo edged SWD by 23 runs in a thrilling, low-scoring encounter with Gerhardus Fourie the main protagonist with both bat and ball for his side, scoring an explosive 49 runs off 31 balls (5 fours, 4 sixes) and taking four wickets in the match. Thomas Meyes also contributed with a match-winning four-wicket haul to help take SWD’s five wickets in their second innings.

Another SA U19s player, Luke Beaufort was the star player in the drawn match between EP and Free State after the wicketkeeper/batsman scored an undefeated 133 off 174 deliveries (12 fours, 1 six).

Meanwhile, Jonathan Bird (66) and Lehan Botha (70) top-scored for WP in their draw against Northerns, who once again had Jordan Hermann to thank for his unbeatable 72 off 155 balls (8 fours) to help his side reach the end of the day’s play.

Boland survived with just one wicket remaining on 161/9  in their clash against KZN Coastal to earn a draw after Francis Moran (95 off 160 balls; 10 fours) and Jared Oosthuizen (77 off 106 balls; 10 fours) helped their side put 282/8 on the board.

The other first innings win on the last day of time cricket at the Week went to Mpumalanga, who outscored Namibia in the two teams’ first innings outings with the bat. This was in spite of Namibia bouncing back in their second innings to post 107/2 after Jan Loftie-Eaton’s half-century (51 off 36; 6 fours, 2 sixes).

Scorecards from Day 2 of the Khaya Majola Cricket Week can be located on www.websports.co.za

Day 3 will resume on Wednesday with two rounds of T20 fixtures scheduled.