SWD cricket lead CSA 3 Day Challenge after 3 wins

The heroes in the SWD-team that defeated Border in the CSA Provincial Three Day Challenge match with coach, Garry Hampson (centre). From the left are wicketkeeper/batsman Brendon Louw (who scored two half-centuries in the match), Sammy-Joe Avontuur (who made a valuable 72 in the SWD first innings), Hampson and Ross McMillan (6/47) and Gurshwin Rabie (6/44) who recorded their best bowling performance in first class cricket.

Three outright victories in three matches! After a nail-biting win by 19 runs over Border at the REC Ground in Oudtshoorn, SWD, on 55.1 bonus points, are the new log leaders in the Cricket South Africa Provincial Challenge Three-Day competition. Coach Garry Hampson will admit that his team let itself down, specifically in the batting department, but on the other hand the team showed the desired fighting spirit, ability to cope under pressure and disciplined bowling under pressure by a bowling attack that picked up sixty wickets in the three outings this season. 

After winning the toss and electing to bat first, Sammy-Joe Avontuur (72; 130 balls, 1×6, 9×4), played a sheet anchor knock in over three hours (202 minutes) to give stability to the SWD innings. Brendon Louw (67; 74 balls, 2×6, 10×4) played with freedom before losing his wicket which led to the collapse of the SWD innings. The home side made 198 and thereafter dismissed Border at close of play on the first day for 150 with a lead of 48. Gurshwin Rabie was the pick of the SWD bowlers with his first class career best bowling analysis of 6/46. 

SWD were disappointing in their second innings and posted a modest total of 139 (all out). Louw (57; 99 balls, 7×4), playing with great responsibility, was the home side’s most successful batsman, scoring his second half-century in the match. Number nine batsman, Paphama Fojela, with an unbeaten 33* (70 balls, 1×6, 1×4) made a valuable contribution in the context of the match. 

Setting a target to score 188 in more than four sessions, Border started off well and were on 52/0 at tea on the second day. The SWD bowling attack, led by captain Ross McMillan (6/47), struck after tea and shifted the momentum towards the home team. Border, who lost their last four wickets in forty minutes on the third morning, were dismissed for only 168. McMillan, who recorded his career best first class bowling figures, was well supported by Fojela (2/20) and Douglas Baartman (2/26).

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