Northern Cape clinched Pool B of the Africa T20 Cup in the most convincing style imaginable when they thrashed Kenya by 97 runs in their final qualifying match at the Oudtshoorn Recreation Ground on Sunday.
Swanepoel knock proves to be in vain
Northern Cape and hosts Canon South Western Districts had to settle for a share of the points as the afternoon match in Pool B of the Africa T20 Cup was abandoned following heavy rain at the Oudtshoorn Recreation Ground.
Northern Cape won the toss and elected to bat when the match was still scheduled for 20 overs per side but were only able to start batting when it was reduced to 14 overs per side.
Their batsmen hit the ball confidently from the start to post a competitive total of 113 for six thanks in the main to an unbeaten 49 from Aubrey Swanepoel (35 balls, 3 fours and a six).
He was denied his half-century when he could not get back on strike for the last three balls in the final over when his side lost two wickets.
Swanepoel was involved in the key partnership of 55 for the fourth wicket with his captain, Werner Coetsee.
As had been the case in the morning match the key bowlers were the spinners. Dane Piedt took 1-17 in three overs while Nkululeko Serame conceded only 16 runs in his three overs.
Sadly, no further play was possible in a match that was poised for an exciting finish.
Both sides take two points out of the game which leaves Northerns very well placed after their morning win which also gave them a +1.6 positive run rate.
The match between Northerns and Northern Cape on Saturday morning now takes on extra significance.
Obanda gets Kenya across the line
Alex Obanda produced a heroic closing over to bat Kenya to a one-wicket victory over Canon South Western Districts in the afternoon pool B match of the Africa T20 Cup at the Oudtshoorn Recreation Ground on Saturday.
Kenya needed 18 runs to win off the final six balls after Dane Paterson had bowled a fine penultimate over for the hosts that had seen him take two wickets for two runs.
But Obanda proved more than equal to the task as he finished the match with a ball to spare, smashing two sixes in addition to three hard-run twos which bordered on the suicidal.
The result means that Northern Cape top the pool log with 6 points followed by defending champions Northerns and Kenya both on 4, with SWD on 2. SWD are the only side that do not have a chance of topping the pool and qualifying for the finals weekend when the last pool matches are played on Sunday, with Northern Cape facing Kenya in the morning game and Northerns going against SWD in the afternoon.
Obanda said that the key to winning was to get one of the top order to bat through, and this is what he did, finishing with an unbeaten 86 off 53 balls, with 3 fours and 6 sixes.
SWD lost the match in the middle overs of their innings when too many wickets fell and their lack of a power hitter to boost their total in the closing overs became apparent. They also made too many errors in the field that saw catches put down in addition to conceding too many twos that should have been cut down to singles.
The tournament has been a big boost for cricket on the African continent with Zimbabwe already through to the finals weekend and Kenya having the chance to join them.
Northerns defend modest total
Northens successfully defended a modest total of 133 to beat Canon South Western Districts by nine runs in the final match of pool B at the Africa T20 Cup at the Oudtshoorn Recreation Ground on Sunday.
This result means that Northerns claim the runners-up spot behind Northern Cape.
It was a low-scoring affair in which Thomas Kaber (43 not out off 32 balls, 2 fours and 2 sixes) was the top scorer for Northerns, and it was effectively won off the first ball of the 18th over of the SWD innings when Grant Thomson threw down the stumps to run out Dane Vilas as the latter attempted a too sharp single to regain the strike. At that stage SWD needed 29 off the last three overs to win the match.
Vilas (37 off 31 balls, 2 fours and 2 sixes) had shepherded an inexperienced batting line-up towards possible victory, but his departure brought an end to their hopes.
Northerns’ victory was set up by some disciplined bowling with Man of the Match Andrew Rasemene (3/16 in 4 overs) standing out. Lungi Ngidi was not far behind him with his 2/16, also from 4 overs.
North West, Zimbabwe and Northern Cape are the three sides to have qualified for the finals weekend at the end of the month.
The fourth finalist will come from pool D, which plays its qualifying round at Boland Park, Paarl, this coming weekend. The contesting provinces are Boland, KZN, Eastern Province and Gauteng.