The South Western Districts cricket team, on Saturday, concluded their campaign in the Cricket South Africa Three day competition with a draw against Eastern Province. It was again Obus Pienaar who made the step up to rescue the home team from a certain defeat.
In a high scoring match, the visitors from Port Elizabeth, who won the toss amassed 454/3 (declared) in their first innings with a century by Josh van Heerden (163) the highlight. SWD responded with 328 thanks to half-centuries by Brendon Louw (87), Lothli Sesele (83) and Kerwin Christoffels (54). Thomas Kaber (5/72) and Luvyo Adam (5/89) both bagged five wickets to ensure a lead of 125 for Eastern Province.
In their second innings Eastern Province- who batted at 6 runs per over – declared their first innings at 186/2 (after 31 overs) setting SWD a stiff target of 312. SWD was with their back against the wall at 93/6 when Obus Pienaar struck an unbeaten century (102 not out – 189 balls, 2×6, 18×4) and together with Neil Hornbuckle (44) added a partnership of 115 runs in 39 overs to secure a draw. SWD ended on 227 (74 overs).
SWD ended the season at 124.04 bonus points and are currently in the second position in pool B but can be surpassed by a team who have matches in hand. In the previous season (2017/28) SWD ended on 117 bonus points but two matches were rained out this season which hampered bonus point opportunities.
Both Obus Pienaar (957 runs at an average of 79.75 – 4 centuries and 5 half centuries) and Marcello Piedt (35 wickets at an average of 18.57 and three five-wicket hauls) are currently respectively the leading runs scorer and wicket-taker in the competition.
The summarised scorecard is:
EASTERN PROVINCE 1st innings 454/3 declared (Josh van Heerden 163, Matthew Christensen 77, Eddie Moore 71, Clyde Fortuin 65*, Tiaan Koekemoer 61*, Kerwin Christoffels 2/24)
SWD 1st innings 328 (Brendon Louw 87, Lothli Sesele 83, Kerwin Christoffels 54, Neil Hornbuckle 31, Obus Pienaar 27, Thomas Kaber 5/72, Luvuyo Adam 5/89)
EASTERN PROVINCE 2nd innings 186/2 declared (Eddie Moore 89, Josh van Heerden 78*, Neil Hornbuckle 2/43)
SWD 2nd innings 227/7 (Obus Pienaar 102, Neil Hornbuckle 44, Lothli Sesele 22, Nelson Setimani 2/17, Tiaan Koekemoer 2/34, Siviwe Gidana 2/36)