George, against the odds, became the new SWD Cricket Premier league champion on Saturday when they outplayed Union Stars in the final that was played at the REC Cricket Ground in Oudtshoorn for a comprehensive 4 wicket victory.
George, who played in their third consecutive final and won the Petersen trophy for the first time since 2003/04, deserves credit for the impressive way in which they outmaneuvered Union Stars who dominated the pool stage during the season. From the onset, they also look much more hungry for success than LeRoi Bredenkamp and his troops.
Stars, who won the toss and elected to bat, never got their innings going thanks to tight and economical bowling spells by Joshua Klue (0/10 in 6 overs), Jaco Fourie (1/14 in 10 overs) and Grant Simpson (0/20 in 10 overs). With their score at 95/5 after 30 overs, a total of 150 looked out of sight but the 38-year old Pieter Stuurman showed his class with a more than a run-a-ball 43 (from 35 balls, 2×6,2×4) to enable Union Stars to post 174/8. Bailey Aarons (4/58 from 9 overs) was George’s most successful bowler.
An aggressive well-played innings by Levin Muller (61 from 68 balls, 2×6, 9×4) laid the foundation for George to establish momentum from the start. Muller and Neil Hornbuckle (36 from 38 balls, 1×6, 3×4) shared an 89 runs partnership for the second wicket and together with a vital captain’s innings by Johandré Barnard (36 from 61 balls; 5×4) steered George to reach the winning target – 175/6 in the 40th over.
George will now, on 27, 28 and 29 March, with the premier league winners of Western Province and Boland play in a triangular competition to determine the Western Cape representative for the Momentum National Club championships that will take place in Pretoria during April.
George was also crowned SWD Twenty/20 and – Women’s Promotion league champions for 2019/20.
The summarised scorecard is:
UNION STARS 175/8 – 50 overs (Envirino Swartz 26, Tyrece Karelse 38, Pieter Stuurman 43, Bailey Aarons 4/58)
GEORGE 175/5 – 39.3 (Levin Muller 61*, Neil Hornbuckle 36, Johandré Barnard 36, Dylan Nuys 2/25)
George won by 4 wickets
The team of George Cricket Club who won the SWD Premier league competition for 2019/20 are:
Back Row: Hannes van Niekerk, Neil Hornbuckle, Arie van Dolderen (Club Chairman), Ayabonga Anthony, Bailey Aarons, Josua Klue and Levin Muller.
Front Row: Gary Wagner, Richardt Frenz, Johandré Barnard (captain), Kevin Gibson, Jaco Fourie, Grant Simpson and Franco Geldenhuys.