Badgers almost pull off remarkable victory

A gutsy batting effort by the Six Gun Grill Garden Route Badgers on the final day of their Cricket South Africa Division 2 Four-day match against Limpopo Impala almost ensured a remarkable victory.

POLOKWANE, SOUTH AFRICA – DECEMBER 21: Pheko Moletsane of Six Gun Grill SWD during day 2 of the CSA 4 Day Domestic Series, Division 2 match between Limpopo Impalas and Six Gun Grill SWD at Polokwane Cricket Club on December 21, 2023 in Polokwane, South Africa. (Photo by Philip Maeta/Gallo Images)

The match played at the Polokwane Cricket Club between 20 and 23 December ended in a draw.

POLOKWANE, SOUTH AFRICA – DECEMBER 23: Thomas Kaber Six Gun Grill SWD and Ruan Haansbroek of Limpopo Impalas during day 4 of the CSA 4 Day Domestic Series, Division 2 match between Limpopo Impalas and Six Gun Grill SWD at Polokwane Cricket Club on December 23, 2023 in Polokwane, South Africa. (Photo by Philip Maeta/Gallo Images)

Limpopo, who were requested to bat first, amassed 475 in their first innings thanks to centuries by Lauren Steenkamp (106) and Ruan Haasbroek (144).  Both Thomas Kaber (3/21) and Pheko Moletsane (3/59) each bagged three wickets.

POLOKWANE, SOUTH AFRICA – DECEMBER 21: Blayde Capell of Six Gun Grill SWD during day 2 of the CSA 4 Day Domestic Series, Division 2 match between Limpopo Impalas and Six Gun Grill SWD at Polokwane Cricket Club on December 21, 2023 in Polokwane, South Africa. (Photo by Philip Maeta/Gallo Images)

The Badgers, thanks to an unbeaten century by their in-form batsman, Jean du Plessis (156*) posted 369 with a deficit of 106 runs.  Blade Capell contributed 66 while Eldrid Hawken (4/68) and Haasbroek (3/73) were the most impressive bowlers for the home team.

In their second innings, Limpopo declared their innings at 224/7 after Haasbroek (83) again excelled with the bat.  The best bowler from the Badgers was Khwezi Gumede (3/51). 

With a target of 331 in 81 overs the Badgers showed great guts and ended at 328/6 – just three runs short of a remarkable outright victory.  Jhedli van Briesies (93*) was the leader of the pack but he received good support from Matthew Christensen (51), Keenan Vieira (70), Kelly Smuts (35) and Pheko Moletsane (31*).  Hawken (3/93) was again impressive with the ball.

Limpopo bagged 14.9 bonus points and the Badgers 12.82.  The Badgers will enter the new year on the 4th position on the log. The log position is:

  • Knights – 12 points after 4 matches
  • Limpopo Impalas – 66.28 points after 4 matches
  • Eastern Storm – 59.16 points after 3 matches
  • Garden Route Badgers – 47.42 points after 3 matches

Jean du Plessis with 493 runs at an average of 123.25 is the top runs scorer in this competition while his team mate, Thomas Kaber (21 wickets) at an average of 24.95 is the top wicket taker.

The Badgers will face Northern Cape Heat in their next fixture at the Recreation Ground in Oudtshoorn – starting on Saturday 13 January.  As the scenario currently stands and outright victory for the Badgers is non-negotiable.

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