Marques Ackerman starred in a dominant performance to seal a three-wicket victory against Sri Lankan Emerging on Sunday.
The South African Emerging skipper scored 126 runs to win his second consecutive Man of the Match award, hitting 10 fours and two sixes to spearhead his side’s victory.
After Sri Lanka had posted a score of 242-9, the SA Emerging side got off to a terrible start losing three quick wickets for only eight runs. It took two solid partnerships for the captain to turn things around. With Jason Smith (44), they put on 81 runs for the fourth wicket to regain control. The skipper then topped this with a match-winning 99-run partnership with Bjorn Fortuin (33), who once again played an integral part in steering the home side over the line.
The Sri Lankan side had contrasting start. Wicketkeeper Sandun Weerakkody, who scored 105 runs from 106 deliveries, teamed up with Pabasara Waduge (32) to set up his side with a 95-run partnership. It took some excellent bowling from the home team, who struck at vital moments, to take control of the run-rate.
Tshepo Ntuli was the pick of the bowlers, taking 3-57, with Vincent Moor and Mbulelo Budaza supporting him with two wickets apiece.
Ackerman had high praise for his batting partners.
‘Jason was very cool under pressure and was unlucky to miss out on his 50,’ said Ackerman. ‘The plan for us is always to bat deep and fortunately for us I had Bjorn at the end there and he made us cruise the game. It’s really good to have guys like that who can dig us out of trouble when we get in it.’
On his own performance and the clash against Sri Lanka, he said: ‘It was tiring out there, but it was a good knock, I’m happy for the team and that we were able to pull it through. Sri Lanka are a good side, I think they adapted to our conditions really well and quickly, but when it came to executing skills we were a bit better. It’s good to come out on top and get a couple of wins under the belt.’
Ackerman hopes to continue this winning streak in his side’s clash against the USSA today and Wednesday. He has scored 264 runs and taken three wickets in five matches so far.
Photo by Duif du Toit/Gallo Image