The 2018 Africa T20 Cup got underway today and we take a look at how the teams have performed in the morning fixtures.
Easterns vs Western Province – Easterns won by 58 runs
Easterns kicked off their tournament with a 58-run bonus-point victory over Western Province and go top of the Pool A table. Easterns captain Grant Thomson (49 off 27 balls) and Wesley Marshall (49 off 36 balls) both narrowly missed out on their half-centuries but their contributions helped their team post a daunting 173/6 in their allocated overs. Western Province only managed 115 all out after a slow start saw them lose early wickets in the powerplay as Imran Manack ripped through their batting order – finishing with figures of 4-21 in 4 overs.
KwaZulu-Natal vs Uganda – KwaZulu-Natal won by 20 runs
KZN were also in action today and won their encounter against Uganda by a convincing 20 runs. Marques Ackerman (73 off 44 runs) led the assault and, along with cameos from Senuran Muthusamy (25 off 15 balls) and Andile Phehlukwayo (24 off 13 balls, one four and two sixes), he marshalled his team to 153/5 in 20 overs. The Ugandan 58-run opening stand between Zephania Arinaitwe (35 off 20 balls) and captain Roger Mukasa (24 off 21 balls) proved not enough of a platform for the African team as they only managed 143/8 in their 20 overs.
Zimbabwe Select XI vs Gauteng – Gauteng won by seven wickets
Gauteng had an early day as they thumped Zimbabwe Select XI by seven wickets in a low-scoring encounter. Having won the toss and electing to field first, the Highveld side made short work of dismissing Zimbabwe for only 48 runs within 13 overs. All the bowlers used chipped in with wickets but Carmi le Roux starred as he picked up 4-23 in his four overs. Early wickets in the second innings gave Zimbabwe a glimpse of hope but Temba Bavuma’s 33 not out soon put those to bed as he led Gauteng across the finish line in the eighth over. The bonus point victory puts Gauteng at the top of the standings in Pool B.
Northerns vs Free State – Northerns won by 14 runs
Northerns suffered a bit of a scare at the hands of Free State, but were eventually able to secure a tight 14-run victory in their first match of the tournament. After being inserted to bat, Northerns managed to reach 150/4 in their allocated overs as Leus du Plooy top scored with a handy 45 not out off 38 balls. Patrick Botha was the main attraction of the Free State’s bowling attack as he picked up 3-22 in four overs. Free State would have backed themselves to chase the target down and were well placed to do so after reaching 15 overs at 105/3. Free State’s Andries Gous (60 off 43 balls, four fours and two sixes) looked set to see his team over the line but his untimely dismissal in the 16th over signalled the beginning of the end. Luvuyo Nkese was excellent for Northerns as he picked up 2-14 in 3 overs to restrict the opposition to just 136/7 in their 20 overs.
Eastern Province vs Namibia – Eastern province won by 15 runs
Eastern Province topped the standings in Pool C after their victory over Namibia. Eastern Province’s opening batsman and captain Edward Moore smashed the ball to all parts of the field in his accumulation of 52 runs off 28 balls to help the coastal team reach 150/9 in their 20 overs. Namibia’s captain played his part in the encounter as he picked up 3-28 before top scoring with 31 off 23 balls, but was unable to usher his team to victory as they fell 15 runs short. Kelly Smuts proved a thorn in the Namibian side and finished with 3-17 to restrict Namibia to 135/8 in their 20 overs.
Mpumalanga vs Kenya – Kenya won by eight wickets
Kenya held their nerve to secure an eight-wicket victory against Mpumalanga with four balls to spare. Kenya are the first non-South African side to win a match so far and will be pleased with their batting, bowling and fielding displays. Rakep Patel was the star of the Kenyan show on all fronts as his allround performance secured the victory for his team. After winning the toss and electing to field first, Kenya’s Patel went to work, getting involved in three run outs as well as picking up figures of 3-28 in four overs to restrict Mpumalanga to 166/9. He then scored 57 not out off 35 balls (four fours, four sixes) and fittingly hit the winning runs in the final over to get his team over the line.
Nigeria vs North West – North West won by 10 wickets (DLS method)
North West were able to win their rain-affected encounter against Nigeria by 10 wickets, chasing down the revised target of 114 with 45 balls to spare. Shane Dadswell was sensational for North West, scoring an unbeaten 98 runs off just 34 balls – including seven fours and 10 sixes. His unstoppable one-man show helped North West win with a bonus point and finish top of Pool D after the morning fixtures. He was unlucky not to reach his century as he smashed the final ball of the innings for four instead of the maximum six.
Limpopo vs Northern Cape – Northern Cape won by six wickets (DLS method)
Northern Cape secured a six-wicket win in a low-scoring fixture against Limpopo. The rain had it’s say in this Pool D fixture as well and the chasing side once again came out victorious. Limpopo set 125/5 in their 20 overs with Theo van Rensburg top scoring with 45 not out off 38 balls. Although Northern Cape lost their captain Grant Mokoena for a golden duck early in the innings, they made light work of the chase as they cantered to their DLS revised target of 110 with 22 balls remaining.
PHOTO: Louis Botha/Gallo Images