Hlumelo Linda struck two runs from the final ball to help the Alice Regional Performance Centre (RPC) secure a thrilling tie against Selborne College when the Momentum Friendship Games dropped anchor in East London on Wednesday.
Chasing 101 for victory at the Dawson Road-based school, the visitors managed 100-7 in their 20 overs to ensure they took something out of a memorable contest.
The much-anticipated match was the second of the popular initiative held in the 2018-19 season and produced an unforgettable experience for players of both sides. Alice RPC won the toss at the start and asked the home side to bat first, with the visiting bowlers fully vindicating the decision to take the ball.
The man that struck the key runs at the death, Linda, was among four bowlers to concede less than four runs to the over. He went for 16 in his four overs, while Lwando Shoba was the pick of the bunch with 2-15 in four, Hlumelo Tyiwa took 1-9 in three and Amangile Thwani ended with 0-14 in four.
The top scorer for Selborne was B Schultz, who struck 37 not out off 51 balls (two fours) – the most runs for any batsman on either side. The next best scorer was Extras which contributed 16 as the hosts posted 100-4.
The Alice RPC batting lineup was put under pressure from the outset after Siphesihle Nqobongwana was bowled for a duck by T Stagg, but Azasakhe Mandita (16) and Babalo Sweleka (14) steadily rebuilt the innings with a 26-run second-wicket partnership.
After both fell in quick succession, innings top scorer Azasakhe Kweya with 21 and Thozama Totana (17) added a critical 36 together for the fourth wicket to put the visitors in control.
But pick of the bowlers was D Farland, who took 3-16, while Stagg (2-17) set in some panic with late wickets, before Linda (8) and Tyiwa (7) were both unbeaten at the end to take their side to a popular tie.
The first match of the Momentum Friendship Games took place at the Paul Roos Gymnasium Cricket Oval in Stellenbosch last month and was won by the hosts against the Paarl RPC.
Photo: Cricket South Africa