The South African Rhinos recently returned from the inaugural Over-50s World Cup in Sydney, Australia.
The tournament was played over 17 days, as eight nations – Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, England, Wales, Canada and South Africa – competed for the prestige of being the first ever champions.
Most teams boasted players with first-class or List A experience. Pakistan had seven former international players in their team, while New Zealand relished the services of ex-ODI seamer Richard Petrie.
The fixtures were played at beautiful, picturesque venues. Each match comprised 45-over innings – and were officiated by New South Wales-accredited umpires.
Australia beat Pakistan in a tight final at the Drummoyne Oval. The hosts scored a modest 165 after slipping to 34 for four. Pakistan later fell three runs short of a challenging target. It was a fitting end to a wonderful tournament.
South Africa, known as the Rhinos after Cricket South Africa failed to sanction status as Proteas, lost the plate final to Canada at Bankstown’s Memorial Oval – cricketing home to famous brothers Steve and Mark Waugh.
Losing the plate final meant the Rhinos occupied sixth position in the eight team standings, despite an attempt to finish in the top four. Top-order batsman David Duncan from Manley Flats Cricket Club in the Eastern Cape was the tournament’s ninth highest run-scorer, with 223 an average of 31.86.
Stellenbosch Scorpions Cricket Club’s Riaan van de Rheede took the eighth most wickets – 10 at an average of 19.27. He was later included in the Team of the Tournament.
The Rhinos were ambassadors for the Boucher Legacy Programme in Australia. Started by former Proteas wicketkeeper-batsman Mark Boucher, the non-profit organisation is focused on the protection of rhino and other endangered species in Africa.
Cape Town will host the second Over-50s World Cup in March, 2020.