There is going to be a new wearer of the unofficial Khaya Majola Week crown this year after the hosts, Free State, take on Northerns on Tuesday.
Northerns beat Gauteng quite comfortably on Monday to book their spot in the week’s showcase game. Gauteng made 227-8 in their 50 overs, with Josh Richards getting a century for them.
Northerns, in reply, were never really troubled and they reached the target four wickets down and five overs to spare. Their captain, Joshua Coetzee top-scored with 85, ably assisted by Ruan de Swardt who saw the side home and was still there with 71 not out at the end.
Free State guaranteed their slot when they beat Eastern Province by 64 runs on Monday. They posted a massive 353-3 in their 50 overs, with Christopher Schreuder and Raynard van Tonder both getting centuries.
EP’s Chris Benjamin scored a hundred in the run chase, but he never got enough support and they finished well short.
There were five centuries scored on the day, and 11 in all during the week, showing that the hot and dry conditions in Bloemfontein certainly favoured the batsmen.
With one day to go, that’s just one short of the record of 12 100s at a Khaya Majola Week. There were also a remarkable 38 half centuries scored in the first four days.
The top batsman so far is undoubtedly Free State’s Christopher Schreuder. He made his second 100 on Tuesday – 134 against Eastern Province – to go with his 126 not out against KwaZulu-Natal Inland on Sunday.
He has made 369 runs in five games (two of them T20s) and is the week’s top-scorer.
The other centurions are:
Raynard van Tonder (Free State) 133* vs EP, Ben Hendersen (Boland) 129* vs Easterns, Jarred Alder (Easterns) 110 vs Boland, Mitchell van Buuren (Gauteng) 100 vs KZN, Jean du Plessis (SWD) 104* vs North Cape, Wiaan Mulder (Gauteng) 104* vs SWD, Louis Geldenhuis (Easterns) 104 vs WP, Josh Richards (Gauteng) 100 vs Northerns, Chris Benjamin (Eastern Province) 105 vs Free State.
On the other hand, there were only four five-wicket hauls in the first four days of the week.
The best figures came from Ruan de Swardt of Northerns who took 5-15 against Limpopo. He is also the top wicket-taker so far.
Others to get ‘fifers’ are: Richard Papenfus (SWD) 5-21 vs North West, Katlego Thena (Gauteng) 5-21 vs EP and Keenan Smith (EP) 5-68 vs Northerns.
The Hero of the Day was Boland’s Sinalo Gobeni, who smashed 96 not out to give his side a victory over Easterns that looked decidedly unlikely when he came to the crease.
The fixtures for the final day are:
Free State vs Northerns (UFS Oval), Boland vs Gauteng (Saints Vossies), Easterns vs Eastern Province (CUT Oval), Western Province vs Border (Grey Oval), South Western Districts vs Limpopo (UFS III), KwaZulu-Natal Inland vs Namibia (CBC I), Northern Cape vs Mpumalanga (Grey GCB), KwaZulu-Natal vs North West (Grey Casa).
Free State 353-3 (Christopher Schreuder 134, Raynard van Tonder 133*, Phillip Visser 53*). Eastern Province 289-8 (Matthew Breetzke 25, Chris Benjamin 105, Jade de Klerk 23, Jimmy Sholto-Douglas 52; Samokelo Mokhosi 2-66, Gerald Coetzee 2-25). Free State won by 64 runs.
Gauteng 227-8 (Joshua Richards 100, Muhammed Mayet 42; William Ledwaba 41); Ruan de Swardt 2-55). Northerns 231-4 (Joshua Van Heerden 85, Ivan Kriek 21, Ruan de Swardt 71*). Northerns won by six wickets.
Eastern 289-6 (Jarred Alder 110, Justin Brink 65, Katleho Bala 49*; Sinalo Gobeni 2-42); Boland 192-5 (Khanya Cotani 40, Paul Barnard 32, Ben Henderson32, Sinalo Gobeni 96 not out, Keagan Whitten 52). Boland won by five wickets.
KwaZulu-Natal Coastal 57 (Diego du Plessis 3-7; Mihlali Mpongwana 3-14, Michael Cohen 3-20); Western Province 61-2 (Jesse Christensen 32*, Hamza Saloojee 23). Western Province won by eight wickets.
Northern Cape 122 (Craig Pinetown 32; James Ritchie 2-16, Sean Gilson 2-17, Ethan Bosch 2-24, Thabang Ntilane 2-21, Ethan Bosch 2-24); KwaZulu-Natal Inland 123-3 (Jiveshan Pillay 33, Grant Morris 27 not out, Sean Gilson 28). KwaZulu-Natal Inland won by seven wickets.
Namibia 229 (Jurgen Linde 84, Albert van der Merwe 39; Siphamandla Krweqe 2-47, Jason Raubenheimer 2-42, Luke Dallas 3-35); Border 235-3 (Jason Raubenheimer 48, Athenkosi Mfaze 53, Jason Niemand 75 not out; Petrus Burger 2-54). Border won by seven wickets.
South Western Districts 278-9 (Grant Esau 59, Samnkelo Mvimbi 56, Richard Papenfus 46; Irwin Modimokaone 2-47, Ruan Minaar 2-43 Muhammed Suliman 2-38, Louis van Schalkwyk 2-20); North West 118 (Muhammed Suliman 32, Mpho Selaolane 2; Richard Papers 5-21). SWD won by 160 runs.
Limpopo 236-5 (Morné Venter 62, Ruvan Kruger 38, Timothy Elpinstone 37; Yusef Patel 2-18); Mpumalanga 175 (Connor Fletcher 29, Brandon Brodell 25, Bernard Vorster 29; Ozayr Karodia 49; Craig Corne 2-38, Sahil Patel 4-34). Limpopo won by 61 runs.