USSA Batsman Wihan Lubbe scored 64 against SA Emerging to help his team win the Tri-series in Pretoria on Wednesday.
SA Emerging got off to a terrible start losing Karabo Mogotsi for a duck in the first over. Things were starting to look better for them when Jason Smith came to the crease, the batsman racking up three fours in quick succession before being caught by Yassar Cook in the fifth over. Sibonelo Makhanya and Smith tried to slow things down looking for singles and a few boundaries steadying the ship to 62-2 by the 17th over, but the partnership came to a disappointing end when Kaber caught Makhanya lbw for 17 runs.
This Brought captain fantastic, Marques Ackerman, to the crease.
Smith and Ackerman complemented each other beautifully, as runs began to flow. It looked like they would run away with things when Smith got to his half century, his captain within two of half a ton behind him. With the score now at 136-3, Smith lost his wicket, bowled by Lizaad Williams caught by Cook, shortly after putting 50 on the board.
An in form Ackerman fell shortly after making his half-century, and the wickets kept on tumbling after that, leaving the SA Emerging side at 218-9 at the end of the 50 overs.
Keith Dudgeon (3-41) and Thomas Kaber (3-30) were the pick of the bowlers for USSA, with special mention going to Delano Potgieter earning 2 wickets for 28 runs with an economy of 2.80.
The University Sports South Africa (USSA) got off to a better start than their opponents racking up 21 runs before Malan fell for 8 runs. Yassar Cook, who had 18 runs at this point, continued to score with ease racing to his 50 in just 53 balls, which consisted of 5 fours and 2 sixes. He fell a few overs later for 60, leaving the USSA at 96-2.
The highly talked about Zubayr Hamza, came to the crease hoping to take his side home with Mathew Christensen, but he lost his partner in the 29th over for 26, leaving USSA at 121-3 with a lots of batting still left to do. Hamza did not last very long when he was trapped lbw by Bjorn Fortuin for 17 runs, and USSA were starting to feel the pressure at 122-4 with 20 overs left to play.
With Wihan Lubbe and Thomas Kaber both on 0, they needed to build a strong partnership and get their eye in if they wanted walk out victorious in this final. They started out slowly, when a six from Lubbe in the 33rd over put a new spring into the batsman’s step. He continued to rotate the strike, with occasional boundaries in between, as the runs started to inch closer to their 218 run target.
The partnership of Lubbe (64) and Kaber (31) was undoubtedly the match decider, as the USSA ended the match triumphant at 222-4 with two overs left to spare.
Special mention goes out to Fortuin, who took 3-29 with an economy of 2.9.
Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images