Northerns and Easterns came out as narrow victors in their respective low-scoring encounters on a rain-affected first day of the Momentum U15 Boys Week which got under way in Stellenbosch on Friday.
Despite the persistent rain early in the day, all of the fixtures eventually started, with some matches converted to limited-over contests.
There were also victories for Free State, North West and Northern Cape, while the three time cricket clashes involving KwaZulu-Natal Coastal, Western Province, South Western Districts, Namibia, KwaZulu-Natal Inland (KZN Inland) and Border ended in draws.
After winning the toss, Northerns had a dream start to their week when they delivered a bowling masterclass to help them to a three-wicket triumph over Eastern Province on the main field at Paul Roos Gymnasium. Marcel Myburgh (3-8) starred with the ball as the Pretoria-based side bowled out their opponents for 79 before they reached the target with 16.1 overs remaining in their 40-over match, securing the win by three wickets.
While Easterns scraped to a tightly-contested win over Limpopo in their shortened 20-over clash, thanks to a match-winning all-round performance from Nathan Steyn. The bowler recorded figures of 2-16 with the ball before leading his side to a four-wicket victory with an unbeaten score of 10 runs.
In another T20 clash on the day, Free State claimed a convincing six-wicket victory over Gauteng on the A-field at Paarl Gymnasium. Mvula Chabalala’s 2-25 led an all-round bowling performance from the Free Staters as they restricted their opponents to 101-6 before the opening 58-run stand between Jayden Davids (39) and Nelius Volschenk (30) helped their side to victory with seven balls remaining.
The final limited-overs encounter of the day ended with a triumph for Northern Cape, who outmuscled Mpumalanga with the ball to claim an emphatic 49-run win. Hamza Kana (3-22), Luvunda Oss (2-8), Paseka Jonkers (2-22) and Foster Lubbe (2-14) shared the wickets as Northern Cape dismissed Mpumalanga for just 86 in 22.1 overs after they posted a target of 135 thanks to a top-score of 45 off 46 deliveries from Itumeleng Sekonyela.
Due to the lost time in the day, the time cricket clash between Western Province and KZN Coastal ended in a draw – with WP given the winning draw after they outscored their opponents in the first innings with 148-4. It was a similar story in the other clash at Van der Stel Oval, with Namibia awarded a victorious draw after posting 157-8 in their first innings.
In the other drawn encounter of the first day, KZN Inland and Border were involved in a promising match-up after the former posted a strong first innings score of 241, thanks to an impressive century from Adrien Fischer (102 not out). Unfortunately, with time running out, Border could only put together a score of 119-1 before the end of the day’s end – with Bryan Muir undefeated on 65 not out.
To get some game time, the home side Boland and North West agreed to compete in a 10-over contest. In a thrill-a-minute clash, Boland came undone as North West claimed the win by five wickets after they restricted their opponents to 53-6 in the allotted overs, before waltzing to victory with one over remaining.
Day two of the Momentum U15 Boys Week will begin on Saturday with live scoring available at www.websports.co.za
Photo: Theo Garrun