North West University Pukke won their first National Club Championship in 15 years after beating Tuks by eight wickets in Pretoria on Wednesday.
Pukke went unbeaten throughout the tournament, and Katleho Leokaoke starred in the final, taking 5-26 to restrict Tuks to 209 in 45.3 overs.
Tuks had a shaky start when they lost in-form opening batsman Murray Coetzee for a duck in the first over, but Sean Phillips and Tony de Zorzi soon got their side back on track with a 148-run partnership for the second wicket before the former became Leokaoke’s first victim in the 32nd over. De Zorzi (74) lost his wicket in the 39th when he was bowled by Bjorn Fortuin.
That was the beginning of the end for the batting line-up, which saw Tuks lose their remaining wickets in just eight overs. No one could manage more than captain Heinrich Klaasen’s 11.
Pukke’s reply got off to a similar start. They lost opener Janneman Malan to Lungi Ngidi for five at the end of the second over, but Richardt Frenz and Wihan Lubbe righted the ship with their 96-run, second-wicket stand. Corbin Bosch took the second and only wicket thereafter, getting Lubbe out for 45, but Frenz (83*) and Andre Malan (59*) played a patient innings to get their side home, reaching their target in 43.3 overs.
Coach, Conrad de Swardt is delighted with his team’s performance throughout the week and is particularly proud of the fact that he was one of the players who last won the tournament for Pukke back in 2001.
‘It’s a very special time and feeling for me,’ he said. We’ve been building up to this for the past 12 months and I’m really proud of the guys for how they have carried themselves this week. It hasn’t always been the prettiest win, but we did well to get the result each time and today was a special day for me especially considering that I was part of the last Pukke team to win a Club Champs tournament.’
Team captain, Edrich Lubbe is also happy to finally get a win. He said:
‘This was a proper team effort. Every match, there was a guy who put his hand up to get us here. We played for one another and for our badge. After a 15-year dry patch, I hope that this will be the start of plenty more trophies for us.’
Picture: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images