The Africa T20 Cup champions Northerns got their defence off to a good start with a 32-run win over Kenya.
Mark Charlton’s Northerns continued from where they left off last season with a clinical display, as Heinrich Klaasen fired 76 to give them plenty of runs to work with, before a disciplined bowling effort saw them home in their Pool B encounter in Oudtshoorn.
Losing the toss against their continental opponents, Aiden Markram looked in good touch as he hit a run-a-ball 40 with the top-order falling around him. Wicketkeeper batsman Klaasen came in at No 4 and took a while to get going, before smashing three boundaries in a row in the 14th over in the midst of a 65-run partnership with Markram.
Klaasen fell in the penultimate over, having smashed two sixes and eight fours to help his side to 164-6.
Northerns were given a huge scare by Kenya as their opening batsmen got them off to a solid start. Alex Abanda (21) and Irfan Karim took their side to 47. The run rate was falling behind, but that should have been enough of a platform for Kenya to track down going into the final ten overs. It wasn’t to be.
Skipper Ruben Claasen found the breakthrough, and then the slow left-arm of Thomas Kaber brought about figures of 2-24 in the middle overs as they shut out the Kenyans.
Karim was still there at the end, but his 65 wasn’t rapid enough, coming off 63 balls, to leave Kenya 32 runs short of the mark.
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