Eastern Province’s 20-year-old Joshua van Heerden recorded his maiden first-class century in just his sixth match to earn himself Thursday’s Play of the Day award, writes ANITHA MADIKIZELA.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first, Van Heerden and EP captain Eddie Moore – who has also lit up the domestic cricket scene this season – where sensational at the top of the innings against South Western Districts. The hard-hitting pair put on a sweltering 162-run partnership for the opening stand to put the visitors well on top in Oudtshoorn going into lunch.
Moore reached his half-century, but eventually fell on 71 (120 balls, 7×4) caught in the outfield. Van Heerden wasn’t phased though, and quickly combined with new partner Mathew Christensen (77 off 112 balls, 9×4) to add another 162 runs for the second partnership, picking up a mammoth maiden first-class century along the way.
Van Heerden took the assault to the SWD bowling attack and posted a well-compiled 163 off 275 balls. The explosive right-hander smashed 20 fours and one six on his way to his personal best score in first-class cricket – handsomely trumping his previous best of 50 in his first five matches in the longer format.
He was unlucky to miss a straight delivery from Kirwin Christoffels (2-24) in the 83rd over as SWD’s most prolific bowler trapped EP’s rising talent dead in front, reducing the visitors to 324-2 after a long day toiling in the field for the home side.
Eastern Province will resume on Friday with Clyde Fortuin (42) and Tian Koekemoer (18) looking to add to their already competitive 387-3, while SWD will be hoping to improve from their fruitless efforts on day one.
Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images