Stiaan van Zyl top-scored with 71 and picked up two wickets but still his side could not beat Eastern Province in Pool D of the Africa T20 Cup.
Boland Park hosted what was a straightforward victory for Eastern Province. A sub-par home crowd cheered their team on as Van Zyl, posted the only stand-out score of the match. Van Zyl’s unbeaten 71 held the innings together but Boland failed to string solid partnerships together. Boland posted 129-7 after winning the toss and electing to bat first.
The hosts got off to a bad start with a run-out in the first over. Sisanda Magala spearheaded the EP attack by taking three wickets for 31 runs, which included the wicket of Ferisco Adams (32), the only real partner to Van Zyl. Solo Nqweni helped Magala slow down the Boland innings by taking two wickets for 17 runs at an economy rate of 5.66.
Eastern Province got off to a similar start, as JJ Smuts could not replicate his heroics of their previous game, being bowled by Kyle Simmonds for just six runs.
However, unlike the Boland batting performance, solid partnerships particularly the second-wicket stand of 69 between Edward Moore (33) and Mathew Christensen (32) laid the foundation for the visitors.
Despite a short burst of excitement after Van Zyl removed both standout batsmen of the innings, the home fans remained quite subdued as they saw EP creep closer to the target.
Following the short fightback by Boland, Clyde Fortuin showed experience far beyond his age with a single-boundary innings of 22, along with an aggressive cameo from Kelly Smuts, which saw EP to comfortable six-wicket victory with seven balls to spare.
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images