Poor batting and costly mistakes in the field cost the Eastern Province Rural Cricket Team against a spirited Boland side in Worcester on Saturday 1 December. EP went down by a crushing 157 runs in their Cricket South Africa Rural South Section fixture.
EP have now won two and lost two and are still within a very good chance to end in the top 5 of their section in order to qualify for the CSA Rural Week in Makhanda (Grahamstown) in February 2019. Five of each section (South & North) will to qualify for the Week that will consist of ten teams.
Boland won the toss and decided to bat and made good use of the pitch early on. They posted a decent 263/6 in their allotted 50 overs. The Eastern Cape side were flat footed in the field, dropping five catches. The bowlers also put themselves under severe pressure as they bowled both sides of the wicket, allowing the Boland batsmen to make good use of their opportunities. A brilliant 140-run fourth wicket partnership between Wade Abrahim (107) and Tiaan Kannemeyer (68) laid a perfect foundation for their side. Patrick Jeftha (26*) and Vivian Adams (27) also batted aggressively towards the end of the innings. Cole Wessels (2/51 (10)), veteran Melville Daniels (1/24 (10)), Ruwayne Brooks (1/35 (7)) and Marquin Tom Loutz (1/56 (10)) were amongst the wicket-takers for EP.
EP delivered a bad start to their run-chase and were under pressure throughout their innings. Their batsmen failed to absorbed the pressure and lost wickets at regular intervals. Edrich George, the debutant, was the top run scorer with a fine unbeaten 32 not out. Brooks also chipped in with a fast 23 runs. Kyle Oosthuizen (3/9 (5)) and Clement Lukas (2/28 (6.3)), were the destroyers-in-chief for Boland and secured the victory. EP were bundled out for 106 (27.3).
“We can only blame ourselves today for the disappointing loss,” said Mellville Daniels, the EP Rural Team Manager. “We were just not good enough and our fielding once again let us down. We dropped crucial catches at crucial periods in the match, that influenced the game. There are a lot of work ahead but we remain positive. We have to beat EP Midlands and Kei in our remaining matches to stand a good chance of qualifying for the week.”