Willows Cricket Club recorded an impressive 76-run bonus point win against the high flying Rhodes 1st XI in their Grahamstown Cricket Board (GCB) First League encounter at Prospect Field on Sunday. Willows ended Rhodes’s unbeaten run of three games in the process.
Willows won the toss and elected to bat first on a sunny morning that later became overcast with drizzle.
Rhodes got off to a good start with their bowlers containing Willows batsmen and bowled excellent areas. Willows batsmen struggled to score freely and lost wickets at regular intervals, due to disciplined bowling by the home side. Abner Accom (34), Romario Fritz (30) came to terms with the slow pitch and adapted well, before losing their wickets later on. They received good good support from Tando Ngcete (27), Marquin Loutz (24), Melville Daniels (24) and Luvuyo Frans (20) to post a respectable total of 191 (48.2 overs).
Spinner Ryan Harley was the standout bowler for Rhodes, with an economical spell of 2/31 (10 overs). He was well supported by NJ Shabala 2/19 in 9 and Tim Westwood 2/37 (7).
Willows got off to a reasonable good start in defending their total, picking up three wickets for 35 runs. But Ryan Harley came out with a positive frame of mind and batted beautifully for his flamboyant 56 runs. He was in aggressive mode but later went out to a brilliant ball by Loutz who struck him LBW on the back foot. Willows tails were up and they started to take control of affairs, with Loutz leading the charge with his off spinners. Loutz ended a brilliant day on his birthday with excellent bowling figures of 4/19 (10). Eldrich Pieter George also chipped in with 3/14 (6.4), Cole Wessels 2/32 (8) and Tando Ngcete 1/18 (5).
Willows ran through the lower-order batsmen with good bowling and excellent fielding, to restrict the students for 115 (34.4 overs). In the end, it was the Willows side who took their chances and shown tremendous character and composure to pull off an emphatic victory.
Sidbury vs Salem
Defending Champs Sidbury also got their season off to a perfect start, defeating Salem by 3 wickets at Sidbury. Salem batted first and managed to post a decent 225/7 in their allotted 50 overs. Stefan Schoeman 2/39 (9), Mike Louwrens 1/35 (10) and Greg Evans 1/54 (10) performed reasonably well with the ball for Sidbury.
Sidbury got off to a flying start with Cliff Savage in fine form with the bat, top scoring with 73. Salem got back in to the game and bowled well taking wickets at crucial stages. Angus Van Niekerk (36) and Rony Roth (21*) made valuable contributions for Sidbury. Roth and Damon Weeks (14*) won the game in the last over for Sidbury in a tense and closely contested game. Sidbury ended with 226/7.
Rhodes vs Makana Sona
Rhodes received soft points against Makana Sona, who were unable to field a team.
Port Alfred 2nd vs Station Hill
Port Alfred 345/6 (50)
– Zee 86*, Dian Nel 69, Louis Oosthuizen 56
* Kurt Nelson 3/67 (10), Franklin Jacobs 2/75 (10)
Station Hill 350/7 (45.5)
– Cody Jones 66, Riaan Jacobs 63, Breyton September 49, Kurt Nelson 33
* Chris Avis 3/70 (10)
Station Hill won by 3 wickets
Manleys Flats 2nd vs Southwell
Southwell 326/5 (50)
– Chris Fredericks 132, Adrian Reed 57, James Stirk 55*
* Bryn Wakeford 3/50 (10), Craig Fourie 1/57 (8)
Manleys 244 (47.1)
– Dave Duncan 153*, Wakeford 36
* Hannes Visser 5/44 (100
Southwell won by 76 runs + bonus point
Kenton vs Shrews
– Tony Pedro 137, Viren Cook 54
* Lelethu Cesiko 2/25, Jason Wehmeyer 2/16
– Wehmeyer 39*
* Cook 2/13, Pedro 2/16
Kenton won by 163 runs + bonus point
Salem 2nd vs Sidbury
– M Stoke 82, J Nel 73, C Browne 38
* J De Klerk 4/33 (10), J Nel 2/35 (7.2), N Ferreira 2/7 (5)