By CHESLEY DANIELS
Another exciting and entertaining cricket was on display this past weekend in the Grahamstown Cricket Board (GCB) leagues. We also witnessed some impressive team and individual performances, indicating that cricket is highly competitive and alive in our area.
Salem 1st is still unbeaten and sits comfortably on top of the GCB 1st League standings, eight points clear of second-place Cuylerville. In the 2nd League, Station Hill leads the pack with nine points clear of arch-rivals Port Alfred.
There were also brilliant individual performances with both bat and bowl. Charlie Muir (Cuylerville 1st – 119), Brandon Handley (Cuylerville 1st – 105) and Christie (Sidbury 2nd – 125) scored centuries, while Warren Tarr (Cuylerville), Justin Dollery (Salem 2nd), Brave Marais (Rainbows) and Gareth Sloman (Cuylerville 2nd) took five wicket-hauls for their respective clubs.
GCB 1st League
Willows vs Sidbury
After a slow start to the season, Willows hit back with another impressive win as they travelled down to the N2 to face the home side, Sidbury. Sidbury batted first, and with some good bowling by the young Willows side, they were restricted to 164 (37 overs). Off-spinner Marquin Loutz was again in good form with the ball and finished with an economical spell of 3/29 (10). Mungeka 2/55 (10), Jantjies 2/29 (9), Cole Wessels 1/35 (6) and Duane Brown 1/5 (3) also bowled well for Willows.
Hugh Savage 38, Schoeman 25, and Huge Oxenham 22 were amongst the runs for the home side.
Willows got off to a shaky start as they lost both openers cheaply. But it was once again their top run-scorer Cariston Haarhoff who came to the rescue and batted superbly for his knock of 87 (7fours, 3sixes). Ruwayne Brooks 41 and Marquin Loutz 21 were equally impressive to ensure victory for their side. Peter Gradwell 2/45 (7), Mayinge 1/45 (8) and Damon Weeks 1/23 (7) were the wicket-takers for Sidbury. Willows reached 165/6 (27.2) and secured a four-wicket bonus-point win.
Salem vs Southwell
Salem continued their sublime form in the 1st League and recorded yet another impressive win. Southwell was restricted to 201/9 in their allotted 50 overs due to good disciplined bowling by Salem bowlers. Kyle Van Niekerk top score with 31, Josh Van Rensburg 26. Anselyn Castelyn 21 and Dane Kruger 21.
Spinner Mike Liesenberg shines with the ball, taking 2/22 (10) while receiving good support from Jonty Van der Meulen 2/28 (5) and Ivan Marais 1/42 (10).
Salem batters came out in a positive mode and kept the scoreboard ticking. Chris Van der Meulen, 44 and Simon Amm, 34, were the star batsmen for Salem as they reached the target 202/5 (46.3).
James Cameron 2/33 (9.3) and Adrian Reed 1/26 (7) took wickets for Southwell. Salem won by five wickets.
Cuylerville vs Makana Sona
Cuylerville posted a mammoth 392 in their allotted 50 overs and bowled out Makana for 151 in 34 overs. Opener Charlie Muir was again in devastating form with the bat and scored another superb century (119). Captain Brandon Handley, the leading run-scorer in the 1st League, also recorded a fine century (105), while Brendan Wicks contributed 57. Abongile Hashe 2/60 (10), Lungisa Ngqina 2/54 (10), Lloyd Luvalo 2/45 (6) and Sam 2/91 (10) took wickets for the visitors.
Makana’s batsmen couldn’t get the momentum going as the slow bowlers of Cuylerville used the wicket to their advantage. Spinner Warren Tarr 5/33 (9) was the best bowler for Cuylerville, while Ryan Beydeveld claimed a fine 3/55 (7). Spinners Handley 1/12 (6) and Gornal 1/11 (4) were also impressive with the ball. Veteran Lunga Stamper smashed a quick-fire 53 and Ngqina 28.
Cuylerville won by 241 runs and a bonus point.
GCB 2nd League
Station Hill vs Swallows
Swallows 161 (35)
– Rico Hilpert 38, Elgin Kohl 35
• Alvin Marney 4/23 (6), Franklin Jacobs 3/27 (10)
Station Hill 162/8 (22)
– Keanan Arends 30, Marney 30, Nelson 25
• Lee Gary Sias 4/53 (9), Vincent Mains 3/54 (7)
Station Hill won by two wickets + a bonus point
Salem vs Southwell
Salem 351/8 (50)
– S Blom 95*, Rob Van der Merwe 93, Tinus Scheepers 42
• John Knott 4/72 (9), Richard Daly 1/56 (10)
Southwell 115 (28)
– Daly 37, Knott 19*
• Justin Dollery 5/34 (9), Butler 2/30 (7)
Salem won by 236 runs + bonus point
Manley Flats vs Sidbury
– C Christie 125
• C Sholto-Douglas 3/41 (6), Juandre Nel 2/33 (8), Christie 2/21 (6)
Sidbury won by 108 runs + bonus point
Port Alfred vs Cuylerville
Port Alfred 150
• Sloman 5/16 (10), Warren Vermaak 3/7 (3.3), Ant Nelson 2/29 (10)
– J Bessinger 36
Port Alfred won by 28 runs
Rainbows vs Early Birds
– T Shotana 77, B Manyati 41
Early Birds 35
• Brave Marais 6/25 (5), Shotana 4/6 (4)
Rainbows won by 168 runs + bonus point