By CHESLEY DANIELS
This past weekend, the Grahamstown Cricket Board (GCB) again lived up to expectations and delivered some exciting cricket and close encounters, both in the 1st and 2nd leagues.
Salem and Southwell recorded narrow wins in the GCB 1st League while Swallows surprised Salem 2nd with an impressive win in their backyard. Manley Flats beat log leaders Station Hill in their 2nd league encounter at Manleys.
GCB 1ST LEAGUE
SOUTHWELL VS WILLOWS (SOUTHWELL)
Willows travelled to Southwell in their return fixture and were unlucky to come out second best. Southwell recorded a narrow two-wicket win in the last over of the match. Willows batted first and posted a decent 219. Romario Fritz starred with the bat and batted superbly for his 92 runs. He was well supported by Seth Faltein 29, Seviano Jasson 19* and Carriston Haarhof 18.
Josh Van Rensburg was the pick of the bowlers for Southwell with figures of 3/32 while James Cameron took 2/45 and Richard Moss 1/39.
Willows bowlers started well and applied good pressure on the home side’s batters. Southwell came back nicely with Anselym Castelyn 48, Josh Van Rensburg 39, Chris Fredericks 32 and Chris Roberts 30, contributing valuable knocks for their side. Willows were in control of the game and looked set for a win, but it was in the final over that Southwell took the win from them. Haarhof was impressive with the ball for Willows and took three wickets, while young Christiano Jasson took two wickets. Southwell made 222/8 in 49.3 overs.
SIDBURY VS SALEM (SIDBURY SPORTS FIELD)
In a nail-biting affair at Sidbury, log leaders Salem edged the home side with a narrow 1-run win in a thrilling encounter. Sidbury batted first in a low scoring match and were bowled out for 108. Wesson 40 and Maritz 23 were the only batters who performed with the willow for the home side. Left-arm spinner Bradley Van Heerden was outstanding with the ball and clinched 5/2 in 4 overs in an impressive economical bowling spell. Offspinner Mike Liesenberg took 2/20 in 4 overs.
Sidbury’s bowlers didn’t lay down and fought extremely hard in applying pressure to defend their low total. Wickets fell regularly, but Salem’s batsmen stood firm on the tricky batting wicket. Opener Justin Dollery gave his side a good start with a fine 21, while Ivan Marais came down the order with a match-winning knock of 34. The game went down to the wire, but Salem held their nerve showing tremendous composure to clinch the win at the death. Peter Gradwell 3/15, Bryce Howarth 2/29, Damon Weeks 2/15, and P Upman 2/15 were outstanding with the ball for Sidbury.
CUYLERVILLE VS MAKANA SONA (SHAW PARK)
Second place Cuylerville wasted no time trashing Makana Sona by a bonus point 8 wicket win. Makana batted first and were bowled out for a mere 61 runs. Ngqina top score with 13 for the Makhanda side. Cuylerville’s slow bowlers took charge of matters and bowled exceptionally well. Steven Gornal 5/19 (7.3) and veteran Francois Klopper 4/29 (10) were the destroyers-in-chief for the victorious side.
Cuylerville batsmen wasted no time chasing down the low target to earn a valuable bonus point in the process. They did so in grand style and reached the target in the eighth over with two wickets down. Greg Clayton top-scored with an unbeaten 29* while Charlie Muir scored 12. Luvuyo Ginela took 1/16 (4) for Makana Sona.
GCB 2ND LEAGUE
SALEM VS SWALLOWS
Swallows went to Salem and upset the home side, who beat Station Hill the previous week. Swallows dedicated the win for the late Devril Baartman, a sporting legend in the community. Swallows batted first and scored 172. Renato Visagie top score with a hard-fought 45, while Captain Peter Frans (44), Marco Loutz (23) and Alrico Hilpert (18) also contributed nicely with the bat. For Salem, Mike Mattison took 3/47 (9), Corne Labuschagne 3/27 (9), and Greef 2/16 (3) bowled well and were amongst the wicket-takers.
Swallows young bowling lineup were on fire and bowled exceptionally well. The young opening pair Marco Loutz 3/39 (8) and Madudu Maseti 3/14 (6) laid the foundation for their side. At the same time, Swallows introduced the veteran swing bowler Lance September late in the game who finished matters off in fine style, wrapping up with impressive bowling figures of 3/11 in 3 overs. Salem were bowled out for 91, handing Swallows an 81-run bonus-point win. Ant Scheepers top score with 47, and Ross Pittaway scored 22 for Salem.
MANLEYS FLATS VS STATION HILL (MANLEYS)
Manleys recorded an impressive 71-run bonus-point win and handed log leaders Station Hill their second consecutive defeat. Manleys totalled 22/8 in their allotted 50 overs, with veterans Barry Gleaves 82 and Anton Ferreira 46* retired hurt, in good touch with the bat. Cody Jones took 3/38 (10), while Sipho Saki took 1/37 (9).
Station Hill came out in a positive frame of mind, but wickets tumbled at regular intervals. Manleys experienced bowlers came to the fore and applied the pressure throughout. Swing bowlers Craig Fourie bowled brilliantly and economically for his 3/28 (10) upfront with Clint Lock 2/34 (7). Veteran spin bowler Barry Gleaves took 2/44 (9) and leg spinner Lester Isaacs 2/25 (4).
Station Hill came short, scoring 157 (33).
GCB 2nd League Log as of 5/2/22
- Station Hill 46 (11)
- Sidbury 43 (10)
- Manley Flats 41 (10)
- Port Alfred 36 (9)
- Salem 35 (9)
- Southwell 33 (9)
- Swallows 33 (10)
- Cuylerville 25 (9)
- Tiger Titans 24 (9)
- Rainbows 19 (10)
- Shrews 15 (8)
- Kenton 13 (9)
- Early Birds 1 (9)
GCB 1st League Log as of 05/02 /22
- Salem 50 (10)
- Cuylerville 44 (10)
- Southwell 41 (10)
- Willows 22 (10)
- Makana Sona 18 (10)
- Sidbury 16 (9)
- Rhodes 7 (7)