Diego Rosier and Patrick Kruger shared a century partnership for the second wicket to set Northern Cape up for an eight-wicket victory over defending champions Northerns at the Oudtshoorn Recreation Ground today that threw Pool B of the Africa T20 Cup wide open.
Northern Cape, who had their match against hosts Canon South Western Districts washed out yesterday, now top the log with 6 points while Northerns remain on 4. SWD have 2 and Kenya are yet to get off the mark.
SWD will have the chance to draw level with Northern Cape if they beat Kenya this afternoon.
This morning’s match that was originally reduced to 14 overs after the toss following more rain and finally to a 12-over target for the winners produced some high quality batting that underlines the young talent coming through the South African pipeline development system.
Heinrich Klaasen, yesterday’s man of the match against Kenya, was again on top of his game, scoring 77 not out off 37 balls with 6 fours and 4 sixes. His dominance as Northerns posted 132/6 in 14 overs was illustrated by the fact that the next highest scorer was Tony de Zorzi with 11.
Northern Cape’s target was reduced to 118 in 12 overs but the use of the DLS system had little bearing on the final outcome after Kruger (47 off 25 balls, 2 fours and 3 sixes) before being needlessly run out and Rosier (68 not out off 34 balls, 6 fours and 3 sixes) added exactly 100 for the second wicket in 8.3 overs.
When Kruger was dismissed the target was down to 14 off 17 balls and in the end they won with a full over to spare.
The overnight rain and the showers during the morning certainly brought the ball on to the bat better than it had done on the first day which made life difficult for Northerns trio of specialist spin bowlers.
Apart from the contributions of Kruger, Rosier and Aubrey Swanepoel over the last two days Northern Cape have another player to watch for the future in their young left-arm fast bowler, Mbulelo Budaza. He has genuine pace and he may have been on the expensive side but his two wickets were invaluable on a day on which the bowlers took a pasting.