Having beaten North West in their opening match on Friday with a bonus point this second victory over Boland by nine runs leaves them with nine points while none of the other sides are yet to get off the mark. The position could, however, change later in the day as Border will be playing their first two fixtures back-to-back.
Boland will be kicking themselves for not getting over the line in this match as they were ahead on comparative scoring rates going into the final six overs with plenty of wickets in hand.
But the winners produced an outstanding death bowling display as Craig Alexander and Kyle Nipper took wickets in successive overs and suddenly the required rate jumped into double figures.
Boland needed 20 off the last two overs and the left-arm spin of Nipper was the right choice for the penultimate over. He needed neither a fine leg nor third man on the boundary which meant he could block most of the boundary-hitting options. He conceded only four runs as the batsmen were forced to put the pace on the ball, leaving Kyle Abbott with the comparative luxury of having 16 runs to defend in the last over, and only conceded six.
A major turning point was Alexander’s dismissal of Stiaan van Zyl, caught off bat and then pad where it held up long enough for the bowler to claim the catch. After the start they had been given by Jean Marais (40 off 39 balls, 5 fours), who shared an opening partnership of 68 with Van Zyl (38 off 38 balls, 2 sixes), all it needed was for Van Zyl to bat through to the end but it was not to be.
Nipper finished with 2/25 from his four overs and Alexander with an outstanding 1/14.
The former had a superb all-round game as it was his partnership of 71 in nine overs with his captain, SJ Erwee, that enabled the winners to recover from an unproductive start that saw them two down for 25 inside five overs with their two senior batsmen, Vaughn van Jaarsveld and Khaya Zondo, back in the hut.
Erwee carried his bat for a match-winning 75 off 59 balls (6 fours and 2 sixes). It almost doubled his previous T20 best of 38.
The stand-out bowlers for Boland were Neil Botha (2/22) who first came to light in the Varsity T20 earlier this year at the same venue, and Tshepo Moreki (2/26), the star of the recent SA Emerging Squad tour to Sri Lanka. The latter bowled with good pace and control, bowling an excellent line outside the off-stump with the new ball and spearing it into middle and leg at the death.