January 13, 2001

Kruis hat-trick wrecks Natal's middle order

Telford Vice - MWP

DEON Kruis singlehandedly took his maiden first-class hat-trick as Griqualand West ended the second day with a lead of 205.

In fact, four home side wickets crashed in as many deliveries as Natal slumped from their overnight score of 88 without loss to 241 all out an hour after lunch.

That gave Griquas West, who were dismissed for 279 in their first innings, a lead of 38 runs. By the close, the visitors had limped to 167 for five.

Natal's problems began in the second over of the day when Doug Watson was run out for a 51 that included nine fours. Mark Bruyns and Ahmed Amla stuck it out for another 10 overs before the wheels came off.

Amla was trapped in front by Johan Louw with the last ball of the 34th over, followed immediately by Bruyns suffering a similar fate at the hands of Kruis for 52, Dale Benkenstein being bowled and Wade Wingfield also out leg before.

It was Kruis' first hat-trick at first-class level, and it put the skids under the rest of Natal's batting with Jon Kent, who hit nine fours in his 58 before he was eighth out, Gulam Bodi and Eldine Baptiste the only players outside of the top order to make it into double figures.

Kruis finished with four for 57, while Wayne Kidwell got among the lower middle order to take four for 71.

However, having bowled themselves into a viable position, Griquas threatened to bat themselves out of it in losing three wickets for 24 runs in the space of seven overs.

The best of their batting came from young opener Brett Tucker, who scored 47 before falling leg before to Bodi to end a partnership of 63 shared with Grant Elliott.

That made it 63 for two in the 40th over, and five overs later Elliott was caught at second slip off Kent. Left-arm wrist spinner Bodi, whose bowling ebbed and flowed much like the match itself, then bowled Loots Bosman rounds his leg and trapped Pieter Koortzen in front to reduce the visitors to 137 for five with 11 overs left in the day's play.

Captain Wendell Bossenger, who was 24 not out, and Louw, on 14, saw Griquas to the close without further loss.

Bodi ended the day with figures of three for 72 off 26 overs.