March 3, 2001

Game swings towards Easterns


Sloppy batting by Northerns in their second innings on the third day of this vital Super Eight encounter saw the match swing towards Easterns, though the potential brittleness of their own batting means there are no guarantees on Sunday.

By the close on Saturday, Northerns were 104 for seven in their second knock, a lead of just 141, with Allahudien Paleker on 10, made off 82 balls as he tried to hold the innings together, and Steve Elworthy on 14, including a six and a four.

The continued contribution of the latter, who can destroy attacks when he's in the mood, seems vital to Northerns' prospects of fashioning a winning lead after only Martin van Jaarsveld (25) got beyond 20 on Saturday.

The day had begun with Easterns opener Andre Seymore, unbeaten on 113 overnight, extending his tenure at the crease beyond eight hours as he made a superb 174, including 23 fours. Seymore was ably assisted by Ant Botha (33), with whom he shared a 64-run stand for the seventh wicket, and Albie Morkel, who made 15 out of a partnership of 31 for the eighth.

Lanky schoolboy Brendan Reddy weighed in with 11 off 12 balls at number 11, before Seymore was last man out, leaving Easterns just 35 runs adrift of the Northerns first innings total of 415.

Morkel (2/24), who was the best of the bowlers in a depleted Easterns attack, and Botha (2/12) continued to contribute as Easterns made rapid inroads into the home side's batting line-up after a 25-run opening stand between first-innings centurion Jacques Rudolph, who made 18 before being first out, and Johan Myburgh, who fell two runs later for six.