March 4, 2001

Abrahim secures Griquas' victory over Gauteng

MWP

Man of the match Zahir Abrahim engineered an unlikely victory for the Griquas Diamonds on a seesawing final day of their match with the Highveld Strikers at the Wanderers.

The all-rounder shared an unlikely, unbroken 32-run last wicket partnership with card-carrying rabbit Wayne Kidwell to steer his side away from the precipice and to a one-wicket victory.

Abrahim's 43 from 84 balls followed up his first innings 42 in this low scoring match and first innings bowling figures of five for 22.

Kidwell's contribution to the partnership was largely fortitude and two runs after Griquas - who had been set to make 189 for victory, had slumped to 145 for eight and then a perilous 159 for nine after resuming on 71 for four.

Abrahim shared a 14 run partnership with Craig Tatton (1) before he was bowled by Neil Fusedale to put the scent of victory firmly in the Striker's nostrils as a boundary edge braai.

But a combination of good luck and resolve saw Kidwell accompany Abrahim to the target shortly after lunch on the third and final day.

The win leaves Griquas firmly in control of the three-team SuperSport Series Shield - this being the only win in five matches in the competition to date.

It was a flat note top end a flat season at the Wanderers for the Strikers. They were unable to get an early breakthrough as overnight batsmen Grant Elliott and Wendell Bossenger took the score to 101 for four and apparently in little trouble.

But seamer Brendan Horan put an end to the 74-run fifth wicket partnership by bowling Bossenger for 33 to set in train the loss of four wickets in 16 overs for just 25 runs.

Top scorer Elliott - who compiled a patient 52 off 144 deliveries - was one of four victims in the innings for Fusedale (4-83) and with the tail thoroughly exposed it seemed Griquas' chances were up.

But Abrahim has produced some striking performances this season and here was another to speak of a mature cricketer (he is 28) with the craft and temperament to cement his place in the Griquas team for a time yet.

The two remaining matches in the group are KwaZulu-Natal vs. the Strikers 9-11 March and Griquas vs. KZN 16-18 March.