March 4, 2001

Henderson bowls Border to emphatic victory over Free State


Border gave their chances of reaching the Supersport Series final a tonic with an emphatic 162-run defeat of Free State in Bloemfontein on Sunday, their 18-point haul catapulting them into second place on the standings behind runaway leaders Western Province.

A career-best return of 6-56 from seamer Tyron Henderson was the icing on the cake of a fine professional performance from the Bears, who hugged the life out a lacklustre Free State side. It was only the third time Henderson has taken five or more wickets in an innings, and surpassed his previous best - 5-44 for SA Academy against Scotland in 1999.

Resuming on 89-2, the early overs passed without incident for Free State as the overnight batsmen, Jonathan Beukes and Louis Wilkinson, both moved to half-centuries. But when Wilkinson was Henderson's first scalp of the day on 56, the Free State flag began its journey down the pole.

Two more wickets for Henderson and a strike from off-spinner Geoff Love to remove Beukes leg-before for 64 reduced the home side to 146-6. Opener Gerhardus Liebenberg, batting down the order at number seven after bruising two fingers attempting a catch on Saturday, briefly steadied things with the kind of composure you would expect from a man of his talent and temperament.

But when Henderson finally prised him out for 34 and Victor Mpitsang fell the very next ball, the bowler was on a hat-trick and the victory all but complete. Dewald Pretorius survived the hat-trick delivery, but when Vasbert Drakes rearranged his stumps three overs later, Border's eyes were well and truly on the final.