March 11, 2001

Coach left red-faced after Easterns' ten-wicket defeat

Grant Shimmin - MWP

Easterns' embarrassment at a sub-par home performance against North West was complete on Sunday morning when it extended to their coach, Ray Jennings.

The ten-wicket defeat left Easterns with only an outside chance of reaching a first Supersport Series final.

Jennings was fielding at first slip, with Kenny Benjamin and Albie Morkel both off the park nursing niggles, as North West set out in search of the 29 remaining runs required for victory.

That they got home by ten wickets was partly due to the coach, standing next to son Dylan, the Easterns wicketkeeper, who had made a pair in the match, batting at number three. With opener Riaan Niewoudt on 31, he steered one slightly to the right of Jennings senior, who grassed what should have been a regulation catch.

Jennings was at least able to share complicity for the ten-wicket defeat with Gareth Flusk, who dropped Niewoudt at mid on two runs later, but to be fair to the coach, the foundation of defeat had been laid in his team's inept first-innings batting performance, in which Alfonso Thomas' six for 26 saw them shot out for 106.

Niewoudt was able to stay around long enough to crack the winning boundary off slow left-armer Ant Botha, finishing on 43, including four fours and a six, while Andrew Lawson finished with 15, including one boundary, off 73 balls, exactly the same number as Niewoudt had faced.