December 21, 2002

Western Province beat Free State in the rain.

What should have been the clash of the titans, turned into a wet squid as rain in Cape Town forced the Standard Bank Cup fourth round match between Western Province and Free State into a 32 over smash and grab with the hosts running out victor by six wickets.

Free Sate winning the toss batting first, on an overcast afternoon, lost the wicket of Jonathan Beukus in the second over minutes before rain forced the players off the field for three hours.

Restarting with the game reduced to 32 overs Free State immediately lost the wicket of Morne van Wyk and then had to leave the field again as the Newlands lights went out.

Play eventually got under way with Free State unable to recover or get on top of some good swing bowling from Charl Willoughby taking 3-29 in seven overs.

A 44 from Neil Dippenaar helped the cause with Nicky Boje (20) and Rayno Arendse (28*) helping Free State to 125/7 when the 32 overs were completed.

With the two breaks in the innings, and Free State having lost early wickets, the Duckworth/Lewis method calculated a Western Province target of 124.

With the likes of Herschelle Gibbs, Graeme Smith, Gary Kirsten and Jacques Kallis in the Province line up the target was never going to be enough.

Herman Bakkes was not going to let names get the better of him, having Gibbs (15) and Smith (12) back in the pavilion to leave Western Province 33/2 in the eighth over.

Gary Kirsten, in excellent recent form, stabilised the innings with the help of first HD Ackerman scoring 17, and then Andrew Puttick making 15. Kirsten finished on an undefeated 53, seeing the hosts through to a 6-wicket win.

For Free State, Bakkes ended with 2-26, Boje 1-27 and Allan Donald 0-19.