Northerns and Gauteng climb the ladder
Judging by his innings for Northerns in Centurion, Jacques Rudolph is not going to gift his place in the national team. Smashing 18 boundaries in an innings of 139 balls Rudolph scored an impressive hundred and involved himself in two 100-run partnerships.
Northerns 327 for 3 (Rudolph 133, Kemp 64*, Van Jaarsveld 59,
Petersen 46) beat North West 194/9 (Thomas 4-45, Harris 3-37) by 133
Rudolph was not the only talk of Centurion after his classy 133. Justin Kemp, with the perfect platform, launched into the North West bowlers, crashing a quickfire 64 off 25 balls that included five boundaries and five towering sixes. His 50 had come in 21 balls. The Northerns batting was of a high quality, with Martin van Jaarsveld helping himself to 59 and Alviro Petersen scoring 46.
Chasing a target of 328 was always going to be a difficult task for North West especially with old team-member Alfonso Thomas out to impress. Thomas, in an uninterrupted spell of nine overs, took the heart out of North West's line-up, capturing four top-order wickets. Paul Harris, the left-arm orthodox spinner, cleaned up the tail claiming 3 wickets.
Gauteng 270 for 4 (Cook 80, Ackerman 81, Otto 54*, Abrahim 3-45)
beat Griqualand West 175 (Bosman 49, Eksteen 4-23) by 95 runs.
In Kimberley Gauteng continued with their recent turn around in fortunes with a good win over hosts Griqualand West. Batting first, the young Stephen Cook once again impressed with 80 runs, while Hylton Ackerman, the captain, came to the good, scoring 81. A further quick unbeaten 54 from Marthinus Otto helped Gauteng to a solid 270. Bowling honours went to Zahir Abrahim, who took three of the four wickets to fall.
Griquas did not make a promising start and were reduced to 126 for 6 in 27 overs with only Loots Bosman, once again, showing some defiance. On 49 he played around a ball from Garnett Kruger to virtually end all hope for Griquas. Stalwart Clive Eksteen wrapped up the tail for Gauteng to take home a full house in points.