Standard Bank Cup 2003-04 February 6, 2004

Wins for Northerns, Easterns and Gauteng

Northerns, Easterns and Gauteng maintained their fight for semi-final places in the Standard Bank Cup, registering away wins. Western Province, who are due to play on Sunday, still the head the table while Griqualand West and Border have a remote chance of slipping in through the back door. For the rest, there will be no trophy in the cupboard.

Points Table

Northerns 216 for 6 (du Plessis 67, Kemp 56) beat Border 195 (Bruyns 46, Kemp 4-38) by 21 runs

After a slow start by Northerns - they scored only 75 for 2 in the first 23 overs - runs started to flow when Justin Kemp joined debutante Francois du Plessis at the crease. Kemp, in good form this season, scored a quick 56 off 48 balls while du Plessis finished on 67 off 85. The recovery helped Northerns to finish on 216 for 6.

Mark Bruyns fought a lone battle against the Northerns bowlers but when he attempted to up the run-rate he was caught at the midwicket boundary for 46. Tyron Henderson put up some late resistance with a hard-hit 52 not out but it was all to no avail as Border were bowled out for 195. Kemp continued his form with the ball taking 4 for 38 in his nine overs.

Boland 177 for 5 (Hendrikse 63, Deacon 3-35) beat Free State 176 (van der Wath 53, Deacon 56*, Groeneveld 3-33) by 5 wickets

Free State made a disastrous start in Paarl, with both openers being dismissed by the second over. Johannes van der Wath steadied the innings but three more wickets had them struggling at 72 for 5. Van der Wath chanced his arm once too often to be bowled for 53 leaving it to Cliff Deacon, who scored 56 not out, to bring some respectability to the Free State score. They were finally bowled out for 176 in 41.4 overs. Ryan Groeneveld ended up taking 3 for 50 while Matthew Friedlander took his first wickets of the season for Boland.

A score of 176 was never going to be enough as Boland paced themselves well, knocking the runs off in the final over with five wickets in hand. Erasmus Hendrikse's career-best 63 was enough to win him the Man-of-the-Match award. Deacon continued his good work in the field as well, and had a hand in all the Boland wickets to fall: two run-outs and three wickets with the ball.

Gauteng 231 for 8 (Bacher 81, van Jaarsveld 68, Botha 3-32) beat Eastern Province 230 for 2 (Bradfield 109*, Jacobs 93*) by 2 wickets

A record partnership between Carl Bradfield, the former captain, and Arno Jacobs, the current one, wasn't enough to save Eastern Province from a two-wicket defeat against Gauteng. Bradfield and Jacobs put together 173 for the third wicket - the best for any wicket for Eastern Province - including 87 in the last ten overs to help their team to a solid total of 230.

Helped by a 144-run partnership for the fourth wicket between Adam Bacher (81) and Vaughn van Jaarsveld (68), and by some fielding errors by the opposition, Gauteng kept up with the asking rate and required seven off the final over. The first ball went for six, but wickets off the next three deliveries, two of them run-outs, left Gauteng with one run from two balls. A misfield allowed them to steal that vital single to celebrate a win that was much closer than it should have been.

Easterns 184 for 8 (Z de Bruyn 47, Veenstra 3-40, Tweedie 4-37) beat KwaZulu-Natal 120 (Reddy 3-10) by 64 runs

Zander de Bruyn was the star for Easterns, scoring 47 and taking two wickets, as KwaZulu-Natal were beaten by 64 runs in a low-scoring match. On a pitch which afforded plenty of seam movement, Natal never threatened to even get close to their target of 185. For Easterns, Brendon Reddy was the most successful bowler, returning career-best figures of 3 for 10 in seven overs.

Earlier, Andrew Tweedie ripped through the heart of the Easterns middle order, taking 4 for 37 after Ross Veenstra had dismissed both openers. Veenstra ended with 3 for 40, to leave Easterns on 184 for 8 at the end of the 45 overs. Zander de Bruyn, scoring 47, the only batsmen to come to grips with the seam bowling of Natal.

The defeat meant that Natal have no chance of qualifying for the semi-finals.

North West 196 for 9 (Jacobs 43, Celliers 41, Gidley 3-27) beat Griqualand West 193 for 3 (Gidley 62, Mahimbyi 40, Moleon 4-42, van der Merwe 3-34) by 3 runs

Useful contributions from Davey Jacobs (43) and Grant Celliers (41), plus some lusty blows from the diminutive Thando Bula helped North West post a score of 196 for 9. Martyn Gidley's offspinners gave him excellent returns of 3 for 27 in his nine overs.

Gidley set the Griqua innings up well with his 62, and with Mandla Mashimbyi, who scored a career-best 40, put the team in sight of victory. The 76-run partnership came to an end when Werner Coetsee brilliantly caught Gidley at deep midwicket. A target of 11 runs off the last over proved too much, giving North West their first one-day win since December 2002. Eugene Moleon registered a career best 4 for 42 while Francois van der Merwe took 3 for 34.