Easterns knock out Western Province
Western Province, finishing the round robin at the top of the table, was surprised by a highly motivated Easterns team after the visitors knocked off the small target of 198. Easterns will now play either Gauteng or Northerns in the finals.
Easterns 198 for 6 (Koenig 95, Cullinan 31, Dawson 3-30) beat
Western Province 197 for 8 (Duminy 51, Munnik 33, Z de Bruyn 5-44) by 4 wickets.
Western Province began their innings under pressure after losing both openers for 38 within 15 overs. When Gary Kirsten (19) and Lloyd Ferreira (26) were dismissed, further pressure was added to the middle order.
Jean-Paul Duminy (51) and Renier Munnik (33) put their hand up and batted maturely, clawing their team back into the contest. Their 84-run partnership gave Province an outside chance of defending the mediocre total of 197 for 8. Duminy, especially, showed the character required to succeed at higher levels of the game.
Zander de Bruyn took 5 for 44 (by far his career best), and tore the heart out of the middle order. And good support from Gareth Flusk and Brendon Reddy ensured that Easterns, without Albie Morkel, Andre Nel and Andrew Hall, stayed on course for the upset.
Following up on his bowling performance, de Bruyn gave Easterns the solid start they needed after losing a wicket in the first over. Along with Sven Koenig, they saw off the new ball and kept the run rate at the required rate. Slowly, surely, they built a 60-run partnership that laid the foundation.
A further partnership of 80 runs between Daryll Cullinan and Koenig brought them even closer. Koenig, dropped on 46, continued to give the fielders chances with ample mishits, but concentrated hard to remain unbeaten at the end with a 95 that took Easterns to the final.