Gauteng crush Easterns in Standard Bank Cup final
Gauteng 146 for 3 (Cook 64, Otto 44) beat Easterns 144 all out (Koenig 43; Bacher 3-24) by seven wickets, with 16.3 overs to spare
Gauteng, now known as the Highveld Strikers, won the Standard Bank Cup with a convincing seven-wicket victory over Easterns at the Wanderers on Sunday. It was their first trophy since winning the SuperSport Series in 1999-2000.
A superb innings of 64 from Stephen Cook - the competition's top-scorer with 613 runs - gave Gauteng the impetus as they chased down a meagre Easterns total of 144. He struck eight fours in his 75-ball innings before lofting a catch to mid-off. His 107-run partnership for the second wicket with Marthinus Otto meant that the result of the match was never in doubt.
Easterns owed their total to Sven Koenig - top-scorer with 43 - and 24 extras. After Koenig had targetted David Terbrugge and Garnett Kruger early on, but the introduction of spin in the shape of Derek Crookes and Clive Eksteen slowed Easterns' progress to a crawl.
Terbrugge then came back to pick up the wickets of Andrew Hall and Daryll Cullinan with successive deliveries.
But the introduction of spin twins Derek Crookes and Clive Eksteen in the 10th over effectively put the brakes on with the pair conceding only 25 runs off the subsequent 10, 14 and 11 respectively. Zander De Bruyn was run out by Crookes, and his namesake - Pierre - went lbw to Kruger to leave Easterns struggling.
Adam Bacher then tempted Koenig into an indiscrete shot to short midwicket, where Otto took a simple catch, and then had Aldo van den Berg caught-and-bowled. He also had Geoffrey Toyana stumped by Ahmed Omar to finish with figures of 3 for 24. Easterns lost their last nine wickets for 58 runs, from just 16.1 overs.