SuperSport Super Sixes, 3rd day March 13, 2004

Exciting finish on the cards at Newlands

Wisden Cricinfo staff

KwaZulu-Natal went top of the Super Sixes table, thanks to the first-innings bonus points they captured against Western Province. And Maurice Aronstam ground out a nine-and-a-half-hour double-century for Northerns against Boland:

Super Sixes - 3rd day:

Western Province 311 and 287 for 3 (Bassage 61, Ferreira 100, Prince 75*) lead KwaZulu-Natal 332 by 266 runs

A first-innings deficit of 21 was quickly wiped out after Western Province bowled KwaZulu-Natal out for 332 at Newlands. Natal nonetheless collected enough bonus points to go to the top of the table. A far more docile pitch awaited the WP batsmen today, and they put on 287 for 3 before stumps was drawn. Derrin Bassage helped himself to 61, Lloyd Ferreira passed 3000 first-class runs in the course of his hundred, and Ashwell Prince, back from international duties in New Zealand, was left not out on 75. WP are 266 ahead, and we could be in for a close finish tomorrow.

Free State 267 and 139 for 3 (Liebenberg 72) lead North West 349 (Jacobs 164) by 57 runs

Davey Jacobs must know every blade of grass at Potchefstroom's North West Stadium after spending six hours at the crease for his 164, which helped his side to a lead of 82. Free State, batting for a second time, ended the day on 139 for 3 after Gerry Liebenberg put together a neat 72. Bad light once again brought an early end to proceedings - bad news for Free State, who need a win to stay in touch with the leaders.

Shield - 2nd day:

Northerns 451 for 7 dec (Aronstam 201*, Groeneveld 4-49) lead Boland 97 for 4 by 354 runs

Maurice Aronstam, 23, marked only his second first-class appearance with a masterful double-century as Northerns amassed 451 for 7 at Boland Park. His marathon innings took nine and a half hours, and he hit 19 fours and four sixes. Aronstam and Pierre Joubert (48*) equalled Northerns' eighth-wicket partnership record of 131*, set by Neville Alistoun and Trevor Rolfe against Natal B at Berea Park, Pretoria, in 1968-69. With Alfonso Thomas taking three wickets, Boland struggled to 97 for 4 by the close, still 354 behind.

Gauteng 34 for 1 v Eastern Province

Only half-an-hour's play yesterday ... and none at all at the Wanderers today as overnight rain and persistent showers forced an abandonment.