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Wisden Cricinfo staff
May 1, 2004
Eagles 131 for 6 beat Eastern Cape 108 for 9 (Peterson 42) by 7 runs
The concept that has grabbed the imagination of the South African audience reached its climax in East London, as the Eagles beat Eastern Cape in the final of the Standard Bank PRO20 Series at Buffalo Park.
On a lively Buffalo Park pitch, with steep bounce and sharp seam movement, the Eagles were sent in to bat first and made an electrifying start with 31 runs coming from the first four overs.
The introduction of Brent Kops slowed the run-rate down. He had been a late replacement for the injured Monde Zondeki, and was playing in his first PRO20 match, but took 2 for 19 in his four overs, as the Eagles slipped to 35 for 3 after nine.
Cliff Deacon (27) and Loots Bosman (29) put together a 50-run partnership from 47 balls before both fell within six balls of each other. Johan van der Wath kept his best form of the series for the final, smashing four fours and a six in an innings of 28 from 12 balls to help the Eagles to a defendable 131 for 6.
During the innings break rain appeared from nowhere, causing a delay and reducing the target to 116 off 17 overs.
Eastern Cape's hopes slipped away after an excellent opening spell from Deon Kruis (2 for 15) and Deacon (2 for 12), as they were restricted to 30 for 4 after the first eight overs. The last hope came from Robin Peterson, who batted sensibly to score 42 from 34 balls, including four fours and three sixes.
But with the rate up to 11.5, he swung one high to mid-off where Boje took the catch. With seven wickets down the victory celebrations had started. Needing 16 off the final over things had slipped away from the Eastern Cape and the Eagles eased home by seven runs under the Duckworth-Lewis system.
A further feature for the Eagles was Morne van Wyk's five dismissals behind the wickets. Loots Bosman, who ended up as the player with the most runs in the series, walked away with the Man of the Series award.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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