Beukes guides Eagles to safety
Eagles 334 and 345 for 9 (Beukes 135*, van Wyk 130, Symcox 3-70, Abrahim 3-49, Klusener 3-108) drew with Dolphins 612 for 8 dec
The Dolphins and the Eagles will share South Africa's premier domestic trophy, the first to be played under the new franchise system, after drawing an exciting SuperSport Series final at Goodyear Park in Bloemfontein.
Despite the heavy cloud cover that greeted the players at the start of the final day, the bowlers still found it difficult to extract any swing or lateral movement from the pitch. Morne van Wyk and Jonathan Beukes took advantage of the batting conditions to bring further gloom to the bowlers as they batted out the first session to extend their partnership to 186 and the Eagles to 215 for 3 at lunch.
The new ball brought about the breakthrough as Lance Klusener sneaked one through van Wyk's defences to bowl him for an excellent 130. The partnership of 215 had held the Dolphins up for four hours, but off the very next ball Ryan Bailey was trapped lbw and the smiles had returned to the Dolphins' faces, not least Hashim Amla's, who had dropped van Wyk on 3.
Zahir Abraham struck three times in four overs as he dismissed Ryan McLaren, Cliff Deacon and Dillon du Preez to leave the Eagles at 295 for 8 at tea with Beukes still undefeated on 110.
A tense partnership of 36 runs between Beukes and Thandi Tshabalala followed after the tea break with Tshabalala rotating the strike for over an hour before being bowled by Klusener. The lead had grown to 53 runs with 16 overs remaining.
When bad light stopped play the Eagles had moved to 345 for 9 with Beukes on a magnificent 135 and Victor Mpitsang on 10.