SAA Provincial Challenge January 29, 2006

Weather halts Free State's charge

Heavy rain and lightning in the vicinity of Johannesburg saw all three SAA Provincial Cup matches abandoned. At Benoni, the match between North West and Easterns was called off after 28.1 overs with North West struggling at 106 for 3. Mohammad Akoojee had scored a patient 43 with the Easterns maintaining disciplined lines. The players were forced off the field earlier in the innings but, when the heavens opened up for the final time, it became clear that no further play would be possible.

The storm over Benoni eventually reached the Wanderers where the downpour was just as heavy. Free State had managed to complete their 45 overs, scoring a creditable 270 for 7. Riel de Kock (107), opening the innings, scored his maiden one-day hundred striking 12 fours in his 128-ball stay at the crease. A 186-run partnership in 32 overs with Benjamin Hector (78) allowed Free State to set the formidable target. Johnson Mafa (4 for 49) and Enoch Nkwe (3 for 57) were the only Gauteng bowlers to take any wickets. Gauteng's innings (32 for 1) was just six overs old when the rain put an end to the match.

At Durban, no play was possible after overnight rain made conditions unplayable between KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Province.

Keith Lane works for Cricinfo in South Africa