SAA Provincial Challenge, Round 12, 2nd day February 10, 2006

Eastern Province squander strong position

Cricinfo staff

A pair of imposing centuries from Bevan Bennett and Burton de Wett gave Border the upper hand on the second day of their SAA Challenge encounter with Boland at Paarl. Resuming on their overnight 79 for 1, Border ploughed onwards and upwards, with the pair eventually adding 307 for the second wicket before Bennett fell for a magnificent 182 from 204 balls, with 15 fours and seven sixes. Bennett's contribution was more sedate - 122 from 174 - but their efforts helped secure a useful 79-run advantage. By the close, Boland had reached 115 for 3 in reply, with DJ Malan anchoring the innings on 67 not out.

Eastern Province squandered a promising position against their south-coast rivals Western Province, after a career-best bowling performance from the offspinner Siraaj Conrad had bundled them out for a meagre 122 in their second innings at Port Elizabeth. Conrad took 6 for 45 as EP crashed from 66 for 2 to 98 for 9, and so undid all the good work earlier done by their bowlers. After resuming on 96 for 1, WP were bowled out for 260. The captain, Alistair Gray, anchored the innings with 85, and the No. 10, Quinton Friend, provided a muscular 36 from 32 balls to reduce the first-innings deficit.

Wendell Bossenger gave Griqualand West's innings some substance with 71 from 102 balls, but it was North West who held the upper hand at the close of play, with Mohammad Akoojee and Juan le Roux adding 113 unbeaten runs for the second wicket at Kimberley. Having lost the first day's play to rain, Griquas opted for a brisk tempo as they were bowled out for 245 in 60.1 overs, with FS Holtzhausen the pick of the bowlers with 4 for 70.