North West upset Free State
North West caused an upset in Potchefstroom beating a strong Free State team by four wickets. Free State had been in a strong position as they declared at 358 for 4 after solid knocks from Petrus Koortzen (96), Cliff Deacon (69*) and Benjamin Hector (68). The target of 309 was, however, not enough as North West chased it down in 52.1 overs despite 4 for 80 from Bennett Sekonyane. A magnificent 103 from Mohammad Akoojee and an unbeaten 66 from Frikkie Holtzhausen saw North West register a satisfying win and a jump to the second spot in Pool A.
Western Province only needed 9.2 overs on day three to claim victory against Boland in Cape Town. Set a huge 473 to win, Boland were bowled out for 74. The winning margin of 398 is the biggest in South African first-class domestic cricket. Quentin Friend picked up 3 for 32 while the first innings destroyer, Mark de Stadler, took 3 for 6.
KwaZulu-Natal inflicted a nine-wicket win over Border in Durban as they chased down a target of 178 for the loss of Mark Sanders (69). Rivash Gobind (71*) and Imraan Khan (37*) carried on to see Natal home. Border's second innings was a vast improvement on their first, with Laden Gamiet (105) and a career-best 47 from Kevin Bennett taking them to 334. Robbie Frylinck was the main wicket-taker for Natal with 4 for 63.
Despite taking 11 wickets in the match, Ahmed Nawab and Gauteng had to settle for a tame draw against Northerns in Johannesburg. A good pitch and some resolute defence from Gauteng, chasing a target of 376, saw the game peter out to a draw with Gauteng on 204 for 4 and Enoch Nkwe not out on 71. Earlier, Nkwe and William Motaung (75) had put 75 in just 70 minutes as Gauteng went after the target. The loss of Motaung and a further wicket slowed things down and a draw became inevitable. Northerns had tried hard to set a realistic target with Heino Kuhn (50), Alfonso Thomas (42*) and Johan Myburgh (64*) scoring freely, but it was Nawab who stole the show in taking 5 for 66 to add to his 6 for 106 in the first innings.
Keith Lane works for Cricinfo in South Africa