South African domestic round-up - week ending October 8 October 9, 2006

Faltering starts for domestic newcomers

Cricinfo staff

MTN Domestic Championship

Lance Klusener: fall guy one day, hero the next © Cricinfo
The South African domestic season struggled into life amid heavy downpours. Cape Cobras got their campaign off to a flying start with back-to-back wins over the Warriors and Eagles. Vernon Philander was the start with an unbeaten 76 against the Warriors and 3 for 33 against the Eagles, while Thami Tsolekile took five catches in the same game.

The Dolphins edged out the Titans by two wickets in a thriller at Centurion. Hashim Amla smashed a 92-ball 101 while Lance Klusener hammered 58 not out off 48 deliveries, including three fours and three sixes, as the Dolphins scored the 21 they needed off the final over, Klusener thumping 20 from five balls.

It was the second nail-biter of the week for Dolphins fans. Two days earlier they tied with the Eagles after seemingly working their way into a winning position. But the match turned when Klusener fell trying a reverse sweep, and Roger Telemachus bowled Jon Kent off the last ball of the game.

SAA Provincial Challenge

This year's tournament features some new teams, but they did not fare too well in the opening round of matches. Gauteng wrapped up a straightforward innings victory over Mpumalanga with more than a day to spare. Enoch Nkwe's 114 helped Gauteng to 412 for 7 in a little over five hours, and Mpumalanga were skittled twice, with Shane Burger (5 for 48) and Brian Mathebula (5 for 66) leading the way.

Two more newcomers, Namibia and Limpopo, had a closer scrap at Windhoek, but the home side's experience won through in the end as they eased to a six-wicket win.

The closest game was at Benoni where Easterns squeezed out Griqualand West by one wicket. Set a target of 373, Easterns were all but finished at 258 for 8, but David Wiese (126) and Revelation Plaatjie (49*) then added 112 for the ninth wicket. Wiese was bowled going for the winning runs with five still needed, but Plaatjie kept his head. Unsurprisingly, Wiese, who also took 7 for 92, was named Man of the Match. This is the 4th most runs added after the fall of the 8th wicket by a team winning a first-class match, beating the 107 by Northern Districts against Wellington in 1995-96.

SAA Provincial Cup

Namibia had fewer problems in beating Limpopo in the one-dayer, Louis Klazinga picking up 4 for 41 on debut in a 168-run win. Namibia had one surprise, former Zimbabwe captain Tatenda Taibu, who had been linked with several South African franchises, popping up as their wicketkeeper.

Kei's debut in the South African domestic cricket was hardly a glorious one as they were skittled for 118 by Western Province, who then knocked off the runs without loss in a little over 90 minutes. In the other match, Gauteng saw off Mpumalanga.