Rudolph ton keeps Eagles at the summit
MTN Domestic Championship
Jacques Rudolph showed his critics he can perform in the one-day game as his superb 111 helped the Eagles to chase 268 against the Lions at Bloemfontein on Friday. Rudolph reached his century off only 104 balls, and was ably supported by the in-form Mornie van Wyk and his captain Nicky Boje. Rudolph's dismissal with three runs still needed began a late wobble, but the Eagles crawled home with two wickets and four balls to spare. Earlier, Alviro Petersen's sparkling 124 and the power of Justin Ontong, who scored 75 not out off only 64 balls, lifted the Lions to what looked like a winning total, but Rudolph would have the final word as the Eagles consolidated their position at the top of the table.
The Dolphins recovered from a weak batting effort to dismiss the Cobras for 181 and claim a 22 run victory at Durban on Friday. Imraan Khan's 72 had helped the Dolphins to 148 for 2 from 33 overs, but the innings faltered and they closed on 203 for 6. Three wickets from Johan Louw helped reduce the Cobras to 54 for 5 in reply, and they never recovered before finally being dismissed for 181.
The Warriors won their second game on the trot as they beat the Lions by 22 runs at Port Elizabeth on Wednesday. Nantie Hayward continued his recent resurgence, claiming 3 for 29 as the Lions lost their last five wickets for 19 runs and failed to chase down a target of 182. In a low-scoring game Justin Kreusch anchored the Warriors innings with a responsible 59, while Garnett Kruger claimed three wickets in a hostile spell for the Lions.
Mornie van Wyk continued his fine form with 73 as the Eagles made 243 for 5 to beat the Cobras by 22 runs at Cape Town on Wednesday. Van Wyk, who had scored an undefeated 160 against the Dolphins the previous Sunday, was supported by the explosive hitting of Johan Van der Wath who made 51 not out off 34 balls at the end of the innings. Andrew Puttick hit 69 in the Cobras reply, but he had little support and the wily Roger Telemachus finished off the innings with 4 for 40 as the Eagles stretched their lead at the top of the MTN Championship.
SAA Provincial CupColin Smith and Michael Ingram powered Eastern Province to an emphatic victory over South Western Districts at Port Elizabeth on Sunday. Ingram scored 125 off 115 balls and Smith 87 off 73 as they racked up 291 from their 45 overs. South Western Districts never got close as they slumped to 85 for 7 and were eventually all out for 140.
SAA Provincial ChallengeWestern Province destroyed Border by an innings and 114 runs in their SAA Provincial Challenge match at East London. Mark de Stadler and Quinton Friend claimed four wickets apiece as Border were dismissed for 84 in their first innings, with Burton de Wett's 11 the top score in a miserable team effort. Myles Williamson's 126 was the centrepiece of Western Province's 421, in which Alistair Gray, Richard Levi and Colin Birch also recorded half-centuries. Paul Adams claimed 4 for 53 as Border were dismissed for 223 second time around.
Eastern Province also recorded an innings victory as they defeated South Western Districts by an innings and 29 runs at Port Elizabeth. Riaan Jeggels top-scored with 84 as Eastern Province notched up 362 in their first innings, with no SWD player reaching 50 as Lonwabo Tsotsobe finished with match figures of 10 for 72 and SWD were dismissed for 180 and 153.
Sam Collins is a freelance journalist based in London