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October 31, 2009
Two days into South Africa's switch to 40-over domestic cricket - the 45-over MTN domestic championship has been abandoned - and a record was broken.
Morne van Wyk hit the highest individual score in South African limited-overs history as the Eagles beat the Lions by 104 runs in Bloemfontein. van Wyk, who has played six one-day internationals and two Twenty20s for South Africa, batted the entire 40 overs for an unbeaten 168 off 125 balls, with 25 fours and a six, to boost the Eagles to 286 for 5. The previous best score was Martin Venter's 166 for North West against KwaZulu-Natal in 1997.
The new format follows the England board's decision to do away with their 50-over competition. While the teams can pick 12 players, only 11 can bat and field. The first Powerplay extends up to 10 overs and the second for five and both must be taken before the 35th over. For one, four fielders will be allowed outside the ring, and for the other three. Also for rain delays overs will be deducted immediately, and matches will be played over a set period regardless of the weather.
Such was van Wyk's dominance of the Lions' bowling that the second best score was the captain Boeta Dippenaar's 36 off 39 balls. van Wyk added 80 for the first wicket with Reeza Hendricks (22), 46 with Rilee Roussow (26), 96 with Dippenaar and 43 with Johan van der Wath (21). The visitors never neared their target. Neil McKenzie's 53 off 70 balls was the best score they could put up and they were shot out for 182. After the departure of Vaughan van Jaarsveld, the middle order capitulated. van der Wath, who cut ties with the unofficial ICL, took 3 for 36 opening the attack and Ryan McLaren struck twice at the top.
van Wyk's record was in keeping with a busy round of action in the new format. On the opening day, Andrew Puttick and JP Duminy helping the Cobras coast to a seven-wicket victory over the Lions in Johannesburg. Chasing what appeared a challenging target of 287, the pair hit fluent centuries in a seven-wicket win achieved with six deliveries in hand.
The new competition began with Graeme Smith opting to field. Despite losing Jean Symes and Alviro Petersen in the first six overs, the Lions ticked along thanks to a run-a-ball stand of 116 between the captain Neil McKenzie and Vaughn van Jaarsveld. Duminy snapped that alliance by trapping van Jaarsveld leg before for 67. McKenzie made 80 off 86 deliveries and Zander de Bruyn 54 off 34 as the Lions finished on 286 for 6.
Smith departed in the first over, caught by Friedel de Wet at fine leg off Andre Nel in the first over, but Robin Peterson tonked Nel for 23 in his next over. Puttick and Peterson added 50 in 39 balls after which a match-winning stand was formed. Puttick and Duminy hit the bowlers all across the stadium and Duminy brought up his maiden limited-overs century off 88 balls. He was bowled for 104, ending a 224-run partnership in 187 balls, with victory in sight but Puttick's unbeaten 122 sealed the win.
The Warriors pipped the Dolphins by 13 runs in a tight finish in Durban despite a scare from David Miller down the order. The Warriors' 213 for 7 owed plenty to the No. 8 Craig Thyssen's 56 off 39 balls with five fours and a pair of sixes. It was the highest score of the innings after Mark Boucher's 47. The Warriors' top order had failed to do much and Boucher's and Thyssen's innings proved crucial in the end.
Chasing a small target, the Dolphins were ripped apart at the top by Lonwabo Tsotsobe, who soon had them down at 24 for 3. Imraan Khan (54) propped up the innings but his dismissal was followed by Tsotsobe taking his fourth wicket, that of Andrew Hall (51). Miller threatened to down the Warriors with 33 off 14 balls, with three fours and two sixes, from No. 8 but Johan Botha dismissed him with the last ball of his spell, which ended with the 39th over. The Dolphins needed 19 from the last over but Juan Theron allowed them just five while dismissing Johann Louw with the penultimate delivery.
In Centurion, the match between the Titans and the Cobras was washed out after the Titans posted 249 for 8. Jacques Rudolph's 93 off 87 balls, with 11 fours and a six, was the main contributor.
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