December 22, 2000

Dragons no match for Border

Andy Colquhoun

Man of the match Pieter Strydom ended the game tantalisingly poised on a hat-trick as Border wrapped up a comprehensive 125-run victory over the Dragons with 8.3 overs to spare.

Strydom had Francois van der Merwe caught first ball to follow up his dismissal of Garth Roe to ice his man of the match cake. It gave him bowling figures of three for 19 from 7.3 overs to follow his innings top score of 79. His hat-trick ball will be in next Friday's home match against KwaZulu-Natal

But really this was hardly a contest. The Dragons at no stage looked like overhauling Border's 249 for six as they were bowled out for 124 to emphasise the gulf in class and experience.

The depth of their resources was laid painfully bare as their attempts to cover up the lack of a fifth bowler were cruelly exposed by the home side after the won the toss.

Light, Niewoudt and Morne Strydom went for 79 as the Dragons attempted to cobble together a fifth bowler to no avail.

There were three half-centuries in the Border innings with Ian Mitchell laying the foundations with a measured 67 from 107 balls at the top of the order before Pieter Strydom and Craig Sugden cut loose.

Strydom's top score of 79 came in 58 balls and included seven fours and two sixes but was overshadowed for violence by Sugden's 53 in just 32 balls.

Against Border's mean and battle-hardened attack that was more than the Dragons had within them as the innings failed to fire.

Gary Outram - top-scoring with 29 - and Glen Hewitt (14) put on 30 for the second wicket but the pair both fell with the score on 66 to Tyrone Henderson and that was pretty much that.

The win boosted Border back into play-off contention but they still need to beat the Dolphins and Free State if they are to make the top four.