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October 29, 2007
SAA Provincial Three-Day Challenge
A fine display from Juan Theron, who took eight wickets for Eastern Province, helped them inflict a heavy 214-run defeat on Western Province at St George's Park. Eastern Province batted first and reached a middling total of 224 thanks to Michael Smith's 70 and some lower-order frolicking. They needn't have been concerned, however, as Basheeru-Deen Walters (3 for 31) and Andrew Birch (3 for 44) ran through Western Province to dismiss them for just 173. Umar Abrahams's controlled 114 set Western Province an unlikely 311 to win and were blown away for 96 as Theron took 6 for 22. Theron, 22, has now taken 60 wickets at 18.26 in his 15 first-class matches.
An excellent all-round bowling performance from Border saw South Western Districts crash to an eight-wicket defeat at Buffalo Park. Darryl Brown and Phaphama Fojela, the two young medium-pacers, shared eight wickets in Districts' meagre 95. Border easily surpassed that in reply, though they were indebted to Lazola Masingatha (75) and Murray Ranger (90), who boosted Border to 265 with their 146-run stand for the fifth wicket. Districts performed much better in the second innings - Jonathan Beukes' 120 guiding them to 274 - but a target of 105 never threatened Border's march to victory, despite losing two wickets. Athenkosi Dyili cracked 45 from 27 balls to motor them home.
Rain forced a draw between Free State and Gauteng at Braam Fisherville, but the match was not without two performances of individual excellence - particularly, Ryan Bailey's brilliant 186 at a run-a-ball. Free State were struggling a little on 65 for 3 when he came to the crease but, four-and-a-half hours later he had put them in command after cracking 20 fours and six sixes. He was given solid support from Hancke van Rauenstein, who struck his maiden first-class hundred and Free State eventually declared on 402 for 7. Their bowlers then reduced Gauteng to 62 for 4 before the rain forced a premature end.
David Wiese's third first-class hundred dug Easterns out of a sizeable hole against North West at Sedgars Park. Easterns were rocked by Craig Alexander's 5 for 59, stumbling to 197 all out in their response to North West's 367. Following on, North West's bowlers again troubled Easterns' top order who slipped to 98 for 3 before Wiese (115*) and Geoffrey Toyana (86) guided them to safety.
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