KwaZulu-Natal beat Zimbabwe Under-23s by 122 runs at Chatsworth in Durban, after a brave Zimbabwean effort to draw the match failed. The target of 357 was never really in question with the middle order failing for a second time. Zimbabwe did, however, put up some stern resistance as they tried to bat out the final overs. With runs out of the question, occupation of the crease became the prime concern and in the end they will walk away from this match with far more experience and will be a better outfit in their next match. For Natal Tyron Pillay, with his legspinners, took a career best 5 for 45, while M Becker ended his debut with a batting average of 194.
At Kimberley, the bitter rivalry between Griqualand West and Free State ended in a 12-run win for Free State as they bowled Griquas out for 114 in their chase of a mediocre 127-run target. Roger Telemachus and Dillon du Preez put the cat among the pigeons as they took three wickets each to reduce Griquas to 94 for 6. With 33 runs needed the home team should have finished off the game but two further tail-end wickets gave du Preez a career-best haul of 5 for 33, and Griquas had falled 13 runs short of victory.
Border's clash with Boland at East London was called off as a draw after yet more rain prevented Border from starting their second innings. Boland batted through day three as they declared at 322 for 9 with Warren Swan failing by seven runs to complete a maiden hundred. Border used nine bowlers, including nine balls from their keeper, to try and induce a result but on the day the weather was the only winner.
After an early finish to their three-day game at Newlands, Western Province and Eastern Province faced each other one day earlier. In their 45 overs Western Province totalled 246 for 7 with Renier Munnik once again a cut above the rest as he top-scored with 67 off 57 balls. Sinet Mjekula, with a career best 4 for 50, was the pick of the Eastern Province bowlers. With the demons from the first two days seemingly out of the pitch, Eastern Province's batting was never up to it as they were restricted to 169 for 9 with only Chad Baxter showing any resistance in compiling 58.
The other fixtures in this round will be played Sunday, October 23.
Gareth von Hoesslin
Free State (Orange Free State)
SAA Provincial Challenge
Keith Lane works for Cricinfo in South Africa