Bacher century leads Cobras to semi-finals

MTN Domestic Championship

Andrew Tweedie and Lance Klusener were the heroes as they bowled the Dolphins to victory against the Titans at Pietermaritzburg on Sunday. The win takes the Dolphins into the semi-finals of the MTN Championship against the Cobras on November 12. The Titans had been cruising at 88 for 2 but lost their last eight wickets for 82 runs to finish 30 adrift of the Dolphins total of 200, with Tweedie and Klusener claiming three wickets apiece. Ahmed Amla had earlier top scored with 72 for the Dolphins, a welcome return to form for a player who had not topped 23 this season.

Adam Bacher's superb century led the Cobras to a crushing 93-run victory over the Lions at Cape Town on Sunday. Bacher carried his bat to finish unbeaten on 118 from 140 balls. JP Duminy hit a sparkling 59 from 63 balls as the two shared a partnership of 134 and the Cobras posted 249 for 4. Despite Alviro Petersen's valiant 68 the Lions could not get close to the target, with Alan Dawson and Con de Lange finishing with three wickets each. The result means that the Cobras will play host to the Dolphins in the semi-finals on November 12.

Werner Coetsee produced an outstanding all-round performance as the Lions thrashed the Dolphins by 6 wickets at Potchefstroom on Friday. Coetsee scored a run-a-ball 88 in a partnership of 141 with skipper Neil McKenzie (73) as the Lions chased down their target of 238 with 58 balls to spare. Coetsee had earlier bowled a miserly spell of off-spin to help restrict the Dolphins to 237 for 3 from their 45 overs. Despite a fluent century from Doug Watson and 67 from Hashim Amla, the Dolphins total never looked likely to be enough on what was a good batting pitch, and they owed a lot to Lance Klusener's quickfire 29 for injecting some urgency at the end of the innings.

Jacques Rudolph continued his good form as his half-century led the Eagles to a battling four-wicket win over the Titans at Centurion on Friday. Rudolph, who hit 111 against the Lions last week, was unbeaten on 60 as the Lions chased down their target of 174 with five balls to spare. Earlier Cliffie Deacon had taken 3 for 21 to reduce the Titans to 38 for 3, and it owed much to Farhaan Behardien's career-best 59 that they managed to reach 173, while keeper Mornie van Wyk claimed five dismissals in the innings. van Wyk then raced out of the blocks with a 37-ball 41 but his dismissal started a mini-slump, and it was left to Rudolph to steady the ship. There was further light-entertainment when a power failure in the middle of the Titans' innings held up play for 40 minutes.

The Warriors edged a thriller as Justin Kreusch kept his head to guide them to a last ball victory over the Cobras at East London on Friday. Kreusch scored a pulsating 48-ball 71 to guide his side to an unlikely 5-wicket win which had not seemed possible at 148 for 4 in the 42nd over. However, a partnership full of character between Kreusch and Murray Goodwin (53) edged them up to the line and Kreusch and Craig Thyssen successfully nurdled the seven runs needed from the final over. Andrew Puttick did not deserve to be on the losing side, as his 119 had, along with Ashwell Prince's unbeaten 61, helped the Cobras to close on 249 for 4. The Warriors had seen their encounter with the Eagles at Kimberley on Wednesday lost to the weather.

SAA Provincial Challenge

Michael Smith's unbeaten 179 and an impressive second-innings bowling performance all-round provided the platform for Eastern Province's 187-run victory over Kwa-Zulu Natal at Port Elizabeth. Andre van Vuuren's unbeaten first innings 118 was in vain as KZN crashed to 100 all out in their second knock and a heavy defeat.
Easterns and Mpumalanga shared the spoils in an entertaining draw at Benoni. Paul van den Berg and Revelation Plaatje both claimed eight wickets in the match as batsmen on both sides failed to dominate, with 17-year-old Ruan du Plessis's 88 for Easterns the highest score of the match.

Northerns finished agonisingly close to Free State's total in the drawn match at Bloemfontein. After the first day was lost to rain, the odds were on the draw, especially after both sides posted respectable first innings totals, with Petrus Koortzen scoring 128 for Free State to anchor the innings, and CJ de Villiers taking 4 for 71 on debut during the Northerns score of 277. However, Free State were skittled second time around for 96, of which remarkably Koortzen scored an undefeated 59, to throw the match wide open, with Neil Wagner taking 5 for 33. Northern's ended their reply 15 runs short after scoring 90 runs off 10 overs.

Gauteng thrashed North West by an innings and 55 runs at Johannesburg. Stephen Cook hit a career best 200 not out as Gauteng scored 444 for 6, having bowled North West out for 131. They then rolled them over for 258, with Shane Burger the hero with the ball, finishing with match figure of 7 for 68.

SAA Provincial Cup

Eastern Province beat Kwa-Zulu Natal Inland by 5 wickets at Port Elizabeth on Sunday thanks to an undefeated 72 from young wicketkeeper-batsman Sean Adair. Ross McMillan had scored 80 as KZN posted 194, but it never looked like being enough, and despite an early wobble, Adair, playing only as a batsman, stayed calm to lead them home. McMillan did his best with the ball, taking three wickets to complete a fine all-round performance, but his team-mates did not match his display.
A fine team performance helped Easterns beat Mpumalanga by 11 runs at Benoni on Sunday. David Wiese's 62 formed the foundation of Easterns 241 for 9, although eight batsmen reached double-figures, and Revelation Plaathe took three wickets with his leg-spin as Mpumalanga fell short, despite 77 from Jimmy Repsold.

80 from Stephanus Myburgh helped Northerns crush Free State by 156 runs at Bloemfontein on Sunday. The bowlers shared the wickets as Free State never looked like getting near the 299 they needed for victory after a fine collective effort from the Northerns top-order.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Diaan van Wyk's undefeated 83 helped Gauteng to beat North West by 59 runs at Johannesburg on Sunday. He was ably supported by his captain Blake Snijman(59) as Gauteng posted 257, and this was followed by a fine team bowling performance to dismiss North West for 198.