The final of the Standard Bank Cup will be between Gauteng and Easterns next week at the Wanderers. Gauteng booked their place today by passing Northerns' total in the last over of their match at Johannesburg.
Gauteng 234 for 4 (Cook 88, Bacher 96) beat Northerns 233 (de Villiers 99, Crookes 4-49) by 6 wickets
A big crowd of nearly 8000 at the Wanderers watched as Gauteng overhauled Northerns' total with two balls to spare, to set up a home final next week against Easterns. Gauteng's triumph was all but sealed by a big opening stand of 176, in 32.3 overs, between Stephen Cook, who stroked 12 fours in his 88, and Adam Bacher, whose 96 included 14 spanking fours.
Two wickets for Gerald Dros, and a wicket and a run-out for Justin Kemp, set Gauteng back, but they squeaked home in the final over. HD Ackerman played out two dot-balls from Alfonso Thomas, then managed a risky single to midwicket. Derek Crookes, the bowling hero earlier on with four wickets, squeezed the winning run to short third man and Gauteng were home.
Earlier AB de Villiers had dominated Northerns' innings, with 99 from 113 balls, including six fours and two mighty sixes. The next-best score was Dros's 32. Gauteng's experienced bowling attack kept the pressure on: David Terbrugge, the former Test fast bowler, conceded only 22 runs in his eight overs, and Crookes's accuracy at the end meant that Northerns failed to bat out their 45 overs.