Three of the top four teams, Northerns, Gauteng and Easterns, had to settle
for shared points as the two Standard Bank Cup matches scheduled for the wet
Johannesburg area were abandoned without a ball being bowled.
Northerns and Easterns shared the points at Willowmoore Park while Gauteng
and Free State did the same at the Wanderers.
At Durban, KwaZulu-Natal at last completed a match without any rain
interruptions. Shaun Pollock, having been given permission by the national
selectors to bat but not bowl, surprised everyone when he strode out for
Natal batting at No. 3. Just 111 balls later, he had scored his second and highest one-day century. His 134 not out included 13 fours and four sixes. Hashim Amla scored 54 with Lance Klusener, who has been recalled to the national team, unlucky to be run out for 17 two overs before the end. A target of 273 was always going to be a daunting task for Eastern Province
who were eventually bowled out for 194 with an over to spare. Carl Bradfield,
back in the team after resigning as captain, scored a fluent 41 while the
rest of the batting crumbled against a useful attack. Klusener
showed just why he had been recalled. taking 2 for 28 in 8.5
tight overs. Nixon McLean and Jon Kent also took two wickets each.
A whirlwind 72 off 32 balls from Shahid Afridi lifted Griqualand West to 252
for 7 against a shocked Boland attack at Kimberley. Afridi posted eight fours and five sixes in his 52-minute knock, and helped his side reach the hundred in the 12th over. A dramatic decrease in the run
rate, after the departure of Afridi, saw Griquas reach 252 for 7 at the end
of their 45 overs. Henry Davids fought a lone battle for Boland, but even his maiden one-day
hundred was not enough to take his side home. With no real partnerships
developing and the next-best score 22 from Ersamus Hendrikse, Boland
were never in the hunt.
At East London, Border restricted wooden-spoonists North West to 172 for 8,
with Liam Graham taking 4 for 32. Grant Celliers (40) and Davie Jacobs (32) were
not able to build on fruitful starts as wickets fell around them. In need of a bonus point, Border made a disastrous start, losing both openers
within the first seven overs. This brought Steven Pope and the captain,
Justin Kreusch, to the crease. Batting at a run a ball and striking 17 superb
boundaries, Kreusch went to his maiden one-day hundred, while Pope made sure
he kept his end going with 47 not out. Victory in 34.3 overs ensured that
Border still have an outside chance of reaching the semi-finals.