Hundreds for Andrew Hall and Andre Seymore for Easterns and a ninety-eight for Western Province's Neil Johnson highlighted the start of round three of the Standard Bank Cup competition with KwaZulu-Natal, Western Province and Easterns recording wins.
Willowmoore Park in Benoni saw Easterns winning the toss and batting first against Griqualand West.
Andre Seymore and Andrew Hall matched each other ball for ball with a 231 run opening partnership with Seymore going to his hundred first and then getting bowled by Johann Louw on the magical three figure mark. The hundred came up in 126 balls and included 12 sparkling boundaries once more piercing the point area with some powerful cuts.
Hall showed what good form he is in at the moment, going to his 100 in 124 balls with 11 boundaries. Once the hundred came up he unleashed some classic shots scoring a further 22 runs from his last 10 balls to end undefeated on 122. He was awarded man-of-the-match.
Albie Morkel sent in at number three lost his wicket to Louw on the last ball of the innings after smashing 22 from 15 balls, which included one four and a six, leaving Easterns in a strong position at 266/2.
Apart from the two wickets from Louw (2/44 in six overs) the only other bowlers who managed to put some brakes on the scoring rate were Zahir Abrahim (0/42) and Martin Gidley (0/39).
Griqualand West did make use of a good pitch losing Loots Bosman (2) to Andre Nel and Pieter Koortzen (7) to Hall within the first six overs.
A further wicket for Hall, that of Gidley (10), left Griquas on 34 and a required run rate of 6.5 in the final 35 overs.
Brett Tucker and Louw restored some hope to the Griqualand West innings putting on a 99 run partnership with Louw the aggressor twice hitting big sixes into the main and players pavilions. His aggression and a growing run rate was his demise playing over a quick yorker from Crookes for 51 coming off 58 balls and including four fours and the two sixes.
With the departure of Louw wickets fell all around Tucker. A brief flutter from Abrahim scoring 26 and an undefeated 80 from Tucker saw Griqualand West nose past the bonus point score of 212 to end on 221 all out in the 41st over. A loss by 45 runs.
Some light rain and lightning chased the players off the field at the Wanderers where Western Province had won the toss and elected to bat against Gauteng.
Having strengthen their side the visitors started off with Neil Johnson, back from his suspension, and Graeme Smith taking 43 runs off the first seven overs before Smith forcing from the front foot, when on 13, scooping a leading edge for Ashfak Abowath to take his first limited overs wicket.
This brought HD Ackerman to the crease and aided by some woeful bowling moved the score along to 125/1 in the 24th over when the umpires decided to take the players off the field with some light rain and lightning striking very close to the Wanderers.
After a break of 55 minutes the players returned with Johnson continuing to dominate. After 14 boundaries and 120 balls in which he improvised and worked the ball into most of the gaps in the field he a returned a catch to Adam Bacher for the third umpire to give him out caught and bowled on 98 ending a 150 run partnership in 31 overs.
Ashwell Prince wasted no time at the crease and had raced to 35 runs off 21 balls while Ackerman kept his end going. With the score on 231 and only ten balls remaining Ackerman played past an Eksteen delivery to be bowled for 66 having been instrumental in getting Province into a strong position.
At the end of the innings Western Province had moved to 243/4 with Prince being clean bowled by David Terbrugge for 42 on the second last ball of the innings.
David Terbrugge had been his usual miserly self throughout the innings ending with 1/30 in his nine overs, but it was Adam Bacher who impressed with figures of 1/22 in his nine overs. Without these two bowlers Western Province might have cruised past 275.
Bacher and Solly Ndima made a brisk start to the Strikers innings putting on 47 before Ndima trying to go over square leg was well taken by Smith for 29.
Bacher was next to lose his wicket. Finding it difficult to keep the scoreboard moving he was well held at mid on for 25 off 46 balls and when Warren Dugmore left without scoring, all seemed lost for the hosts.
Marthinus Otto was still and the crease, playing some lusty shots he flat batted Renier Munnik over the mid-wicket rope before being bowled by Claude Henderson for 37.
Seventeen-year-old debutante Vaughn van Jaarsveld showed a lot of maturity by scoring a classy fluent 57 from 59 balls, including six fours and a six. A bright future is predicted for this standard nine pupil.
With the last five wickets going down for 39 runs Western Province ran out winner by 44 runs, but could not gain the bonus point.
In Durban, the KwaZulu-Natal Dolphins at last hit form bowling North West out for 111 in 42 overs and then reaching the target in 30 overs.
A disappointing evening for Pool A log leaders North West. Winning the toss and batting first they never recovered from a poor start after finding themselves 39/4 from 17 overs. Man-of-the-match, Nixon McLean, taking two of the early wickets.
Top scores of 19 from ex Natalian Grant Rowley and Alfonso Thomas was never going to be enough to stretch the Dolphins.
Shaun Pollock (7-2-10-0), McLean (9-4-15-4), Jon Kent (8-2-27-3) and debutante Yadeen Singh (9-0-32-2) made sure that the Dragons batsmen were always under pressure finding it difficult to get out of the hole dug early in the innings.
The Dolphins after losing Ahmed Amla for 21 and Ashraf Mall for two, both to Garth Roe, easily reached the target of 112 in 30 overs with Kent not out 43 and Dale Benkenstein not out 30. The win by eight wickets, and a bonus point, gives KwaZulu-Natal its first points on the log.