A brilliant fight-back from the Border middle and lower order saw them snatch victory from the jaws of defeat as they stole a breathtaking three wicket win against Boland in their CSA Provincial One Day Challenge match at Alfred Schoeman Park in Buffalo Flats on Saturday afternoon.
After the top order once again faltered and Border found themselves staring down the barrel at 78/5 chasing 233 to win, the tail wagged, with Clayton Bosch and Bongolwethu Makeleni batting superbly together to hit an unbeaten century eighth wicket partnership to lead the hosts home.
“I think week in and week out they are surprising me with the resilience that they are showing, it’s absolutely amazing and just when you think we’re down and out there is actually somebody who puts up their hand and today it was Clayton and Bongolwethu,” said Border coach Frank Plaatjes.
“So it was amazing, I think at one stage I thought this game was over and it just shows how we are growing as a team.”
Bosch reached a career best 72, with Makeleni on list A debut managing 38, while Aya Gqamane also made a valuable contribution of 37 on the day.
It was deservedly Bosch who slammed the winning runs, hitting Boland captain Simon Khomari for four to get them over the line with 41 balls to spare and bring up the hundred partnership with it ending on 101.
“It is unbelievable, I still can’t believe it but I enjoyed every moment of it,” said Bosch.
“I really didn’t expect any of this, I didn’t expect to get 50, I didn’t expect to get the partnership, I didn’t expect to win the game, but it all came through and I am elated.”
The Border chase got off to a bad start with Mncedisi Malika out for a fifth ball duck in the second over and was followed back to the pavilion by Kabelo Sekhukhune (18), Gerhardt Abrahams (23), Somila Seyibokwe (3) and Marco Marais (28) with Border in massive strife.
This brought Gqamane and Bosch to the crease and they shared in a positive 43-run stand to get Border past the hundred run mark.
However Gqamane then fell and Sithembele Langa (6) followed soon after bringing Makeleni to the crease.
The two then set off on an almost chance-less partnership to bring Border back from the brink and power them to the most unlikely of wins.
“Obviously my plan was to just stay in, rotate [the] strike and not lose my wicket and when Aya went out I was quite worried, but when Makeleni came in he actually said to me he is quite nervous and I just told him to be calm, play his normal game and don’t worry about anything and the longer you stay, the easier it will get,” Bosch said.
“It was when we needed about 50 runs to win that I realised we could do this and that’s why I just said we must focus and bat through.”
In the morning the visitors won the toss and chose to bat first.
They reached a strong 232/6 at the end of their 50 overs, thanks to a brilliant unbeaten 104 from David Bedingham and contributions from Ricardo Vasconcelos (39), Khomari (24) and Cebo Tshiki (22).
Borders bowling attack was led by Gqamane who claimed 3/54, while Tsepo Ndwandwa backed him up well with 2/34, both of which were stumpings by keeper Malika.
This results saw Border make it two wins out of two against Boland after they claimed a four wicket win in the Sunfoil 3-Day Cup match inside just two days on Friday.
“This was one of the teams we had actually targeted and we knew if we played well we could get wins in both formats against them,” Plaatjes said.