Marais flurry sees Border home

An incredible two days of cricket came to an end at Alfred Schoeman Park in Buffalo Flats yesterday afternoon as Border sealed an impressive four-wicket win over Boland in their Sunfoil 3-Day Cup encounter.

On a misbehaving pitch that allowed bowlers to dominate, 36 wickets fell across the two days, while just 483 runs were scored over four innings.

Border debutant Bongelwethu Makeleni enjoyed a dream start to his first-class career, claiming match figures of 7/84, while all-rounder Clayton Bosch bowled superbly to post career-best match figures of 7/24.

On the batting front, Kabelo Sekhukhune impressed scoring the match’s highest total of 74 in the first innings, while he also top-scored in the second innings for Border in making 32.

Set just 117 to win in their second innings, Border ended up cruising to the total with Marco Marais smashing 23 off 14 balls, with three maximums, after they found themselves in a tricky position at 89/6.

“It was extremely difficult conditions but I am very happy with the result,” said Border captain Somila Seyibokwe.

“I thought that Boland had a good score especially chasing on that wicket and I think they just didn't manage things well.

“But the guys showed a lot of character and positive intent to go out there and get the job done.

“Makeleni bowled well especially on debut, on a nice turning wicket with eight left-handers to bowl at, he had a dream debut.”

After Boland won the toss and batted first on day one, they were all out for 168, with Border then reaching 89/5 by the close.

The hosts then resumed yesterday morning with Sekhukhune on 52 and Aya Gqamane on two, however they could only add 36 runs to their total.

Sekhukhune moved his score on to 74 before he was last man out, with Border all out for 125, trailing Boland’s first innings score by 43 runs.

The visitors were blown over for just 73 in 31.4 overs.

Makeleni bowled straight through Boland’s innings, bowling 16 overs in a row and picking up 4/26, while Bosch enjoyed a superb spell, picking up 5/13 in 5.4 overs.

Boland’s batsmen were completely at sea throughout the innings, with number 11 batsman Zakhele Qwabe top-scoring for them with an unbeaten 10, as no other batsman reached double figures.

The Border chase then got off to a rocky start as they found themselves at 27/3, however an important 48-run partnership between Sekhukhune and Avumile Mnci (22) then put Border back in charge.

Another flurry of wickets then saw Border lose three wickets for 14 runs, but Bosch and Marais then guided the team home with an unbeaten 28-run stand.

Border and Boland now head into their Provincial One-Day Cup clash at the same ground today and the hosts will be hoping to finish off 2017 on a high with this their final match of the year.

The match gets under way at 9.30am.

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