Big blow as Border fall to Gauteng
The powerhouse Gauteng side was always going to be the favourites, especially since they were the hosts and had cruised through the week unbeaten winning four games while drawing one, as they went into the final in ominous form.
Border however were expected to give them a fight having recovered brilliantly from their disastrous opening loss against Northerns, following that up with a good draw against Western Province who just survived the day, before picking up momentum with big wins over North West, Namibia and KwaZulu-Natal.
A below-par effort with the bat then saw Border all out for 193 that was never expected to be enough, and so it proved as Gauteng powered to an easy win to seal their spot as deserved “unofficial champs” of this year’s Coke Week.
With Border batting first regular wickets saw the top five fall relatively cheaply.
Man-of-the-match Curtis Campher started the rot having Loyiso Mzamo (two) caught by captain Wandile Makwetu and Matt Dewar (11) caught by keeper Jacob Miltz as Border slipped to 27/2.
Jason Niemand was next to go for 12, before opener Josneil Long, who was looking quite comfortable, was bowled by Ntokozo Mahlaba for 25.
Jason Raubenheimer (two) then came and went, leaving Border in deep strife on 84 with five down.
Captain Sinethemba Qeshile and Luke Dallas then combined for the innings best partnership, as they took Border past the hundred and then 150-run mark.
With the partnership on 174 and Qeshile having just reached a deserved half century, Border were back in the match and on target to post a competitive total.
However, Luzandre Mora then broke the 90-run stand having Dallas caught for 38, while Campher returned to dismiss Qeshile, who played the only loose shot of his innings, to be caught by Miltz for 59.
Akhona Mnyaka with 14 provided a bit of defiance, but with the final five Border wickets falling for 19 runs they ended with a well below-par 193. Campher (6/29), Mora (2/35) and Mahlaba (2/35), shared all 10 wickets.
Gauteng then got off to a fast start with a 53-run stand between Joshua Richards and Matthew Erasmus, before Erasmus was bowled by Bradley Mauer for 15.
This was then Border’s only success as Richards powered his way to an unbeaten 104 and Miltz to 61, as their brilliant 144-run partnership took Gauteng home with 61 balls to spare.
Mauer was the only Border bowler to really trouble Gauteng, finishing with 1/23 from seven overs.
l Eastern Province ended a successful 2017 Coca-Cola Khaya Majola Week on the best possible note, with a four-wicket victory over Boland in their final match at St Stithians College in Johannesburg yesterday.
In the match Boland batted and got off to a steady start, despite losing the early wicket of Khanya Cotani for six, bowled by Campbell de Wet.
An 80-run stand between Laurentius Smit and Samuel Henderson was then ended by a brilliant bit of fielding from Cole Schoeman who ran in from the cow corner boundary, picked up the ball and whipped in a wicket throw with the keeper doing the rest to catch Smit (40) short of his ground.
De Wet (3/27) was the pick of the bowlers along with Tiaan van Vuuren (2/40), while Schoeman, De Klerk and Kenan Smith all claimed a scalp each.
It was almost then a mirror start with the bat for EP as opener David Rushmere (14) fell early, before Peter Jarvis and captain Christopher Benjamin combined for a 76-run stand that took them past the hundred.
Jarvis (41) and Benjamin (42) then both fell, before EP lost a further three wickets for just one run leaving them in a spot of bother on 131/6, with Smith (19) and Van Vuuren (18) combining for a comfortable 39-run partnership to guide their side home.