Border and Gauteng set for Africa Cup T20 showpiece showdown

Border bowler Basheer Walters in action against Easterns during the Africa Cup T20 match between the two sides at Buffalo Park on Sunday afternoon.
Border bowler Basheer Walters in action against Easterns during the Africa Cup T20 match between the two sides at Buffalo Park on Sunday afternoon.
Image: Ross Roche

Border will take on Gauteng in the Africa Cup T20 final on Monday morning after both teams claimed comfortable semifinal wins over Easterns and North West respectively at Buffalo Park on Sunday morning.

Both teams will get the chance to battle it out for their first African Cup title in the fourth edition of the competition.

Border were powered to a simple seven wicket win in the afternoon semi by opening batsmen Marco Marais and Gihahn Cloete who shared a 102-run opening stand off just 51-balls that set them up to cruise over the line with 38-balls remaining.

Easterns had earlier scored a below par 134/9 in their 20-overs, and were perhaps lucky to reach that as captain Grant Thompson (53) and Sizwe Masondo (34) were dropped three times between them during their 80-run fourth wicket partnership.

Strike bowlers Phaphama Fojela, 3/18, and Basheer Walters, 2/15, led the attack superbly claiming five wickets between them in the eight overs they bowled.

The Border chase then got off to a typically brutal start as Marais, still carrying a hamstring injury from last weekends pool stage and unable to run, slammed the first two balls of the innings for sixes, with Thompson's only over ending up going for 22.

Border's 50 then came up in the fourth over, Marais half century in the sixth and the Border hundred at the end of the eighth over.

Cloete finally fell in the ninth over for 40 off 30 balls (7x4) and Marais in the 10th for 64 off 25 (2x4; 7x6) as they slipped to 108/2, but they had already done the hard work.

Only one more wicket fell, that of captain Jerry Nqolo (17 off 10, 3x4), while Yaseen Vallie and Christiaan Jonker were both unbeaten on six as they eased Border home.

In the morning semi the Gauteng Lions claimed a comfortable 27-run win over the North West Dragons.

Batting first Gauteng were grateful to their Protea stars Temba Bavuma and Wiaan Mulder who rebuilt their innings after a poor start with a 111-run stand.

Joining at the crease on 7/2 the two powered Gauteng to 118/2 after 13 overs, before Mulder fell for 63 off 43 balls (10x4).

Bavuma then continued and although starved of the strike managed to finish unbeaten on 79 off 45 balls (4x4; 5x6) as Gauteng ended on 171/5 at the end of their 20.

A fast start from North West opener Kagiso Rapulana that helped them bring up the 50 without loss in the fifth over gave them the perfect start.

But unfortunately regular wickets them tumbled throughout the innings and he received no support from the rest of the batsmen with his 85 off 49 balls (11x4; 2x6) in vein as they ended on 144/9.

The Border v Gauteng final will then take place from 10am at Buffalo Park on Monday morning.




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