Border concludes three day challenge with defeat
Border's middle and lower order resistance was finally ended early on the final day of their Cricket South Africa three day challenge match against North West as they fell to a 30-run defeat at Buffalo Park on Saturday morning.
In an incredible match that belonged to the bowlers after 20 wickets fell on day one and 19 fell on day two, a late Border revival almost saw them pull themselves into contention in the match after a dismal first innings batting performance.
But after play was finally called late on Friday evening with Border still 34-runs short and having only one wicket in hand the writing looked to be on the wall.
And so it proved as just two and a half overs were bowled on Saturday morning with three runs added before last man Basheer Walters (6) was bowled by Craig Alexander who led the bowling attack superbly, picking up 6/71.
This left Bongolwethu Makeleni unbeaten on 24 as Border fell agonisingly short, despite their second innings being the most scored in the match of 247.
However it was Borders disastrous first innings where they were bowled all out for 75 that lost them the game in the end.
The Border bowlers were in top form to bowl North West out for 199 and 153 in their two innings, with pace spearhead Phaphama Fojela leading the attack with fantastic match figures of 9/95.
At the end of the visitors second innings Border were given a stiff target of 278 to win and it looked very far off as another top order failing saw the team reduced to 54/4.
However a middle and lower order fightback then followed to bring Border back into the match and close to what would have been an unbelievable come from behind win, but it was not to be in the end.
The Border chase then didn't get off to a good start as Bradley Williams (9) and Somila Seyibokwe (8) fell within the first five overs with Border on 18/2.
A budding 32-run partnership between Sihle Magongoma (13) and Mo Vallie (23) was then ended by Migael Pretorius who had Magongoma caught and then four runs later Vallie was caught and bowled by Brady Barends leaving Border in trouble at 54/4.
The middle and lower order resistance then began as Jason Niemand (22) and Mncedisi Malika (49) shared in a 75-run stand but both fell in quick succession of each other as Border slipped to 136/6.
Bowling all-rounders Clayton Bosch (46) and Malwande Zamo (20) then gave Border hope with a top 58-run seventh wicket stand, but when both fell in successive overs it looked all over with the score on 196/8 and still 82 runs needed for victory.
However the fantastic fight of the Border lower order cannot be understated as Makeleni was then joined by Fojela (18) and they shared in a 40-run partnership, but in the end it was not enough as North West came away with a valuable win.
The one day match between the two teams will now be battled out at Buffalo Park on Sunday, starting at 10am.