Rain gods curtail Border clash

PREMIUM

It was a frustrating opening day of their CSA three-day competition clash against Northern Cape on Thursday for Border as inclement weather meant that less than half of the day’s allotted overs were able to be completed.
When the day’s play was called early for bad light Border were sitting on 98/3 after 37 overs, with captain Jason Niemand and Somila Seyibokwe unbeaten at the crease on 30 and five respectively.
The bad light had come after seeing two rain delays curtail the innings, the second of which took up almost the entire afternoon’s play.
With just two days of play left, Border will have to bat positively on Friday and hope there are no more rain delays and look to declare sometime in the afternoon if they are to have a chance of getting a win in the match.
In Thursday’s action Northern Cape won the toss and elected to field, which looked to be a good decision as they had Border in early trouble.
It was two former Border players who combined to make the initial breakthrough, as opening bowler Sinovuyo Ntuntwana had opener Bradley Williams caught behind for six by keeper Avumile Mnci, to leave Border 7/1 in the fourth over.
Both Ntuntwana and Mnci had joined Northern Cape during the past off-season, with this being their first time back at Buffalo Park since.
Fellow opener Sihle Magongoma then followed soon after, bowled by Zakhele Qwabe for seven, to leave Border in a spot of bother at 19/2 in the ninth over.
This brought Mkhululi Calana in to join his captain at the crease, and they were soon off the field for the day’s first rain delay, with the score 25/2 after 13 overs.
It was just a short delay and the players returned to guide Border past the 50-run mark and safely to lunch at 77/2 after 27 overs.
After the lunch break just two more overs of play were possible as Border added a further seven runs before the rain came down, with no play for almost four hours, leaving Calana and Niemand in limbo, unbeaten on 45 and 23 respectively.
The players then returned to the field shortly before five, and after the score moved to 92 Calana became Ntuntwana’s second victim of the day, trapped leg-before just four runs short of what would have been a well deserved 50.
Seyibokwe was then next man in, and he was still at the crease with Niemand when bad light forced the players off early for the third and final time.
Due to the amount of overs lost in the day, play on Friday will start at 9.30am if there is no further bad weather to delay proceedings and, with both teams hungry for a win, it could lead to some exciting cricket over the final two days...

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