Border show class to topple North West
It was a solid start to the season for the Border semi-professional cricket team as they claimed a draw in their CSA three-day match and a win in the CSA one-day match against North West in Potchefstroom over the past weekend.
To travel up to the Highveld and come away with a draw and a win over a tough North West team is an impressive achievement, and one this young team can build on going into the rest of the season.
In the three-day match Border had to dig deep to force a draw after batsmen ruled the first two days of action.
Batting first, Border amassed a strong 342 all out, thanks largely to the efforts of Jason Niemand, who struck a career best 165 and was backed up by captain Mkhululi Calana and Mncedisi Malika who both scored 51.
North West responded with 432/9 declared, with Joshua Dodd, 2/35, Phaphama Fojela, 2/53, and Malwande Zamo, 2/60, grabbing two scalps each.
With a tricky deficit of 90 on the final day, Border found themselves in trouble on 53/4 at a stage, but Niemand stood firm, scoring 88, while Dodd backed him up with 44, allowing them to score 231 all out, with North West then reaching 33/1 when play was called.
In the one day match Border batted first and managed a below par 238 all out, with Niemand again the star of the show, scoring 90, while Calana with 38 and captain Aya Gqamane with 23 were Border's next best efforts.
A top bowling effort then followed as Border bowled the hosts out for 214 with Gqamane's 4/28 and Clayton Bosch's 3/40 key in helping Border to a solid 24-run win.
“We are very happy. The guys played really well and it is a good start to the season for us,” said Border assistant coach Lundi Mbane.
“We were very happy with the performance of our batsmen. To come away from the two games with three half centuries and a hundred was great for us.
“The bowlers were good. They are our strong point and we know what they can deliver, but it was a very good effort to defend that total in the one day match.
“We still have a lot to work on, but we have given ourselves a good platform to improve from now over the rest of the season.”
Next up for Border is the visit of Eastern Province this week for their first matches of the season at Buffalo Park and Border will be keen to get off to a good start at home.
“The guys are very confident now and are looking forward to the visit of EP,” Mbane said.
Border take on EP in their three-day match from 10am on Thursday, with the one-day match following on Sunday from 9:30am.