Border crash to heavy defeat

Border batsman Bradley Williams plays a shot on his way to an unbeaten 64 against EP in their three day match at Buffalo Park on Saturday.
Border batsman Bradley Williams plays a shot on his way to an unbeaten 64 against EP in their three day match at Buffalo Park on Saturday.

Border crashed to a disappointing 185-run defeat in their CSA 3-Day Challenge match against rivals Eastern Province at Buffalo Park on Saturday afternoon.

After the Border batsman showed plenty of promise in their first three day game of the season against North West last week, securing a draw, their old troubles returned to the surface against EP as they struggled in both innings.

The Border bowlers were also not up to scratch, allowing EP to put up a big first innings score and then could only take a few wickets in the second innings, allowing them to declare early on the final day with enough time to bowl Border out, which happened shortly after tea.

The day started with EP on 31/0 in their second innings and they went straight onto attack as openers Matthew Christensen and Joshua van Heerden raced to a hundred partnership with Christensen reaching his half century along the way.

Van Heerden then became the first wicket to fall for 43, caught by wicketkeeper Mncedisi Malika off the bowling of Border fast bowler Alindile Mhletywa with EP 111/1.

It was Mhletywa's first first class wicket, in his three day debut, and he celebrated the occasion by also having Lesiba Ngoepe (5) caught by Malika and Kelly Smuts (9) caught by Jacques Porter as EP slipped to 139/3.

Tian Koekemoer (19no) then joined Christensen and they struck a quikfire 50-run partnership and as soon as Christensen reached his century they declared on 189/3, leaving Border 345 runs to win.

Mhletywa's figures of 3/44 were solid and Border will hope to see more from him as the season goes on.

Border's second innings then saw them having to navigate a tricky few overs before lunch, which they were unable to do as openers Malwande Zamo and Porter's poor match continued as Zamo fell for an 11-ball duck, after scoring only five in the first innings, and Porter for eight, having scored just six in the first innings.

This left Border in all sorts of trouble on 18/2 at lunch and despite hope of a big stand between Jason Niemand and captain Mkhululi Calana, that was snuffed out straight after the break as Basheer had Niemand (17) caught behind and Smuts bowled Calana (7) as Border fell to 40/4.

Bradley Williams and Malika then tried to stave off the inevitable with a 45-run partnership, but the writing was on the wall when Malika (25) edged Smuts behind.

First innings hero Aya Gqamane could only manage 13 this time round before he was bowled by Thomas Kaber, while the rest of the batsman fell cheaply, with only Williams showing any resistance as he brought up his half century and ended unbeaten on 64 with Border all out for 159.

Walters was superb for the visitors claiming 5/61, his second five wicket haul of the match as he picked up his 10th 10-wicket haul in first class cricket, while Kaber, 3/33, and Smuts, 2/33, backed him up.

Border will now hope to bounce back in Sunday's one day match at Buffalo Park, getting under way at 9:30am.