Thrilling matches end T20 section of U15 week
The T20 phase of the national Momentum U15 boys week came to an end with some big wins and tight results in East London on Saturday afternoon.
It was another difficult day for Border as they crashed to a fourth successive defeat of the week, this time being comfortably beaten by 67 runs by an in form Easterns team.
Batting first, Easterns managed 120/5 in their 20 overs, a total that Border should have felt they could chase down.
Easterns opener Tristan van Schalkwyk was the top scorer, hitting 44, while Sinethemba Ngeyane added an unbeaten 25 and Dewan Marais 21, to get the team to their score.
Border utilised eight bowlers, with Amagile Twani being the pick of them claiming 2/22.
Another dreadful batting effort from the tournament hosts however followed, with only Tyler Stagg (13) getting into double figures as Border were bowled all out for 53 to suffer a heavy loss.
In other matches there were thrilling wins for Gauteng, South Western Districts and KwaZulu-Natal Inland over Boland, Limpopo and Free State respectively, while Northern Cape, Western Province, North West and Northerns all managed comfortable wins against Namibia, Eastern Province, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal Coastal respectively.
In the Gauteng v Boland match, Boland batted first and scored 117/5, which they would have been a bit disappointed with after getting off to a great start with a 72-run first wicket stand between openers Samuel Chemaly (43) and Dewald Grover (32).
But Gauteng's bowlers pulled it back well, with Shervaan Govender, 3/24, and Thomas Johnson, 2/22, picking up the wickets.
Gauteng's chase was then led by their middle order as Richard Seletsane (35), Ethan Perry (34no) and Ryan Maritz (22) made telling contributions to get their team over the line with one ball and three wickets to spare, despite the efforts of Boland's top bowler Reece du Plessis with figures of 2/25.
SWD then went even closer than Gauteng, beating Limpopo by one wicket off the last ball of the match.
Limpopo batted first scoring 121/9 in their 20 overs with Hendrik Botes (37) and Paballo Molefe (28) the key contributors, while Thurston Murphy, 2/8, and Liyabona Malefi, 2/22, were the main SWD bowlers.
SWD then just inched over the line, with lower order batters Ziano Lewis (27) and Dristan Arends (23) the top scorers, but they had to rely on their number 10 and 11 batsmen, Lee-Mar Pedro (1no) and Raymondo Sauer (3no) to get them home off the last ball.
Lehlogonolo Malatjie was the top Limpopo bowler with 3/20.
The other close game saw Inland pip Free State by a wicket in a low scoring game.
Free State scored 81/9 with Gerhardus Maree (19) and Dean de Bruin (18) their best batsmen, while Inland's Luke Benkenstein, 3/9, Olwethu Kweyama, 3/16, and Kristofer Watt, 3/16, dominated with the ball.
A superb 47-ball 49 from Casey Nicholson then saved Inland, as he was the only batsmen to reach double figures and it came down to number nine Mathew Ponter (1no) and number 11 Kweyama (3) to take them home.
Free State's Charl Sandt, 3/12, and Connor Norman, 3/19, were the pick of the bowlers.
Namibia fell to their fourth loss as they posted 117/5, despite Garahrd Janse van Rensburg top scoring again with 28, while Northern Cape's bowlers kept it tight, with three picking up a wicket each.
Northern Cape's chase was then well timed, led by opening batsman Ontlametse Keslamang (38), as they crossed the line with four wickets in hand and seven balls to spare, with Namibia's Christiaan Delport, 2/24, their top bowler.
In a low scoring affair Western Province beat Eastern Province by 29 runs thanks to their bowlers.
Western Province scored 87/7 thanks to Jacques Jooste who hit an unbeaten 37, Daniel Ristow, 3/9, shone with the ball for EP.
Despite EP opener Siphamandla Bashe hitting 20, they crashed to 58 all out, with all five Western Province bowlers picking up wickets, including the star of the show, Nathier Sambo who claimed 5/6 in four brilliant overs.
North West eased to a eight wicket win over Mpumalanga in their clash.
Mpumalanga managed 110/6 batting first, with contributions from Armand Bordenstein (32), Jayden Scholtz (30) and Hannes Feuth (22), while Salmaan Shabir, 3/22, was the pick of the bowlers.
MJ Mostert then hammered his way to a 56-ball 71, hitting five fours and two sixes, and was backed up well by Cornelius Prinsloo (18) as they cruised to the win.
Northerns picked up a 31-run win over KZN Coastal.
Batting first Northerns scored 128/6 with Darius Schutte's 34 the top score, while Ronan Vardaya's 3/23 was Coastal's best bowling effort.
Coastal's batting however did not back them up as they were bundled all out for 91 with Ross Montgomery (20) and Minenhle Ntombela (19) top scoring, while Hernus Marais, 3/11, led the impressive bowling performance.
The teams now move into 50-over cricket on Sunday and Monday's final day of the U15 week.