Nash, Dawson shine as Proteas through to World Cup Final
It was a day to remember as South Africa produced a polished performance to claim a place in the Over-50s Cricket World Cup Final, which takes place on Monday, 20 March at Newlands Cricket Ground.
Around the Cape, various matches had delayed starts due to some inclement weather, but in the end all matches went ahead, and all the results are in.
South Africa vs New Zealand
Rain threatened to derail the South Africans' efforts to reach the Final of the Over-50s Cricket World Cup, but abated long enough to let the home side take a famous 6-wicket victory over New Zealand at Western Province Cricket Club.
The Kiwis, who topped Division A and were the form side heading into the semi-finals, posted 157 in a shortened 27 overs, with contributions from opener Richard Petrie (32 off 55), Mason Robinson (25 off 20) and Colin Owens (20 off 18) making up the bulk of the runs.
Whilst a few of the Proteas bowlers came under attack – in particular James Albanie (1/40 in 5 overs) and Saleem Mukuddem (0/30 in 3 overs) – it was perennial paceman Alan Dawson (2/17), and Lefty Ngece (2/29) and Simion Muller (2/9) who kept the New Zealanders from building too much momentum.
The Proteas got off to a pacy and solid start in reply, with captain Louis Koen (21 off 19 balls) and the in-form Brandon Nash (52 off off 66 balls) scoring above the asking rate in the opening overs to put the Kiwi bowlers under pressure.
But opening bowler Dean Askew (2/20) had other plans, taking 2 wickets in the 5th over – an excellent caught and bowled to dismiss Koen before having the dangerous Craig Lyons caught for just 4 – to put a brake on the South Africans’ efforts.
Coming in at number 4, though, Alan Dawson (46*) and Nash took charge, putting on a 100-run stand for the 3rd wicket to put the home team in touching distance of a date with England at Newlands on Monday, March 20.
Nash eventually departed, bowled for a fine 52 - his second consecutive half-century in as many matches - with big-hitter Morné Cilliers striding to the crease and posting two huge sixes in his 18 off 12 balls to all but seal the win for the Proteas.
The Proteas Veterans become the second national cricket team to challenge for World Cup honours at Newlands in recent months, with captain Louis Koen hoping to lead his charges one step further than the Proteas Women’s team were able to in late February.
England vs USA at Claremont CC
In the other semi-final, England made relatively light work of beating the United States by 4 wickets at Claremont Cricket Club.
The Americans batted first and were curtailed from scoring for the bulk of the opening batting Power Play through excellent line-and-length bowling by standout seamer Richard Cooper (2/13). At the other end he was ably supported by Marcus Sharp (1/18), and contributions from the England attack all round.
But it was spinner Mohammed Fayyaz who prevented the USA from cutting loose in the momentum-building phase of their innings – USA opener Fazal Alam had seen off the likes of Cooper and Sharp, before Fayyaz claimed his wicket for an excellent 59 off 78 balls.
Fayyaz continued to stunt USA’s innings, claiming the middle-order wickets of Fernando (18), Bashir (27) and Patel (3) to finish with excellent figures of 4/27 in his 9 overs.
England’s reply got off to a poor start as openers David Snellgrove (1) and Giles Ecclestone (2) fell early. At 9/2 England looked in trouble but Steve Foster’s measured 13, backed up by Naseer Ahmed’s excellent 50 off 69 balls got their campaign back on track.
Number 6 Jonathan Wileman produced a fine 49 not out and, along with Steve Chapman (18), guided England to the win to set up a clash with hosts South Africa at Newlands on Monday, March 20.
Wales vs Australia at Rondebosch Sport Club
It was delight for Wales as they managed an excellent 5 wicket win over Australia at Rondebosch Sport Club.
A slow scoring rate early on put Australia under pressure to post a competitive total, with Wales opening bowler Roy Emmott (1/14) and second change Mark Davies (3/46) the pick of the Welsh attack.
The Aussies eventually ended up with 179/7, with number 4 Brad Popotto’s stabilising 54 followed up by a late runs flurry from Steve Mace (28 from 24 balls) and Damian Meek (31 from 15 balls).
Wales got off to a solid start with opener Iwan Rees carrying his bat eventually for a superb 86 not out. He was ably supported by Steve Maddock (23), Mike Cann (22) and Simon Wood (18) as the Welsh side knocked off the total in the 28th over, just 5 wickets down.
UAE vs West Indies at Vineyard Oval
The West Indies completed their World Cup campaign with a solid 48-run victory over UAE at the Vineyard.
The Windies posted a challenging 272 for 9, with opener Ishwar Maraj (58), number 5 Sunil Dhaniram (48 off 43 balls) and number 8 Vejai Seonarine (75 off 66 balls) the pick of the batsmen.
Facing a daunting total, the UAE went about the task valiantly - opener Khurram Khan scoring 89 off just 84 deliveries to anchor the innings.
Contributions from Mohammed Shafique (29), Vijay Mehra (37) and Asad Rizvi (19) took the Middle East side to 224, with their final wicket falling in the 44th over, 48 runs short.
India vs Zimbabwe at Greenpoint CC
In a tight eliminator match at Greenpoint Cricket Club, it was the Zimbabweans who came out on top, posting 196 before bowling India out for 178 to claim a narrow 18-run win.
Zimbabwe’s innings was built on opener Gavin Parker’s 48, with Stuart Carlisle giving impetus in the middle of the innings with an excellent 57 off 72 balls.
John Rennie closed out the innings with a few lusty blows, hitting four 4s in his 30 off 28 balls.
India’s reply got off to the worst possible start, with opener Preetinder Singh out first ball - Rennie trapping him in front. Whilst Iqbal Khan (66) and Tushar Jhaveri (40) threatened to take the game away from the African side, an excellent spell from Zimbabwe’s Andrew Walton (3/36) kept the Indians at bay.
Sri Lanka vs Pakistan at Durbanville CC
Pakistan secured an overwhelming 78-run win over Sri Lanka in Durbanville in an eliminator match.
Pakistan posted a solid 190 in their 45 overs, with the middle order firing - Muahmmad Jawed (33) and Muhammed Hafeez (67) the pick of the batsmen.
In reply, the Sri Lankans could only muster 112, with only two batsmen, Ruvin Peiris (22) and Suwanji Madanayake (20) really looking a threat.
Namibia vs Canada at Cape Town CC
Namibia’s cup came to a tame end as they went down by 9 wickets against a spirited Canada in the eliminator match at Cape Town Cricket Club.
The Southern Africans could only post 89 in 34.2 overs, a total that was not going to be enough on the Cape Town batting-friendly wicket.
Only Deon Gouws (21) and Piers Le Strange (25) put scores of over 20 on the board, and it didn’t take much for Canada to knock the total off.
Openers Bede Anandappa (41 off 26) and Venkatesh Kulkarni (25* off 29) set the early tone, with Imdad Alli coming in to smash 21 off 17 and lead the Canadians to an easy win.
Picture courtesy of MatchPixSA
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