Chasing 169 for victory, patience coupled with a clinical batting display earned Maties a seven-wicket victory over Kovsies. Climbing up the table and in search of a playoff spot; it’s better late than never they say.
Conditions were perfect on Wednesday morning at Potchefstroom’s NWU-Puk Oval as Kovsies and Maties readied themselves for battle on day three of Varsity Cricket. A slight breeze was welcome relief on a hot morning, as local supporters lit the braai and settled in beneath the shade for a bout between with two teams in dire need of points. Kovsies won the toss and decided to have a go with the bat and set the pace for a Maties side that has struggled to post any meaningful totals in the tournament thus far.
Maties opened with leg spinner Kyle Simmonds, who trapped Wihan Victor LBW in the first over, as Kovsies lost their opener early on. Andries Gous walked to the crease and built a sturdy partnership with Leus Du Plooy, taking the total to 85, before Gous was needlessly runout pushing for a second after some hesitation between the batsmen. He had hit five fours and four sixes and was running riot. At 66 he looked certain to be at the crease for some time. Maties were thankful he wasn’t.
Du Plooy anchored the innings, ending on an unbeaten 62, after his batting partners fell all too easily. JJ Dreyer run out, as well as Dirk Bruwer, who was runout in some style. Leo Messi would have been proud of this effort, as he side-footed the ball into the wickets. Apart from Simmonds, Maties bowlers leaked far too many runs and Kovsies bowlers would have been satisfied with defending the 169 target they set the guys from Stellenbosch.
Maties found themselves at 10/2 early in their innings before a revival by Jean Bredenkamp and Dewald Botha helped the Stellenbosch men to 68/2 at the halfway mark. Boundaries were few and far between until the 12th over, when Botha turned up the gas, reverse-sweeping Dirk Bruwer for two fours in succession before a third four saw him reach his half-century. The third-wicket partnership continued to frustrate Kovsies, surpassing 100, but came to an end in the 14th over.
Bredenkamp caught off the bowling of Marno van Greuning for 37. Victory and all four points on offer were both secured, as Maties took the Power Plus over in the final over of the match. In the end they had four balls to spare, seven wickets in hand and looked comfortable.
After their shaky start, Maties always looked in control. Now that they’ve arrived, let’s hope they’re here to stay. Who knows, maybe even until Saturday.