Somehow, nether describe UWC's eight-wicket bonus point win against NMMU on Wednesday afternoon at the Ibbies Oval best. The right word is 'special'. UWC restricted NMMU to 121/9 and eased their way to 125/2 with just more than six overs to spare.
Ashley Cupido played a pivotal role in the win, making 59 off 44. It was, however, Zain Allie who laid the foundation for his side's first win of the 2016 tournament by taking four wickets. NMMU got off to a hesitant start, reaching 58/3 after 10 overs. Zain Allie proved a real handful in laying down the law from his end.
Fast bowlers – cricket would be poorer without them. NMMU would probably not have shared this sentiment as Jason Smith also got in on the act to reduce the Madibaz to 58/4. When Kirwin Christoffels lost his wicket for 16, the realisation that they might lose this one must have started to set in. Then Onke Nyaku fell. With only five overs remaining, an intervention was needed and desperately.
They tried to go for it, boy they did, but without return for their risky investments. The wickets kept falling until they ended on 121/9. UWC began their chase looking positive, but happy to play the long game.
Why not? Earlier the day NWU-Pukke scored 220 on the same pitch, if they kept their composure there were runs and a win to be had. After losing two wickets, that of George Banda and Zubair Hamza, they had to box clever.
The grit of Ashley Cupido was again on display and Jason Smith played an important knock of 34. UWC were too strong for NMMU and were rewarded with their first victory of the tournament.