Following a long and fruitless match against Maties, Kovsies had barely an hour to lick their wounds and stitch up for their encounter with a well-rested UJ team. A hot and humid NWU-Puk Oval awaited, along with a flat pitch that had offered bowlers very little in the previous match.
Kovsies were off to a flier. That loss to Maties seemed miles in their rear-view mirror as they sped forward, reaching 32 before the first speed bump – Andries Gous caught off the bowling of Apea-Adu Kofi for a 28-off-12 blitz. Leus Du Plooy and Wihan Victor took Kovsies to 120 before Du Plooy was clean-bowled by Harry Van Straaten. But nothing could halt the men in blue.
JJ Dreyer entered the fray shortly before the Power Plus over was taken. A couple fours were turned to eights and the scoreboard began to haunt UJ’s batsmen, who would have to chase down 204 for victory. Victor was out for 60, caught in the final over off the bowling of Jaden Boodryk.
But the damage had already been done – Victor seemingly priming Kovsies for victory. UJ whizzed out of the starting blocks. Yassar Cook and Robert Farina put on a 40-run partnership before Farina departed. Ryan Rickelton joined Cook at the crease, and had a front row seat to five overs of scintillating batting.
Cook hogged the strike and kept the run rate going at the required 10 an over. UJ’s hopes were dealt a blow as the in-form Cook was caught on the boundary, departing for 67. But Neels Bergh and Yaseen Valli held it together at the crease, helping UJ to 184 before Valli fell to the bowling of Mckensie.
Harry van Straaten joined Bergh and the two timed their chase to perfection, as Van Straaten hit the winning runs with three balls to spare. Kovsies would have been distraught following a second loss in succession and after posting such a high total. But a classy effort by UJ’s batsmen and Cook earned them an emphatic six-wicket victory in what may go down as the match of the tournament.