Potgieter’s man of the match innings continues the trend of openers leading their sides to victory in this tournament. He hit five fours and five sixes as he anchored the innings with confidence.
UJ batted intelligently in their chase of 144 with smart singles and boundary shots when loose balls were bowled as they never looked out of control. Initially, UJ won the toss and decided to field first against the home side on a sun-baked NWU-Puk Oval. The team from Johannesburg got off to the perfect start as they removed Pukke’s captain, Wihan Lubbe, for 16.
UJ continued bowling great lengths that frustrated the batsmen leaving them at 65/2 after 10 overs. Brandon Verwey, Keith Dudgeon and Harry van Straaten had a fantastic morning with the ball as they restricted Pukke’s aggressive instincts. After the strategic break, Richardt Frenz and Andre Malan decided to let loose with a number of stunning shots that had the Pukke dugout cheering loudly.
Malan was eventually dismissed trying one big shot too many as he was caught in the deep off the bowling of Verwey, leaving Pukke at 87/3 with seven overs to play. Pukke in the end stuttered to 143/8 as no batsman could stay in long enough to anchor the innings. The men in orange were also solid in the field with Yassar Cook taking a good catch.
Frenz was the top scorer with a run-a-ball 38. Pukke desperately needed to get stuck in to UJ early on if they wanted to defend their score. UJ were in the pound seats as they started with five on the scoreboard, after taking a wicket in the Powerplay Plus over.
UJ began their chase like a house on fire with Delano Potgieter targeting the long-off boundary with distinction. One of his shots off Jovaun Van Wyngaardt sailed into the trees for six, which underlined their dominance. The home team struck back in the next over as Henning Du Plooy’s spin did the trick removing Cook for 14.
Wihan Lubbe then got his side right back in the match with a brilliant diving catch at slip to leave UJ at 68/2. It was just the impetus that Pukke needed as directly after the strategy break, Julian Soutter dismissed Ryan Rickelton for six to have UJ 86/3 needing 57 for the win. Harry van Straaten joined Potgieter and together they made a great 58-run partnership to carry their side home.
UJ now occupy third place on the log, while Pukke are also on 15 points in second place. UJ next play NMMU at Senwes Park at 14:00 today and will be looking for a second win of the day.
Photo credit: Mario Van De Wall