The boys from Potch beat their Bloemfontein counterparts by eight wickets at the Ibbies Oval on Friday morning, to cement their place in Saturday's semi-final. Kovsies scored 159/2 and NWU-Puk replied with 161/2.
NWU-Puk and Kovsies are traditional rivals like no other in the South African university landscape. Think Manchester United and Manchester City, think Gareth Cliff and M...you get the point. Theirs' is a rivalry steeped in history and rich in lore.
From the intervarsities of decades past until today, losing this one hurts that much more. Kovsies lost two early wickets, but managed to get back on track thanks to Jacobus Dreyer and Leus Du Plooy. Dreyer departed for 47 off 29 after he was runout, but Du Plooy took up the mantle and worked his way to 58 from 50, hitting only three boundaries.
Kovsies finished on 159/5, and the game was truly on. NWU-Puk got off to a flier with captain fantastic, Wihan Lubbe, making his intentions clear from the get go. Lubbe showed the patience of an agitated wasp, while opening partner Janneman Malan was happy to sit back and watch the Big Sting pummel Kovsies’ attack. Lubbe was caught on 50 off the bowling of Jacobus Dreyer.
Ruan Haasbroek made his way back to the pavilion soon after and the required run-rate climbed to nine an over. It was now up to Malan. Atlas was probably the last man to feel such a weight on his shoulders. Initially Kovsies bowled with precision, especially in the Power Plus over where Johannes Van Dyk conceded only a single boundary.
He was also unlucky not to get a wicket. As valiantly as he bowled, his mates could not stem the run-tide emanating from Malan's bat. Brother André Malan played second fiddle. Kovsies' bowlers, Van Dyk and Dreyer notwithstanding, took some real stick.
The final result can attest to this. Janneman Malan finished on 66 from 59, winning the game with a four.