Jono Cook – at PMB Oval – Monday’s Day I of Coca-Cola Khaya Majola Week brought a competitive match between host province KZN Inland and Northerns.
In this time cricket match format, the team winning the toss and asking the opposition to bat give their opponents a maximum 75 overs at the crease. In turn, the winning-the-toss team – if they decide to take first strike – get 45 overs to bat in the maximum 120 overs in the day.
Martin Ashworth feature image: KZN Inland captain Michael Booth made contributions with bat and ball.
By the same token, the team winning the toss and opting to bat first is afforded 65 overs at the crease and in reply the opposition is permitted 55 overs of the day’s maximum 120, so it’s a weighty decision for the successful skipper.
Should there be overs left out of the maximum 120 in the day, the side that batted first can set a second-innings target. In turn, if the bowling team in the second innings of the match get 5 wickets, the batting side’s second innings is over.
The team batting last need to chase down the target while the bowling side need to get 5 wickets before the target is reached in order to win the match on the double innings.
Back to the match itself: After putting Inland in to bat, Northerns were able to break promising partnerships through a combination of steady bowling and poor shot selection by the locals, who were all out for 151 in 48.4 overs.
The under-utilisation of Inland’s allotted 75 overs meant that Northerns inherited the balance of 26.2 overs that would have made up the 75.
Concentration and application at the crease had proved to be Inland’s undoing. A total of 200 might well have been enough to win this keenly-fought contest.
Northerns and SA U19 World Cup 2020 quick bowler Merrick Brett, who took 4 wickets for 19 runs off 7.4 overs, was comfortably the pick of the bunch – Brett’s number of permitted overs is limited as he has a heavy workload ahead of him in the upcoming ICC U19 World Cup warm-up matches and the impending tournament itself.
Northerns’ Zeeshan Ismail picked up 2 wickets while Prince Trotter, Om Thakkar and Jordan Hermann took a wicket apiece, with Thakkar also effecting a run out.
Inland middle-order batters Nick Hatton (29 off 44 with 3 fours), Andile Simelane (a hard-hitting 26 off 24 5×4) and Michael Booth (30 off 43 4×4) got starts.
In response, a match-winning innings of 115 off 213 balls (14 fours) by Northerns opener Jordan Hermann was the mainstay of the successful Pretoria lads’ title chase.
Hermann was the last man out, this after the Northerns had already passed the Inland total of 151 with a wicket in hand.
A measure of opener Hermann’s achievement was that the second-highest Northerns individual total was scored by number 9 Daniel van der Merwe, who contributed towards an invaluable 8th-wicket partnership of 36, having come to the crease with Northerns on a losing 78 for 7, still needing 74 to win with a threadbare three wickets in hand.
Then it was number 10 Om Thakkar’s turn to prop up one end in scoring 6 from 21 balls in adding 18 for the 9th wicket to assist Hermann in bringing Northerns 20 runs closer to victory.
Finally, It was Northerns number 11 Prince Trotter (an eventual 5 not out off 26 balls) who first helped Hermann go past the winning target before the pair batted on, until opening batter Herman was last man out for a superb 115 and the final Northerns total read 174 from 62 overs.
KZN Inland opening bowler Michael Booth worked hard for his 3/29 from 15 overs, as did seamer Sanele Mbatha (3/19 from 8) and left-arm spinner Mike Frost (3/57 off 16) while Andile Simelane took 1 for 9 from 5 overs.
Inland were on 8/1 in their second innings when the match closed, giving Northerns victory on the first innings.
This was certainly a match where knife-edge decisions played a significant role.
SCORES IN BRIEF
KZN Inland 1st innings 151 in 48.4 overs (Michael Booth 30, Nick Hatton 29, Andile Simelane 26; Merrick Brett 4/19)
Northerns 1st innings 174 in 62 overs (Jordan Hermann 115; Sanele Mbatha 3/19, Booth 3/29, Mike Frost 3/57)
KZN Inland 2nd innings 8/1
Northerns won on the 1st innings