WHS OLD Boys are the new Namibian cricket champions after beating Wanderers by six wickets in the final of the 50-over Premier League at the Wanderers field on Saturday.
Old Boys’ bowlers gave a fine display to restrict Wanderers to 170 runs, before a superb century by Zane Green guided them to a comfortable victory.
Wanderers had dominated the competition in recent years, winning it on seven occasions over the past ten years, but Old Boys are now slowly but surely making inroads on their supremacy.
It was their second 50-over title title in four years and third in eight, while they are the only club besides Wanderers to have won the title over the past decade.
Wanderers won the toss and elected to bat, but were soon in trouble as Tangeni Lungameni bowled Ewald Steenkamp for 1, while Craig Williams ran Wessel Myburgh out for 6.
JP Kotze and JC Balt rebuilt Wanderers’ innings with a 61-run partnership, but Craig Williams struck with three successive wickets to put Old Boys in the driving seat. He dismissed Kotze for 41, Balt for 26 and Karl Birkenstock for 4 to peg Wanderers back at 93/5.
Michau du Preez and captain Nicolaas Scholtz shared a 31-run partnership for the sixth wicket, but Old Boys’ spinners Divan La Cock and Vernon Cloete kept them under pressure with regular wickets.
La Cock dismissed Du Preez for 17, Cloete dismissed Bernard Scholtz for 7 and Jan Izak de Villers for 11, while Scholtz was last man out, becoming La Cock’s second victim for 31 runs as the whole side was out for a sub-standard 170.
Williams was Wanderers’ stand-out bowler, taking 4 wickets for 24 runs off nine overs, while Cloete took 2 for 31 and La Cock 2 for 5 runs.
In Old Boys’ innings, Wimpie Viljoen did not last long, being dismissed by Stephan Jordaan for 4, while captain Gerhard Erasmus was trapped LBW by Bernard Scholtz for 15.
Zane Green, however, kept Old Boys on track with a great knock, and he gradually put Old Boys in control. He put on 83 runs for the third wicket with Craig Williams, reaching a run-a-ball 50, before Williams was out for 25.
Divan La Cock followed shortly after, dismissed by Karl Birkenstock for 1, but that was Wanderers’ last success, as Green took the game away from them.
He secured Old Boys’ victory in style, hitting a six and a four off his last two balls, while he remained unbeaten on 103 which came off 111 balls and included 12 fours and one six.
It was a consummate victory and captain Erasmus congratulated his team on a fine performance.
“We played very good cricket. Wanderers won the toss and elected to bat, but our bowlers kept it tight and they didn’t put enough runs on the board.
Craig Williams and Tangeni Lungameni started off well and got us on track and then we kept it tight in the middle through myself, Vernon and Divan La Cock,” he said.
“Zane then got our batting off to a good start – he played a sensible innings and just hit the bad balls,” he added.
Erasmus also thanked the club’s administrators for putting the necessary structures in place.
“Our club has got good structures in place and our administrators have been working hard, so I’m glad we can repay them now with a victory. We have four teams competing, and quite a few youngsters who will get more chances in the first team, going forward,” he said.