WHS Old Boys Back at the Top

WHS Old Boys returned to the summit of Namibian cricket when they beat archrivals Wanderers by eight wickets in the final of the T20 Premier League on Sunday. 

Earlier this year Wanderers broke Old Boys’ recent dominance when they won both the 50-over and T20 titles, but on Sunday, Old Boys reclaimed the T20 title with a comprehensive victory. 

Wanderers won the toss and elected to bat, but they were soon in trouble when JC Balt and Niko Davin were both dismissed for one run, and when Michau du Preez was out for 10, they were struggling at 32 for 3 wickets.

JJ Smit and Karl Birkenstock revived their innings with a 23-run partnership, before Zacheo Janse van Vuuren dismissed Birkenstock for 11, and when Smit (26) and Bernard Scholtz (1) were dismissed in quick succession, Wanderers were in trouble at 57 for six wickets with less than eight overs remaining. 

Nyasha Nyashadzaishe, however, led a fine rearguard action, scoring 32 not out off 29 balls (3×4), as Wanderers reached a total of 104 for eight wickets off their 20 overs. 

For Old Boys, Tangeni Lungameni took two wickets for 25 runs, while Henry van Wyk took 2/27 and Zacheo Janse van Vuuren 2/20. 

The target was never a problem for Old Boys as their opening batters, JP Kotze and Malan Kruger set them on the road to victory, with an opening stand of 73 off a little less than ten overs.

Kruger was the first to go, dismissed by JJ Smit for 42 off 32 balls (5×4, 1×6), and when Kotze was dismissed by Nico Davin for 46 off 46 balls (3×4, 3×6), Old Boys were on the verge of victory. 

Gerhard Erasmus (15 not out) went on to score the winning runs, as they comfortably reached the target for the loss of two wickets, with 28 balls to spare. 

Old Boys’ victory represented a turnaround of fortunes as it followed a 44-run defeat to Wanderers in their final pool match on Saturday. 

On that occasion, JJ Smit was in great form, scoring 85 not out off 41 balls, including three fours and nine huge sixes, and with JC Balt adding 46 runs and Niko Davin 35, they amassed 185/3 off their 20 overs. 

It proved to be too much for Old Boys, who eventually fell well short of the target, despite a defiant innings by Gerhard Erasmus. He went on to score 61 off only 27 balls (6×4, 5×6), but the only other batter to reach double figures was Zacheo Janse van Vuuren with 38, as Old Boys were all out for 141. 

That result saw Old Boys and Wanderers finishing on top of the log on 20 points each to book their place in Sunday’s final. 

JP Kotze was the top batter of the tournament with 254 runs, followed by JC Balt (238), Gerhard Erasmus (223), Nicol Loftie-Eaton (207) and JJ Smit (193), while Tangeni Lungameni of Old Boys was the top bowler with 12 wickets, followed by Danie van Schoor of Wanderers (9), Balt (8), Shaun Fouche of Old Boys (8) and Erasmus (7). 

Erasmus was the top-ranked all-rounder with 1 164 points, followed by Balt (994), JP Kotze (949), Loftie-Eaton (831) and Smit (826). 

Article writte by Helge Schutz, The Namibian Newspaper https://www.namibian.com.na/old-boys-back-at-the-top/

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