Playing away under fair conditions at the University of the Western Cape, Boland once again proved the cricketing power they are, after they beat Western Province by 6 wickets to claim another bonus-point win on Sunday.
Fielding first, Boland bowled Western Province all-out for an innings total of 94, captain Sunette Loubser’s three wickets costing 16 runs in 9.4 overs.
For Boland, Alicia Smit top-scored 36 not-out to lead her team to a comfortable 95.4 win in 25 overs after a scary start, when Western Province took two quick wickets, with Boland only having accumulated 2 runs in the chase.
Western Province and Boland have completed their round-robin stage fixtures, and Boland will host the Inland league runners-up on Saturday 31 March, with a reserve day on the following Sunday.
Though Border will be able to end the season’s home-and-away stage equal on points with current runners-up Western Province if they win away against Eastern Province this weekend, they lag in the run-rate column, and as a result the Cape Town ladies will challenge the Inland league leaders Northerns in the month-end’s semi-finals.
In a tense Highveld match, Gauteng played hosts to touring Mpumalanga on a dodgy Soweto pitch on Sunday, where an unlikely drawn match brought their semi-final hopes to a close.
Gauteng won the toss and decided to bat first on a pitch pitted with holes, and were duly bowled out for 65, with extras the highest contributor, before returning to bowl Mpumalanga out for the same total.
In Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu Natal Inland hosted KwaZulu Natal, and on what has been described as a Varsity Grounds batting paradise, the visitor’s K Tapp claimed her maiden 5-wicket haul to dismiss KZN Inland for 74 after winning the toss and electing to field first.
The Durban girls reached the required total for the loss of two wickets, their 8-wicket victory boosting them to a season-ending bonus-point win, and a temporary claim to joint top spot with Northerns on the Inland league table.
KwaZulu Natal, having secured runners-up position on the Inland log, will now play Boland in the first of the two semi-finals.
This weekend will see Northerns earn four points on Sunday from a withdrawn Limpopo, while North West and Gauteng will duel in an honours-only match in Potchefstroom in the final Inland league matches.
The Coastal league will also see two Sunday matches played for pride, when Eastern Province host Border in PE, and Griqualand West will host Free State in Kimberley.
Semi-Finals: Sat 31 March (Sun 1 April is Reserve Day)
1st Semi-final: Northerns vs Western Province
2st Semi-final: Boland vs KwaZulu Natal
Finals: Sat 7 April (Sun 8 April is Reserve Day)
Winner Semi 1 vs Winner Semi 2