The final rounds of the Cricket South Africa Women’s Inter-Provincial Preliminary Rounds were played over the past weekend ( Click here to download the Composite Log 11.15 Kb), and the most striking result is that 2006 IPT champions Western Province have failed to qualify for the inaugural Super Sixes league.
In an attempt to ensure a strength-versus-strength top-tier competition aimed at nurturing South Africa’s premier cricketing talent ( Click here to download the Player Averages 13.03 Kb), CSA used the initial months of the 2007-08 season in a split round-robin seeding competition, from which the top three teams in each side would progress to the Super Sixes elite competition.
But with a team packed with national talent, Province failed to make the most of their chances and, following their last-gasp loss to Border at home on Saturday, will fall into the second-tier Shield Inter-Provincial Tournament, to be completed in a special four-day tournament in Pretoria, starting 2 February, 2008.
Having anticipated the possibility of a result in this nature, CSA decreed that it would allow talented players in teams failing to qualify for the Super 6’s to migrate to teams which had qualified, while teams like Western Province will be able to make an effort for promotion in the tournament’s next season, should they emerge victorious in the Shield Inter-Provincial tournament.
Northerns top the composite log with a breathtaking six bonus-point wins in six matches, and their strength is undeniable following their crushing defeats of all opponents, but have not encountered 2006-07 finalists Boland, who also managed clean sheets in the preliminary rounds.
Gauteng only lost to Northerns, and will be keen to establish their claim to national recognition when the Super Sixes tournament commences on 19 January.
Free State, Border and KwaZulu-Natal complete the Super-Sixes lineup, and will anxiously await news of the draws which will commence in an exciting inaugural premier tier competition, early in 2008.
Final Inland League Matches: North West Down Mpuma for Second Win
North West hosted Mpumalanga on Saturday 24 November at the Puk B ground at Potchefstroom ( Click here to download the Score Sheet 11.14 Kb), and after winning the toss, the hosts decided to bat first, but conditions didn’t favour the decision.
The home side’s bowlers were lead by the stingy Van den Berg and Janse van Rensburg opening pair, who shared three wickets, but it was Erasmus (2/30) and Burger (3/18, not counting a run-out) who combined best to limit the tourists to 86 all-out after 27 overs. Wirths top-scored with a quick 31 in 25 balls.
National captain Cri-Zelda Brits lost her wicket early in the reply, but Franken (32 off 39 balls) and Higgins (35 runs in 41 balls), aided by Janse van Rensburg proved just how good the wicket was, to record a superb victory in the seventeenth over, for a 5-point win.
Northerns Triumph in Gauteng Derby
Both Gauteng sides are currently in the combined league’s top six to pitch an early stake for a Super 6 qualification, but it was the Pretoria side which caused a riot among their Johannesburg cousins ( Click here to download the Score Sheet 11.52 Kb).
Invited to bat, Gauteng lost regular wickets cheaply, scoring a lowly 94 in 47 overs, with three run-outs in the top five batswomen showing that pressure brings wickets. Among the bowlers Knoetze (3/17 in nine overs) was most effective, with De Beer securing two wickets.
Northerns also struggled on the difficult wicket, but managed to bring up the required total in the 38th over, with the talented Mignon van Niekerk showing her class to record a top-scoring 37 in 73 balls, for a convincing win.
Free State Dump Griqualand West to Stay in Contention
Determined to prove their worth, Free State hosted Griqualand West at the CUT Oval in Bloemfontein ( Click here to download the Score Sheet 11.43 Kb), and after winning the toss, made the most of a good track to inflict maximum damage on the visiting bowlers, accumulating a massive 376/4 wickets in 50 overs, with big centuries by Susan Benade (127 in 88 balls) and Annelie Minnie (186* in 145 balls).
All visiting bowlers were made to pay heavily, and when they returned to bat, Free State bowlers were merciless, Loftus, Klaas and Nel each claiming two wickets in an effort that saw Griqualand West reduced to 97 all-out in the 43rd over.
S Harmse top-scored with her patient 29 in 69 balls, but was only joined in double-figures score by L Geyer (12 in 11 balls), leaving Free State a massive winning margin of 279 runs, a five-point bonus, and the opportunity to contest the Super Sixes league come January.
Final Coastal League Matches: Boland Boast Massive Lead
Boland invited visitors KwaZulu-Natal to bat first at Boland Park in Paarl on Saturday ( Click here to download the Score Sheet 11.48 Kb), and their assessment of pitch and bowling strength proved correct, when they restricted the KZN ladies to an under-par 142/8, as wickets fell at regular intervals under trying circumstances.
H Wheeler posted best figures for her team when she batted up a 41 not-out score to give her side some respectability, but other than captain Logtenberg (22 in 49 balls) and Devnarain 20 in 67 balls), hers was the only innings of significance. For Boland bowlers, the wickets were shared between Smith (2/33 in 10 overs), Christiaans (2/22 in 10), Potgieter and Loubser, with three run-outs adding to the cause.
In reply, the home side also struggled with conditions, but Claire Terblanche was the difference between the sides, her unbeaten 60 instrumental in guiding her team to a significant sixth victory in six matches, their lead at the top of the leaderboard only two points behind Inland log-leaders’ Northern’s total. Tapp bowled best for KZN again, but her 2/33 in nine overs was not enough to prevent a five-point four-wicket win for the home side in the 40th over.
Border Inflict Stinging Western Province Loss
The second Coastal league encounter saw Western Province host Border at the University of Cape Town Oval ( Click here to download the Score Sheet 11.42 Kb), and the home side seized the advantage by inviting the visitors to bat first, hoping for advantage following days of inclement weather.
Opening bowlers Kilowan and Ismail were joined by the rejuvenated Shandre Fritz in each claiming two wickets apiece, but Border batters were still able to post a competitive 158 in their overs, with Pillay top-scoring with a patient 37 in 90, as she was joined by a procession on the other side.
Home captain Olivia Anderson’s efforts (54 in 110 balls) to eke out a win after losing opening partner Le Breton early held some prospect as she amassed a partnership of 61 with no. 3 Fondling, but once she fell to Kirchoff, regular wickets counted the toll despite the valiant efforts of Fritz (26 in 39) and Ismail (25 in 43). With the 6 wickets falling for a price of 50 runs, Boland were in the ascendancy, and emerged narrow winners when the travellers restricted the home side to 152/9 at the innings close, for a 6-run away victory.
Oudtshoorn Washout Pins SWD and KwaZulu-Natal Inland Back
The extreme weather was sure to claim its own victims, and it’s a surprise that that Oudtshoorn encounter between South Western Districts and KZN Inland was the only abandoned match of the weekend, when the game was called off without a ball being bowled on Saturday.