The match against the Impalas finally got going at 2pm on Sunday afternoon, after incessant overnight rains had continued for part of the morning on Sunday.
SUPERB batting by NC Heat captain Aubrey Swanepoel helped the local side set a decent first innings target of 198/6, creating the platform from which they beat the visiting Limpopo Impalas by 21 runs at the Diamond Oval in a rain-shortened (23 overs) CSA One-Day Cup competition in Kimberley on Sunday.
The match against the Impalas finally got going at 2pm on Sunday afternoon. This was after incessant overnight rains that had continued for part of the morning on Sunday had delayed the start of the match.
This was a ‘must win’ match for NC Heat who were hunting for a spot in the finals set for April 6.
The local side started off rather shakily as they lost their top order in quick succession with less that 50 runs on the board.
When Swanepoel came on with the score at 41/5 he set about stabilising the NC Heat’s first innings verily rescuing the hosts from a looming collapse.
By the last over in the first innings (23 ov) Swanepoel had sped past a century with 102 runs not out achieved on the back of 47 deliveries with his knock including half a dozen sixes and 11 fours. NC Heat ended the innings at 198/6 and had set an incredibly tough run rate target of 8.1 for the Impalas.
Of the bowlers Juandre Scheepers (2/39) and Malcolm Nofal (2/37) accounted for two wickets each while teammates Patoona Maphekgola (1/20) and Ludwig Kaestner (1/41) claimed a wicket each.
The Impalas opening pair Kaestner and Thomas Hobson combined to put on the board 50/0 by the sixth over with a near competent run rate of 7.7; however, Hobson soon fell, clean bowled by Andrew Rasemene for 40 and Kaestner followed soon after for 30.
As the game progressed the situation worsened for Impalas who had conceded seven wickets with two overs left. They eventually managed 177/8 which means the NC Heat are in the final at the expense of SWD on the strength of more games won.
NC Heat head coach Mark Charlton was full of praise for his captain. “Aubrey Swanepoel was fantastic,” he told the DFA.
However, Charlton also had praise for the other heroes of the day, “The biggest effort today came from the groundsmen,” he said. “We had so much rain over the past couple of days. They made it possible for us to play.”