Home competition discipline NC Heat start CSA 4-Day Series with ‘winning draw’

NC Heat start CSA 4-Day Series with ‘winning draw’

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The game ultimately ended in a rain-induced draw, but it was a contest filled with remarkable performances, exciting moments, despite what the hosts would consider that unfortunate twist in the form of the weather.

The Northern Cape Heat cricket team and the Eastern Storm kicket off their 4 Day Series with a draw. Picture: Danie van der Lith

THE NORTHERN Cape Heat came agonisingly close to clinching their first win of the CSA 4-day series when they put on a powerful display with ball, bat and out in the field against the visiting Eastern Storm.

The game ultimately ended in a rain-induced draw, but it was a contest filled with remarkable performances, exciting moments, despite what the hosts would consider that unfortunate twist in the form of the weather.

The NC Heat won the toss and chose to bat first, setting a solid foundation with a total of 315 runs. Grant Thomson contributed a solid 82 runs, while Christopher Britz weighed in with 50 runs of his own. The Eastern Storm’s Divan Posthumus was the outstanding spearhead of the attack, taking 4/38 in 22 overs.

However, it was the Heat’s bowlers who shone on the first day, as Benjamin van Rensburg led the charge by claiming a five-for (5/37), helping to dismiss the Eastern Storm for 200 runs. Kabelo Sekhukhune was the visitors’ best batsman with his contribution of 47, while keeper Danie Rossouw put on 41 runs before being run out by the Heat skipper.

With a lead in excess of 100 runs in hand, the Heat went back to bat, adding 306 runs to their second inning total and setting a target of 421 runs for their visitors to chase down. Ernest Kemm’s team had displayed their batting prowess, with Jason Oakes bludgeoning a brilliant 128, and Hanu Viljoen contributing a solid and unbeaten 107 runs to the hosts’ total, with the Heat able to declare on 306/7.

The Storm began their chase with determination but found it challenging to make headway against the Heat’s disciplined bowling attack. At the end of Day 3, the Storm were at 62/1, needing an additional 360 runs to win.

Then, as the hosts seemed to be heading towards a convincing victory on the final day, a sudden twist of fate derailed their plans. Rain stopped play with the Eastern Storm at 230/6 – with another 172 runs to get, and only four wickets in hand – leaving the match drawn, much to the disappointment of the Heat and their supporters.

Looking back at the game, the standout performers for the Heat’s bowling attack were Benjamin van Rensburg with his excellent bowling figures in the first innings, as well the dynamic batting duo of Hanu Viljoen and Jason Oakes. Viljoen’s century and Oakes’ explosive batting in the second innings contributed significantly to their team’s strong showing in this game.

Coach Mark Charlton of the Northern Cape Heat had mixed feelings about the match. He said, “It was a very strong performance from us and a comfortable winning draw.

“Pity rain intervened and stopped us from getting the win,” he added.

Despite the weather-induced disappointment for the hosts, the match was a true spectacle of the gentleman’s game, showcasing the talent, sportsmanship and determination of both teams. As the teams, and especially the NC Heat, move forward in the 4-Day Series, this exciting contest sets the stage for what promises to be a compelling season of cricket.

Match Summary:

Northern Cape Heat 315 & 306/7d

Eastern Storm 200 & 250/6

Result: Match drawn

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