Match Report: Brackenfell vs Maties – 11 October 2014

After a very successful first game of the season against Paarl, a much tougher assignment awaited the Brackenfell 1st team on the second Saturday of the season. The defending league champions of the past two seasons, Maties visited the Oval and it promised to be a very closely contested affair.

On a very dry and slow wicket, the toss would always be an important factor and "tails never fails" was the right call from Emile Kriek, the Matie skipper. Brackenfell knew they had to take early wickets to put the pressure on the students from the off and Mondle Mahlombe and Johan Loubser duly obliged by removing the dangerous Wikus van Vuuren and Emile Kriek in the first 6 overs. Jean Bredenkamp and Uwe Birkenstock showed good composure and class to rebuild the innings, albeit at a rather sedate pace. When Grant Edmeades managed to remove both players in quick succession, it left the match in the balance with the students on 105/4 in the 33 over. The much underrated Dewald Botha however came to the Maties rescue with a classy and mature innings of 45* off 48 balls. His knock held the Maties innings together and helped them to post a very competitive 187/8 in their 50 overs. Mondle Mahlombe was the pick of the bowlers for Brackenfell picking up 1 for 14 in his 10 overs and Grant Edmeades and Johan Loubser returning figures of 3/37 and 2/37 respectively.

188 was always going to be a tough target on a dry and deteriorating wicket that made scoring against the seamers very difficult and assisted the spinners greatly. Grant Edmeades and Zaheer Lorgat set off at a good pace until Zaheer was unlucky to be caught at mid-on after the ball deflected of the bowler. 17/1 for 1 quickly became 24/3 as the Brackenfell batsmen found runs hard to come by against a very disciplined bowling attack of Maties. Justin Dill was in outstanding form picking up 2 for 4 in his first 7 overs. When Michael Loubser departed to leave the score at 45/5, things were not looking very good for the hosts. Du Toit Maree with 39 runs, Ockert Erasmus with 27 and Wian Engelbrecht with 24, did restore some respectability to the score and at one stage Brackenfell needed 40 runs from 30 balls with 3 wickets in hand. Unfortunately, it all came to a sudden halt as Dewald Botha picked up the last 3 wickets in quick succession to leave the students winning the match by 34 runs.