Mopanie defeated Vividus in the TuksRes cricket final to cap off an exciting T20 season on 3 May at the UP Sports Campus. The tournament consisted of teams from all the men’s residences, including day houses Vividus, Jacarandia and Zeus, as well as House Theology and Onderstepoort. In a fiercely contested final, Mopanie ran out victors by ten runs.

Mopanie entered the final undefeated, having finished at the top of Pool A. “I am very happy with the victory and very proud of all the players. We worked very hard and made a lot of sacrifices to remain undefeated throughout the season,” said Mopanie’s sport HK Armand Basson.

Vividus and Mopanie made it to the final by defeating Olienhout and Kiaat respectively in the semi-finals. With the two most consistent teams in the final, it was sure to be very entertaining.

Vividus won the toss and elected to field. It seemed to be the wrong decision as opener Charl van der Merwe helped Mopanie to race to 96 runs off the first six overs. Van der Merwe hit the ball superbly to all areas of the ground, ending on 69 runs off just 25 balls, including five sixes. He has been in good form all season, recording four half centuries in his last four games, all under 18 balls with the quickest one coming off just 11 balls.

Van der Merwe’s dismissal halted the onslaught but Mopanie still finished on an impressive score of 160/8 after the allotted overs. Craig Jones finished as the best bowler for Vividus, taking two wickets in two overs.

Vividus, who have favoured the chase all season long, would have fancied their chances of putting last year’s final defeat behind them. Vividus started steadily. They were 59/1 after six overs and looked well on course to match Mopanie’s score.

Although Vividus had a lot of wickets remaining, they just could not build up the necessary momentum to steer themselves to a victory. The loss of key batsmen at crucial stages did not help their cause. Vividus fell well short in the end, finishing the game on 150/5.

Lehan Brits finished the game on 48*, with Mopanie’s Helgard Gous finishing with three wickets after four overs.

“The boys gave their all. We have a young team (in terms of first years) but they showed a lot of heart. We are very disappointed but will come back fighting next year,” said Vividus captain Rihann van der Merwe. Mopanie capped off an impressive tournament as the best team.

It is the second year in a row that Vividus has lost in the final, after losing to Jacarandia off the last ball in last year’s final. For Mopanie, the win secured a second title in five years, having won it in 2008.


Photo: Provided

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