Tuks used their home-ground advantage and last year’s intervarsity defeat as motivation against UJ to good effect by beating them in the teams’ inaugural intervarsity T20 match by 36 runs at the TuksCricket Oval on 7 March.

Tuks mustered up 136/6 in their 20 overs and bowled UJ out for 100 runs in the 20th over. Tuks 1 coach, Pierre de Bruyn, said that he thought the game would be much closer than it was and that his side was 20 runs short in the end. However, he was “over the moon” with the victory considering that they lost to UJ last year.

“If we weren’t on the button it would have been a different story, but we did well. It was pleasing to see the fight in the end,” said De Bruyn.

UJ’s decision to put Tuks into bat seemed to be a good call when they made early inroads into Tuks’s batting line-up. UJ’s opening bowler, Sean Jamison, was the pick of the UJ bowlers with figures of 4-0-17-3. Jamison bowled a probing line and length and claimed both of Tuks’s opening batters in the third over of the game. He dismissed Craig Letcher (0) caught behind and Josh Richards (9) caught on the deep square leg boundary in quick succession.

Tuks was in trouble at 16/2 in the third over. The batsmen tried to upset the bowling by being aggressive, but this only led to risky shots, which in turn led to wickets.

Tuks’s David Bunn came to his team’s rescue. The number three anchored the innings for Tuks and allowed his teammates to bat around him. He ended up scoring 47 off 48 balls and consolidated the Tuks innings. However, Bunn fell at the hands of Zemdon Verster in the 17th over, a crucial stage of the game when the innings needed a push.

Tuks’s opening bowler, Matthew Pillans, obliged and came to the party with the bat, finishing off strongly for Tuks. He scored a blistering 39 not out off 22 balls including one four and three sixes.

UJ would have fancied their chances at the total but Pillans had other ideas. He made quick work of Edrich Libbe by bowling him out with his fourth ball. The Tuks bowlers bowled in partnerships, not letting the opposition settle down or put together any real partnerships of their own Regular wickets kept UJ behind the eight ball. UJ’s only significant run scorer was opener, Rob Fanna. He scored 32 off 29 balls and was UJ’s hope until he was dismissed by Ernest Kemp in the ninth over. The star for Tuks’s bowling unit was GC Pretorius who ended up with figures of 4-0-13-3.

Photos: Kobus Barnard

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