KATLEGO PHEEHA         

The Tuks 1 cricket team defeated Pretoria High School Old Boys (PHSOB) by 38 runs at the TuksCricket field on 26 February to progress to the final of the Knockout Cup.

Tuks won the toss and elected to bat but lost both openers in quick succession. Aronstam was run out after a direct hit by PHSOB’s Fraser and then Richards was caught off guard by some good bowling by Jenkings. Next in the crease were Kemm and Nel and the combination looked promising but Jenkings broke the partnership with his second wicket as Nel was caught by Kaber. Tuks was in a difficult situation with the scoreboard reading 29-3 with 8 overs gone.

At the crease was Dickson. He made his intentions clear early on as Tuks kept the score ticking but PHSOB captain, David Bunn took matters into his own hands and was rewarded as a swing and a miss by Kemm gave wicket keeper, Griffin, a chance to get a stumping and Kemm walked having scored 25 from 54 balls leaving Tuks on 63 for 4. Tuks needed a big partnership, and got just that as Dickson and A Verster put on an impressive 119 runs from just 127 balls. Tuks were 182 for 5 when once again the PHSOB skipper took the ball and broke a threatening partnership with the wicket of Verster, who was bowled out 8 runs shy of his half-century.

Tuks found themselves struggling to score and the pressure showed as Dickson’s outstanding innings came to an end from a delivery by Kaber. Dickson went off the field having put up 89 runs, which ended up being the highest score of the day. R Verster followed soon after and Tuks finished the innings with a respectable total of 230 runs.

After a brief break the teams were back on the field for the PHSOB innings. PHSOB needed just 231 from 50 overs to win. Tuks needed to get an early wicket and that is what they did as Roberts mistimed a delivery by Pillans and was caught by Dickson, having made only two runs. This brought the PHSOB captain onto the crease, but by lunch time PHSOB were only 18 for 1.

After lunch the PHSOB batsmen tried to get their innings back on track after the early setback and Bunn and Hornbukle looked to be building a good partnership, but the partnership ended at 32 runs after Hornbukle misjudged a shot for an easy catch by Aronstam to give Nel his first wicket. The scoreboard now read 39 for 2 after 11 overs. Next to fall was the PHSOB skipper as Tuks continued to pile on the pressure with their pace bowlers. PHSOB now looked to be feeling the pressure with the score 71 for 3. Having reached 160 for 4 with 39 overs gone PHSOB had a massive collapse with the quick dismissals of Griffin, Fraser, Joubert and Cardoso, with the batsmen scoring just 11, 1, 2 and 12 respectively. A game that PHSOB looked favoured to win ended with PHSOB managing only 192 for 9 after 50 overs and Tuks recorded yet another victory and secured a spot in the final.

“We fought hard, got ourselves in a winning position and let it go. Tuks bowled with a lot of discipline, because 230 was definitely an achievable target,” losing captain, David Bunn told Perdeby. Tuks coach Pierre de Bruyn said,“We set ourselves high standards when it comes to our bowling and we proved again that our bowling unit can play well under pressure.” He added, “We had to be patient against them because they are a very talented group of guys.”

A lot will be expected from Tuks as they head to the final, especially after they proved they are capable of getting the job done under pressure.

Photo: Brad Donald

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