EASTERN Province made the best possible start to their campaign in the CSA Provincial cricket competitions by doing the double against KwaZulu-Natal Inland in Port Elizabeth at the weekend.
At Union Cricket Club on Saturday, the home side completed a satisfying 10-wicket win in the three-day encounter, a match they dominated from the outset, and yesterday they followed up with a six-wicket win in the limited overs clash at Axxess St George’s.
The Eastern Province bowlers held sway over their opponents throughout their encounters and yesterday the home side brushed off a brisk start by KZN Inland – 38 in five overs – to dismiss them for 160.
The visitors committed the bad mistake of not completing their 50 overs and were dismissed with 4½ overs remaining.
As in the three-day match, the EP attack worked as a unit with all seven bowlers contributing.
Legspinner Lionel Vaaltyn was the most successful with a fine return of three for 33 in 10 overs, while Colin Ackermann bowled tightly to claim two for 21.
Despite the loss of two early wickets in David White and Ackermann, the experienced Arno Jacobs put EP on the path to victory, hitting 53 off 66 balls with nine fours and adding 66 with Warren Bell (43) for the third wicket.
When he departed with the score on 92, Michael Smith joined Bell and they closed in on the target before Bell was dismissed.
Smith (33 not out) and James Price saw EP home with 15.4 overs to spare.
In Saturday’s three-day encounter, KZN Inland put up stiff resistance in their second innings after conceding a first innings lead of 272.
Paceman Sisanda Magala led the way with a four-wicket haul as EP capitalised on their lead to dismiss the visitors for 280, leaving them the simple task of scoring nine runs for victory.
EP’s big first innings was set up by Michael Smith’s 10th first-class century as he belted his way to a superb 155.