NOT many people, if any, knew it immediately, but the Warriors created a world record when they tied their Ram Slam Twenty20 Challenge match against the Highveld Lions in East London.
Sunday’s match was the second tie in a row for the Eastern Cape franchise after they had achieved the same result against the Dolphins at Axxess St George’s on Friday.
It took an e-mail to official Cricket SA statistician Andrew Samson to establish that this had never been achieved before in limited-overs cricket worldwide. Sunday’s match brought an end to a remarkable series of T20 matches for the Warriors, because, had things turned out slightly differently, they could easily have tied three matches in a row.
Instead, in a match that will be remembered only for Wayne Parnell’s last ball no-ball, when the Titans needed two runs for victory, the Warriors lost in Benoni.
They then found an escape hatch on Friday when the Dolphins were fully in control at St George’s with Lundi Mbane’s last-ball wicket completing a sensational Dolphins collapse. With one needed off the final delivery, the young seamer induced a catch which Rusty Theron gratefully accepted.
In East London on Sunday, the Warriors looked good when the Lions needed 17 to win off the final eight deliveries. But some big hitting by Sohail Tanvir got them level before the Pakistani, with two needed off the last ball, was run out going for a second run.
The nerves of the Warriors coaching staff must be shredded. Despite the tension out in the middle, it is always more difficult from the sidelines. Coach Piet Botha will be hoping there is no more heart-attack material when the Warriors take on the Knights in Kimberley tomorrow.
These matches sparked memories of another remarkable sequence in EP cricket when EP B, then playing in the three-day Castle Bowl, tied successive matches. That is a world record for first-class cricket.
Samson confirmed yesterday that EP B were the only team to have tied two consecutive matches in firstclass cricket in the world. This happened in 1985-86. First, EP B played Boland in Grahamstown and set the visitors 257 to win. With one run needed off the final delivery, Karl Bauermeister produced a brilliant stop in the covers and threw the ball to the non-striker’s end to run out No11 batsman Charl Coetzee.
A month later, EP B came within a whisker of chasing down 293 for victory against Natal B in Maritzburg.
With three runs to win, No11 Anthony Roberts glanced the ball to fine leg, only for Grant Dakin – as a rugby wing he was no slouch – to be run out going for the third run.
It might be said, it is the stuff Hollywood writers would not even dare to dream about.