SOUTH Western Districts may have missed out on improving their three-day title chances, but they stayed on the right path in the CSA Provincial Twenty20 cricket competition when they defeated Eastern Province by six wickets at Axxess St George’s yesterday.
After sending EP in to bat, the visitors restricted them to 93/9 in their 20 overs and then raced to victory in 15.3 overs to claim what could be a valuable bonus point.
In fact, it could have been a whole lot worse for the home side, whose innings never got going.
They were in dire straits at 51/9 before Basheer Walters (10) stood firm with the bat to help skipper Colin Ackermann (35) add an unbeaten 42 runs for the 10th wicket.
Ackermann hit his runs off 34 deliveries with three fours and a six, and the only other player to make it into double figures was opener Michael Price, with 22 off 22 balls (two fours and a six).
In reply, SWD lost three early wickets to face a degree of pressure at 20/3, but skipper Ross McMillan then led the way with a fine unbeaten 48 off 48 balls (four fours, two sixes) to guide them to a well-earned victory.
Gareth Dukes and Erinn Ewerts were the pick of the SWD bowlers, each picking up three wickets. Dukes conceded just 14 runs in his four overs, while Ewerts had a remarkable analysis of 2-0-7-3.
In the three-day game, which was completed before lunch on Saturday, seamer Warren Bell led EP to a massive 217-run victory with a six-wicket haul.
This gave the talented allrounder nine wickets for the match and gave the visitors no chance of achieving a formidable target of 348 for victory.
Resuming on 51/3, SWD subsided to 130 all out in just 28.5 overs as their batting failed for the second time in the match.
Overnight batsman McMillan was dismissed with the second ball of the morning and from there it was all downhill for SWD. Only fast bowler Marcello Piedt made any impression with the bat, hitting a top score of 46, but by that time SWD’s faint victory hopes had vanished. Bell was given good support from Sisanda Magala, who claimed 3/30.