Eastern Province ended a successful 2017 Coca-Cola Khaya Majola week on the best possible note, with a four-wicket victory over Boland in their final match at St Stithians College in Johannesburg yesterday afternoon.
It was a case of two in-form teams, who had only lost one game each against the week’s unofficial champs, Gauteng, battling it out for supremacy and in a tight, low-scoring match it was EP who emerged victorious.
EP should be extremely happy with their Coke week, with just one loss against the dominant unbeaten hosts, Gauteng, while they managed comfortable wins over KwaZulu-Natal Inland, Namibia, North West and a thumping victory over Free State.
Boland batted and got off to a steady start, despite losing the early wicket of Khanya Cotani for six, bowled by Campbell de Wet. Laurentius Smit and Samuel Henderson then consolidated.
However, a brilliant bit of fielding from Cole Schoeman broke the 80-run stand with Smit (40) run out.
Just a run later, Henderson (33) was trapped in front by Jade de Klerk and Boland were 105/3.
Daniel du Plessis (34) was then the second-last man out as Boland crumbled to 166 all out.
De Wet (3/27) was the pick of the bowlers along with Tiaan van Vuuren (2/40), while Schoeman, De Klerk and Kenan Smith all claimed a scalp each.
For EP, opener David Rushmere (14) fell early, before Peter Jarvis and captain Christopher Benjamin combined for a 76-run.
Jarvis (41) and Benjamin (42) then both fell, before EP lost a further three wickets for just one run – leaving them on 131/6, before Smith (19) and Van Vuuren (18) combined for a comfortable 39-run partnership to guide their side home.
In the main game, Gauteng finished strongly with a nine-wicket win over Border, ending as the deserved top team over the week having won five games and had just one draw.