The stage was set for a cracking first day of Varsity Cricket, in its third season, at Potchefstroom. However, Mother Nature had other ideas as rain fell and dampened the mood at all three fields in Potchefstroom.
Tuks’ match versus Pukke, at Senwes Park, as well as UJ versus Madibaz and Maties versus UWC at Ibbies Oval and NWU-Puk Oval respectively, were abandoned due to the rainy conditions.
According to Varsity Cricket rules, all six teams were awarded three points for an abandoned match.
The final match of the day would be assessed, with UCT scheduled to play Kovsies at 18:00 at Senwes Park.
Newby makes a statement with the willow for UCT
UCT’s Jack Newby was the star of the show as his unbeaten 87 steered his side to their first win of the 2017 Varsity Cricket tournament with a 24 run D/L win against Kovsies.
The young batsman from the UK, was fantastic in his role as opener as he was the stand out player on the night in the rain reduced match.
“We are here to compete!” said Newby in a defiant tone at the post-match presentation.
Kovsies and UCT were the two lucky teams to get a game on a rainy Monday, and although it was reduced to 16 overs per side, it did not have any effect on the amount of quality involved.
UCT won the toss and chose to bat first in order to put their opponents from Bloemfontein under pressure with a score of 147/6 from their 16 overs.
Openers Taariq Chiecktey and Jack Newby got their team off to a solid start reaching 42/0 after three overs. That was before Kovsies struck in the eighth over as Andries van Wyk got a wicket with his first ball removing Chiecktey for an unlucky 13.
Van Wyk got his second wicket minutes later as Brendan Tatum skied the ball only for Dylan McKenzie to take an easy catch.
Newby, who was born in the United Kingdom, was proving to be the man for UCT as he anchored the innings brilliantly from ball one, bringing up his 50 in the 13th over. He also hit a massive six to the delight of the Villagers Residence that were watching the spectacle.
Newby finished on a marvellous 87 as he took his side to 147/6 in 16 overs.
Kovsies started their pursuit of their chase in buoyant fashion as Marno van Greunen and Wihan Victor took the UCT attack to the sword reaching 39/0 after five overs.
Economic bowling for Riaz Sader, Kyle Leppan and Kieran Hayne eventually pegged back Kovsies as they got the crucial scalp of Van Greuning for 13. Kovsies batted too slowly in the middle overs, and they paid the price later on as Ridgard and Victor went in quick succession to rock the team from Bloemfontein.
UCT’s bowlers and fielders must be commended for their efforts as they kept the pressure on for most of the match. Kovsies finished on 123/3 and could feel that they had enough wicket left to have mounted a better challenge.
FNB Best Bowler: PJ du Plessis (Kovsies)
Samsung Man of the Match: Jack Newby (UCT)
Steers Best Batsman: Jack Newby (UCT)
photo Mario van de Wall/SASPA