Divan de Villiers and JP Botha combined for a massive partnership of 177 from 205 deliveries to power Affies to a seven-wicket victory over the visiting Grey College on Saturday.
The visitors won the toss and elected to bat first, hoping to put up a strong total to defend.
They played well, with the batting lineup making consistent contributions throughout. Adem Niewoudt and Henru de Wet combined for an opening partnership of 58 off 67 deliveries, before Nicolai Bester’s bowling and Divan de Villiers‘ safe hands drew first blood for Affies with the removal of Niewoudt.
Ruben Maree continued the good work for Grey, getting to 41 before he was run out by his Affies’ namesake, Ruben Groenewald.
Casper Troskie, batting at eight, bolstered the Bloemfontein side’s challenge, top-scoring with 54 at a run-a-ball. His 86-run partnership with Kamo Mokeona, who scored an unbeaten 33 as Grey’s last batsman, was a big boost for the visitors, as they set Affies 256 for victory.
It started out well in the field for Grey, with Sicelo Matayi taking two wickets in the third over to remove two huge threats from the locals’ lineup for a combined total of eight runs, with Adem Niewoudt pouching both catches.
Grey had Affies on the ropes at 10/2, but the locals dug deep and De Villiers and Botha turned the game for Affies, as they went after the Grey bowling.
Botha batted at a steady pace, playing the anchor role, to reach 77 from 103, which allowed De Villiers to launch an all-out attack. He blasted a massive 129 from 131 to drive Affies over the line with seven wickets in hand and 39 deliveries to spare.
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Grey College 256 (Casper Troskie 54, Ruben Maree 41, Kamo Mokoena 33*, Adem Niewoudt 31, Henru de Wet 30, Jaco Prinsloo 27, Extras 23; SF Vermeulen 2/27, Petrus Rautenbach 2/32, Divan de Villiers 2/54); Affies 257/3 (Divan de Villiers 129*, JP Botha 77, Extras 26; Sicelo Matayi 2/43). Affies won by seven wickets.