Divan de Villiers proved to be the difference for Affies as they opened their account with a 20-run victory over Westville Boys’ High on the first day of the Westvaal North-South Tournament.
De Villiers, batting at three, set the tone with the bat, blasting his way to a crucial unbeaten 80 from only 45 balls. He was supported well by Ruben Groenewald, who struck 56 from just 27 deliveries, and Janco Purchase, whose 34 came at a strike rate of 200.
Affies’ big hitting brought them 17 sixes and 13 fours as they posted an intimidating 221/4 in their 20 overs.
Left-arm spinner Roxton Payne was the pick of the Westville bowlers, his figures an impressive 1/27 from four, amidst the Affies’ onslaught.
With a difficult task in front of them, the Westville batters weren’t going to die wondering. Opener Max Robertson was exceptional, taking the fight to the well-balanced Affies’ bowling attack. He smashed a scintillating 98 from only 48 deliveries, including six fours and a whopping nine sixes, at a staggering strike rate of 204.
However, it was De Villiers who delivered the magic once again. With Westville poised to chase down the 222 required for victory, he stepped up to the plate to knock over 4/21 in his four overs, which was instrumental in holding Westville to 201/9 in their response.
Paarl Boys’ High secured a thumping victory of 53 runs over Hoërskool Nelspruit at Menlopark. Christiaan Wege set the stage for their victory, making 64 from 58 balls at the top of the order to steer the Capetonians to a respectable 166/8.
Nelspruit’s batsmen struggled in their reply. However, there were promising signs of a return to form for Jayden Meyer. The opener seemed to be batting on a different wicket to his team-mates, making 52 at a shade under a run a ball, while all around him the other Nelspruit batsmen battled to come to terms with the Boishaai attack.
Aden Batt spearheaded the Paarl team’s effort in the field, claiming a superb 4/15 from his four overs. Batt’s spell, along with valuable contributions from the rest of the bowlers, meant that Nellies tallied only a meagre 113/8 in their 20 overs.
Last year’s runners-up, Potchefstroom Volkskool, got off to an indifferent start against Wynberg Boys’ High.
Having won the toss and elected to bat first, Volkies lost their stalwart, Ludwich Schuld, to the first ball of the game. However, Louis van Wyk stepped up to the plate with an important 37. The Liebenberg duo, Attie (27, 18b) and Dian (24, 22b), chipped in with valuable contributions to help the Potchefstroom boys reach 156/7 in their 20 overs.
Wynberg enjoyed a solid start to their run chase, with Paul James (37, 31b) and Kyle Williams (22, 30b) sharing an opening stand of 61. However, after losing the opening pair, the momentum swung back in favour of the Volkies.
Kobus Pienaar, with 2/22, led the way with the ball, and good support from his fellow bowlers helped Volkskool restrict Wynberg to 144/9 in their 20, to pull out an important 12-run victory in their opening Pool A match.
Affies 221/4 (Divan de Villiers 80, Ruben Groenewald 56, Janco Purchase 34, Lukas Janse van Rensburg 24; Roxton Payne 1/27); Westville Boys’ High 201/9 (Max Robertson 98, Blake Simpson 24, Shaun McGough 24; De Villiers 4/21, Heinrich Muller 2/38). Affies won by 20 runs.
Paarl Boys’ High 166/8 (Christiaan Wege 68, Johan Wege 31, JJ van der Sandt 30, Christiaan Bourbon Leftley 21; Davico Kruger 1/23); Hoërskool Nelspruit 113/8 (Jayden Meyer 52; Aden Batt 4/15). Paarl Boys’ High won by 53 runs.
Potchefstroom Volkskool 156/7 (Louis van Wyk 37, Attie Liebenberg 27, Dian Liebenberg 24, Themba Sontjane 22; Yaaseen Moos 2/21, Divan Linde 2/28); Wynberg Boys’ High 144/9 (Paul James 37, Kyle Williams 22; Kobus Pienaar 2/22). Potchefstroom Volkskool won by 12 runs.