Liam Mudenda and Pranav Raichetti’s excellence with the willow in hand guided St Stithians to a very comfortable seven-wicket victory over Helpmekaar Kollege in their T20 clash on Wednesday.
The pair’s 41-run partnership was the key to their successful pursuit of the 130 they required for victory.
Mudenda led the charge with an impressive 47 from 35 deliveries. The main feature of the formidable opener’s innings was his stroke-making, which led to him accumulating eight fours.
Raichetti started off slowly but worked the ball all around the wicket in a mature knock of 36 not out.
His aggressive running between the wickets was also a thorn in the side of the Helpies as the pressure on their fielding unit kept mounting. Raichetti then broke loose, sending the ball over the ropes for the maximum.
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For the Helpies, Juan Minnaar shone with both bat and ball. When he arrived at the crease, his side was struggling, but Minnaar kept his composure to contribute a sensible 26 not out, which came from 25 balls and included one six.
Opening the bowling, he proved to be the dangerman for the Helpies and was the pick of their attack, capturing an impressive 2/26 from his four overs.
However, Henricus Meyer was the cornerstone of the Helpmekaar innings, giving it a boost with a wonderfully structured and unbeaten 50 from 40 deliveries. His contribution proved pivotal as he and Minnaar combined for a much-needed partnership of 74 in the latter stages of the innings, which helped their side to 129/4 from their 20 overs.
Unfortunately for the Helpies, that effort from the pair wasn’t enough to make up for a stuttering start to their innings. Saints showed class and control to chase down the victory target in the 17th over with plenty of wickets in hand.
Helpmekaar Kollege 129/4 (Henricus Meyer 50*, Juan Minnaar 26*; Lhuan-dre Pretorius 1/26); St Stithians 132/3 (Liam Mudenda 47, Pranav Raichetti 36; Juan Minnaar 2/26). St Stithians won by seven wickets.