STELLENBOSCH. – A new champion will be crowned at this year’s Cricket South Africa’s Cubs Week here.
The Southern Superstars secured a bonus point victory over the Western Legends during the penultimate round to move to the top of the standings.
They have the same log points as the Northern Champions who experienced some tense moments in their 6-run victory over the defending champions, the Coastal Conquerors.
The Central Gladiators who are one point behind the two log leaders also have an outside chance to walk away with the spoils on Sunday. But both of the log leaders need to lose their respective matches.
The Superstars and the Champions will have to make sure of a victory in their final match and if they are able to bag a bonus point it might be enough to be crowned champions.
The Champions will face the Eastern Warriors in their final match. The Warriors are still searching for their first victory during this year’s tournament. In their final clash, the Superstars will have to secure a victory over the Conquerors to stand a chance to bag the title.
The Champions were only able to accrue 162 runs in their clash against the Conquerors. Jake Carstens (5/44) picked up a five-wicket haul to keep his side’s hopes up. He received some excellent support from Romashen Pillay (3/34).
It was only Christiaan du Toit (49) and Dewan Marais (28) who managed to provide some resistance with the bat in hand.
The left-arm orthodox spin bowler Divan Engelbrecht (5/32) then produced a match-winning performance with his five-wicket haul to keep them in the match and the title race. Engelbrecht removed Pillay (39) and Carstens (0) in successive deliveries in the 27th over.
Fast bowler Tristan Luus (3/26) showed some nerves of steel as he caught Jonathan van Zyl (50) from his own bowling to leave the Conquerors seven runs short of a victory.
The Superstars secured a bonus point victory over the Western Legends in the penultimate round. They reached 286 runs in their innings thanks to half-centuries by Maahir Jospeh (56) and Abdullah Bayoumy (50).
The Legends’ Tumelo Makume (4/26), Dakalo Leketa (3/29), and Rico Fryer (3/47) produced some good bowling.
The Legends were however placed under pressure early when the south African Schools’ captain, Juan James (2/18), picked up two wickets in the first over of their innings. The SA u19 fast bowler Liyema Waqu (3/42) then caused even more damage.
The Central Gladiators defeated the Eastern Warriors by seven wickets. Their fast bowler Kwena Maphaka (5/43) was the shining star with his five-wicket haul.
Richard Seletswane (61*) and Thebe Gazide (52) also made valuable contributions towards the victory with their half-centuries.
Northern Champions 162 (Christiaan du Toit 49, Dewan Marais 28; Jake Carstens 5/44, Romashen Pillay 3/34); Coastal Conquerors 156 (Jonathan van Zyl (50, Romashen Pillay 39; Divan Engelbrecht 5/32, Tristan Luus 3/26). Northern Champions won by six runs.
Eastern Warriors 166 (Casey Keevy 51, Extras 34; Kwena Maphaka 5/43, Sipho Potsane 2/42); Central Gladiators 170/3 (Richard Seletswane 61*, Thebe Gazide 52, Extras 22; Jean Upman 1/24). Central Gladiators won by seven wickets.
Southern Superstars 286 (Maahir Jospeh 56, Abdullah Bayoumy 50, Juan James 44, Extras 31, Bongile Mfunelwa 30, Cormey van der Watt 22, Meeka-eel Prince 21; Tumelo Makume 4/26, Dakalo Leketa 3/29, Rico Fryer 3/47); Western Legends 150 (Naziel Adams 48, Bathabile Masigo 35, Ludwich Schuld 26, Extras 22; Liyema Waqu 3/42, Juan James 2/18, Abdullah Bayoumy 2/18). Southern Superstars won by 136 runs.