The powerful Waterkloof First XI kept rumbling onwards, comfortably beating Potchefstroom Volkskool on Saturday in the quarterfinals of the Noordvaal Gunn & Moore competition, to keep their quest to again be crowned the champions on track.
Having won the toss, the Klofies did the unusual, choosing to bowl instead of batting first. The Volkie batsmen responded by putting together a solid opening partnership.
Diaan van der Merwe (15, 42b) and Louis van Wyk combined wonderfully to tally 67 for the first wicket.
After Van der Merwe’s departure, Van Wyk kept going, scoring at a healthy strike rate of 134 as he made his way to a superb 89 from just 66 deliveries. His excellent innings included 14 boundaries, consisting of eight fours and six sixes. This laid the platform for Volkies’ stalwart Ludwich Schuld, whose form has been somewhat up and down, to make a strong contribution.
Schuld appeared to slowly make his way back to his old self and, after a nervy start, quickly constructed a well-played 58 from 66 balls. Combined with an attacking 39 from the powerful Eduan van der Merwe, his innings helped the Volkies to a competitive total of 276/9 from their 50 overs.
The impressive youngster, Franco Cronje spearheaded the Waterkloof attack, snaring a fine 3/32. Jacques van Niekerk also raised his hand, taking 2/61, while Jaydon Blom impressed with figures of 2/31.
The Klofie innings got off to a dismal start when the in-form Divan Behrens was dismissed on the very first ball he faced. This, however, didn’t stop Wian Ruthven and Marcus Bakker from going on the attack.
Ruthven counterpunched after the early loss, striking boundaries all around the wicket, as he raced along to the innings’ top score of 81 from just 50 balls. The ruthless opener’s knock included seven fours and six sixes.
Bakker, right on his heels, also played an entertaining knock, contributing 57 from 43 balls. He enjoyed a good stand with his captain Beukes van den Berg, who fell six runs short of a half-century.
Riley Miller rounded off a spectacular batting performance from the Klofies by blasting 77 from just 43 deliveries. He deposited the ball over the ropes six times and added five fours as Waterkloof recorded a comfortable five-wicket win to advance to the semifinals.
Marais Viljoen came out on top in a cliffhanger against Hans Moore in their quarterfinal.
Hansies won the toss and elected to bat first, but they struggled from the outset. Xavier Coetzee came to the rescue. He dug in and played a mature knock of 59 from 87 balls, to help his side to a total of 185 all out.
Cayden Ramage did most of the damage for the side from Alberton, claiming figures of 4/43 in his 9.1 overs.
With Marais Viljoen needing 186 for victory, Tian du Toit took charge. He played a superb innings of 70 not out, which broke the backbone of the chase. Cayden Ramage followed up his wonderful bowling performance with a vital knock of 34 after the Alberton side found themselves in a bit of trouble at the hands of Adrian Watson, who claimed 3/27.
However, with Du Toit still out in the middle at the end, Marais Viljoen got over the line in the 42nd over with three wickets to spare.
Potchefstroom Volkskool 276/9 (Louis van Wyk 89, Ludwich Schuld 58, Eduan van der Merwe 39; Franco Cronje 3/32, Jacques van Niekerk 2/61, Jaydon Blom 2/31); Waterkloof 279/5 (Wian Ruthven 81, Riley Miller 77*, Marcus Bakker 57, Beukes van den Berg 44; Olefa Padi 2/51). Waterkloof won by five wickets.
Hans Moore 185/10 (Xavier Coetzee 59, Warren Minnaar 21, Adrian Watson 20, Adam Kruger 20; Cayden Ramage 4/43); Marais Viljoen 186/7 (Tian du Toit 70*, Ramage 34, Sheldon van Wyk 22; Watson 3/27). Marais Viljoen won by three wickets.