St George's Park History
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

The Matches St George's Park - Jumbos in Thrilling Charge for Victory Over Free Staters
Jumbos in Thrilling Charge for Victory Over Free Staters
Neale Emslie

Eastern Province finished their season in thrilling fashion at St Georgeís Park last night with a four-run win over Free State in a Standard Bank Cup limited overs cricket match which was in the balance until the final delivery.

Having set the Free Staters 216 to win in their 45 overs, Carl Bradfieldís Jumbos fought back in style after a shaky start to limit their opponents to 211 for six, denying them a place in the competitionís semi-finals. EPís win means Western Province will join Boland as the semi-final qualifiers from pool B.

Border have qualified from pool A, but the fourth position will be decided this weekend with several teams still in the running.

Last night, Free State seemed set for a good victory as they reached 105 for two halfway through their innings. That was due to a cracking start by Morne van Wyk (21 off 30 balls) and Jonathan Beukes, who hit an excellent 73 off 99 deliveries and seemed set for the man of the match award until the Free Staters lost their way in the second half of their innings.

The player to claim the man of the match award was EP spinner Robin Peterson, who put an abrupt halt on the Eaglesí progress as he bowled his team back into the match with the outstanding analysis of 9-1-23-1.

The EP seamers seized on the initiative given to them by Peterson, with Wade Wingfield taking two important wickets and Johan Botha bowling with great composure in a nerve-wracking finish. With Free State needing 10 off the last over, Botha wrattled Rayno Arendseís stumps with his first delivery and then conceded five singles to spoil the Eaglesí semi-final hopes.

They needed six off the last delivery, but Herman Bakkes could only manage a punched single to long-off.

Another highlight for EP was 17-year-old Craig Thyssen taking a wicket with his second ball in provincial cricket when he bowled Kosie Venter after being hit for a boundary off his first delivery. The Grey matriculant was playing his second game for EP but had nothing to do last Friday after the game against Gauteng was washed out by rain.

Even though they batted in fits and starts, EP were still able to post a decent victory target of 216 in their 45 overs. But their old weakness of failing to convert promising starts again manifested itself and it prevented them from taking control of the match after winning the toss.

A patient but solid start of 70 from Carl Bradfield (37) and Wade Wingfield (31) was negated by the loss of three wickets, including both openers, for 11.

James Bryant looked particularly sharp in composing a lively 40 off 43 balls but that effort was wasted when he was run out and it was finally left to cousins Dave Callaghan (26) and Justin Kemp (31) to keep the innings on track with a seventh-wicket stand of 47 in eight overs.

The pair came together with 11 overs remaining, but with six wickets already down, they needed to find the right blend of caution and aggression to make sure the innings didnít completely fall off the rails.

The Herald
January 4, 2003

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