St George's Park History
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

The Matches St George's Park - Jumbos grab home victory after a batting struggle
Jumbos grab home victory after a batting struggle
Neale Emslie

Eastern Province’s stuttering batting display against Free State on Friday was symptomatic of their general performances this season and the central reason for their inability to make an impact on domestic cricket.

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Credit must go to the EP bowlers, who were well supported in the field, in restricting the Eagles to 149 for seven in this Standard Bank Cup match. But the batsmen nearly threw it away before James Bryant (56) guided them to within five runs of their target for an eventual three-wicket win with an over to spare.

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It should not have been so close after a bright start from Robin Peterson and Dumisa Makalima.

The Jumbos reached 85 for two in 21 overs before their inability to deliver the knockout punch again manifested itself.

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They tossed wickets away like confetti at a wedding and at 105 for six, the Free Staters were the ones on the verge of a victory dance. But Bryant did an excellent job for EP and while Johan Botha battled to turn over the strike, at least he got his head down to give his partner the support he so badly needed.

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Earlier, on a slow pitch which took some turn, Peterson made extensive use of his medium-pacers and spinners, using fast men Mfuneko Ngam and Nantie Hayward for only three overs.

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It was a tactic that proved to be a remarkable success on the night, Johann Louw leading the way with four for 22 as the EP attack effectively shackled the Free State batsmen.

The Herald
January 12, 2004.

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