St George's Park History
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

The Matches St George's Park - Kops Tops, But Light Robs EP of Victory
Kops Tops, But Light Robs EP of Victory
Neale Emslie

Eastern Province fast-medium leftarmer Brent Kops almost bowled his team to what would have been an excellent win over Border in their three-day cricket friendly which ended at St George’s Park yesterday.

Instead, bad light had the final say when EP, needing 42 to win in 10 overs, had reached the rather shaky position of 21 for four with 27 balls remaining. The Jumbos were happy to continue but the light had become so poor the umpires deemed it unfit for play and called the game off.

EP, though, can take a lot of positives from the game, Kops leading the way with his bowling returns of four 50 and five for 53.

In an explosive burst with the second new ball, he turned a match, which had seemed to be meandering towards a draw, into a genuine chance of victory for EP.

After taking a substantial first innings lead of 147, the Jumbos again had the Border batsmen under pressure in the second innings, reducing them to 31 for four and later 119 for seven. At that stage, still 28 runs in arrears, defeat was a definite possibility for the Bears, but Mark Bruyns (31 not out) and Warwick Hinkel (33) kept EP at bay with a vital eighth-wicket stand of 65 off 38 overs.

Bruyns, after scoring 55 in the first innings, was moved from his customary opening position to No 8 to give his colleagues a chance and Border must have been grateful for his presence at the crease later in the innings.

But there was nothing he could do about Kops’ deadly over when he removed Hinkel, Abongile Soduma and Tyron Henderson in the space of four balls. His efforts left EP 10 overs to score 42 runs, but good bowling by Andrew Pringle and Henderson, plus the rapidly deteriorating light, put paid to the Jumbos’ victory hopes.

The Herald
October 3, 2003

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