St George's Park History
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

The Matches St George's Park - Super Six Dream Ends for Woeful EP Jumbos
Super Six Dream Ends for Woeful EP Jumbos
Neale Emslie

Eastern Province threatened only briefly to gain the victory they so badly needed but, unable to break through the KwaZulu Natal batting line-up, they finally had to settle for a draw in their Supersport Series cricket fixture at St George’s Park yesterday.

With Robin Peterson hitting his third first-class century (108), the Jumbos declared their second innings at 281 for six, leaving the Dolphins what turned out to be 84 overs to make 303 to win.

Despite the early loss of Doug Watson for a duck, the Natalians initially moved along quite smartly, but as wickets fell, the run-rate slowed and eventually it was a matter of batting out the remainder of the day.

They did that fairly comfortably to finish on 241 for five after being 123 for four at one stage.

The result means EP cannot qualify for the Super Six stage of the competition which will be contested by the top three teams in each pool.

Instead, Carl Bradfield’s side will finish off the season playing in the Shield Series, involving the three bottom sides in pool A and the two bottom teams in pool B.

After national duty saw him miss EP’s first three matches of the season, Peterson made a significant impact on his return to the team. In addition to his century, he took seven wickets in the match and was the chief threat to Natal in their battle for survival yesterday.

But the slow nature of the pitch and the careful batting of the Natalians prevented any final afternoon anxieties for the visitors, who have already qualified for the Super Six.

The Amla brothers, Ahmed and Hashim, batted entertainingly for a while before Ahmed was out trying to cut Peterson.

EP allrounder Johann Louw squeezed one through Hashim’s defence, but it seemed the Natalians had already decided not to take any chances in going for victory and when Jon Kent was caught in the covers after the ball deflected off a close-in fielder, they put up the shutters.

Dolphins’ skipper Dale Benkenstein (73 not out) collected his second half-century of the match as he and Lance Klusener (43) kept EP at bay in an important fifth-wicket stand of 93 in 19 overs.

Klusener went shortly before the close, but Duncan Brown stepped firmly into the gap to keep Benkenstein company until the match was called off with four balls remaining.

Peterson was unsurprisingly named man of the match, while EP complete the first phase of the competition with an away fixture against Easterns in Benoni, starting on Friday.

The Herald
November 11, 2003

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