The KwaZulu-Natal provincial cricket side’s 19.6 point win over Easterns at Wiillowmoore Park, Benoni on Saturday sees them sitting second on the Sunfoil 3-Day Cup log after their opening three encounters.
Batting first, KZN got off to a decent start thanks to Senuran Muthusamy (66) and Jonathan Vandiar (38) before captain Daryn Smit’s 123 not out – a career best first class score and Smit’s fourth hundred at this level – saw the visitors to 380 all out in their first innings.
Daryn Dupavillon’s 3 for 30 together with two wickets apiece for Rabian Engelbrecht, Calvin Savage and Sibonelo Makhanya then reduced the hosts to 141 all out in their first innings, prompting Smit to enforce the follow on.
Another meaningful contribution from Savage (3/47) and 3 for 63 from Thandi Tshabalala saw Easterns fall for 277 in their second innings, setting the KZN outfit just 39 for victory which opening batsmen Muthusamy (20*) and Johnny Riekert (17*) knocked off comfortably to clinch the win for their side.
While North West tops the log on 57.08 points, KZN, Northerns (42.42) and Western Province (40.84) all have a game in hand.
The two sides then clashed in a CSA Provincial T20 Challenge encounter at the same venue on Sunday, 15 November however this time it was the hosts who secured a comfortable victory, winning by 6 wickets.
KZN could only muster 124/9 in the allotted 20 overs with Muthusamy continuing his good three-day form before he was run out for 31.
Despite Makhanya’s three-wicket haul with the ball, Easterns then eased to 128/4 thanks to Ernest Kemm (45), Wesley Marshall (32) and Grant Thomson (29).
KZN Inland were also in action up north this past weekend as they took on a powerful Northerns line-up at LC de Villiers Oval in Pretoria.
The Sunfoil 3-Day Cup match ended in a draw however not before Kyle Nipper could leave his mark on the contest, notching up another hundred for the season as he compiled a first class career highest score of 151*.
Nipper’s effort sees him become the first player to surpass the 500-run mark in this season’s competition while his team mates Mat Pillans (5/33), SJ Erwee (66 and 41) and Mbasa Gqadushe (47) also impressed during the encounter.
The CSA Provincial T20 Challenge match saw a welcome return to the playing surface for Sunfoil Dolphins batsman Vaughn van Jaarsveld as he powered his way to a destructive 77 off just 46 deliveries, including seven fours and six sixes, to help KZN Inland chase down 131 and secure a ten wicket victory with more than six overs to spare.
KZN now turn their attention towards their clash with Sunfoil 3-Day Cup table toppers North West at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead from 26-28 November before the two sides meet in a CSA Provincial One-Day Challenge match on Sunday, 29 November.
KZN Inland will also be in action over that period when they host Eastern Province at the City Oval in Pietermaritzburg for a Sunfoil 3-Day Cup and CSA Provincial One-Day Challenge clash respectively.