The ITEC Knights have qualified for the inaugural CSA Provincial T20 Knock Out Competition final through their tournament’s net run rate after their semi-final against the North West Dragons was abandoned due to rain in Kimberley today.
The Knights maintained their unbeaten record in the tournament to set up a mouthwatering finale against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins on Friday, 22 October at The Oval, Kimberley that will crown the first champions under the new domestic structure.
Captain Pite van Biljon and rising star, Gerald Coetzee both top-scored with 29 in the Knights’ rain-interrupted innings that ended on a below-par 127/7 after 19 overs, with the Dragons producing an imposing bowling display led by Eldred Hawken’s 3/37.
The Dragons took great confidence in their performance with ball, as openers Eben Botha (21*) and Wesley Marshall (20*) started aggressively out in the middle, converting seven boundaries, including one six to reach 42/0 in just 2.3 overs before the heavens opened in Kimberley and the match was eventually called off by the umpires.
After winning the toss, the Knights chose to bat first, with their batters in fine fettle heading into the clash. Although there were contributions from Raynard van Tonder (14), Patrick Kruger (15) and top run scorer, Rilee Rossouw (15) from the top of the order, the Dragons stuck to their plans and picked up wickets regularly to limit the scoring rate and their opponents to 52/3 after 10 overs.
The introduction of van Biljon helped the Knights stabilise proceedings during the middle period, adding 27 runs for the fifth wicket alongside Wandile Makwethu (8) before Hawken and Duan Jansen (1/23) removed the pair in consecutive balls as the covers went on for the first time with the score on 97/6 after 17.2 overs.
After a short delay that led to a reduced game of 19 overs, Coetzee returned in a destructive mood as he smashed three fours and two sixes to propel his side to 127/7.
Senuran Muthusamy (2/12) was another impressive contributor with the ball for the Dragons, with the seasoned spinner only going for three runs per over.
The Dragons chase began like a house on fire, with Botha and Marshall both hitting boundaries in the first over that went for 15 runs, before going on to add another 27 runs together in the next nine deliveries before the rain returned.
The two teams did not get back on the park, with the umpires calling the game at 17h25 local time and awarding the victory to the Knights on their overall net run rate, as the Dragons bow out with their heads held high following an impressive outing in the competition