UP-Tuks’ Craig Kirsten and Thomas Kaber led Up-Tuks to another Varsity Cricket tournament final, as they won by 41 runs at Senwes Park on Saturday morning.
The men from Stellenbosch, Maties, won the toss and elected to field first as bowler Brandon Glover made the first breakthrough for Maties, putting an end to the innings of Sean Phillips (3) with an LBW. UP-Tuks were 21/1 after 2.4 overs on the scoreboard.
A brilliant catch by Isma-eel Galfieldien of Maties sent Tony De Zorzi back to the dugout after adding just one run off eight balls. Thomas Kaber and Jiveshan Pillay kept the rhythm going out in the middle as they put UP-Tuks on 76/2 after 10 overs. But a great catch by Jean Bredenkamp claimed the much-needed wicket of Pillay (41) as he left his side on 81/3 after 11 overs.
Migael Pretorius, the new batsman, joined Kaber at the crease, as the pair put up a score of 91/3 after 12 overs. Kaber with a six, put the UP-Tuks side on triple figures taking them to 109/3 after 13.1 overs.
As Up-Tuks called the Powerplay Plus over, they showed little progress, as Brandon Glover’s first delivery claimed the wicket of the free-scoring Kaber (52) to deduct five runs off Up-Tuks’ total, which left them on 136/4 after 16 overs.
Maties secured another wicket of Pretorius (23) after a UP-Tuks runout. But Blake Schraader (3*), the new batsman to join Herman (43*) out in the middle, hit UP-Tuks to a final score of 183/5 for Maties to chase.
It was bowler Ruben Trumpelmann who bagged the first wicket of Tyler Smith (2) from Maties to send him back to the change room for an early shower, leaving them on 10/1 after two overs.
A great catch by Hermann secured the wicket of Fritz de Beer (18) as he left his side 31/2 after five overs. Kirsten bowled Gafieldien (18) as he left Bredenkamp at the crease on a score of 58/3 after 8.5 overs.
Another wicket was soon in the bag for UP-Tuks, as Bredenkamp (31) departed for 31 runs off 24 balls to put Maties on 98/4 after 12 overs with the Powerplay Plus over still remaining.
Moore took two quick wickets to break the momentum of the Maties side as he ended the innings for Justin Dill (8) and Erasmus (33). A few seconds later, UP-Tuks struck again, securing the seventh wicket of Stevens (0) as Maties were 118/6 up after 15 overs.
Two crucial wickets in the Powerplay Plus by UP-Tuks’ Pretorius claimed the wickets of Botha (7) and Jay Stevens (2) as they put Maties in a vulnerable position on 141/9 with just three obvers remaining.
Craig Kirsten led the underdogs of this semi-final encounter to a victory as he claimed the last wicket of Maties to secure Tuks a spot in the finals and a shot at winning the right to represent SA at the Red Bull Campus Cricket World Championships in Sri Lanka later this year.
Samsung Player of the Match: Thomas Kaber (UP-Tuks)
Steers Batsman of the Match: Thomas Kaber (UP-Tuks)
FNB Best Bowler of the Match: Craig Kirsten (UP-Tuks)
By Raynique Meyer