Northerns beat Eastern Province (EP) by a narrow 16 runs to claim the title of 2012 Cricket South Africa (CSA) Domestic Provincial T20 Champions in an exciting match at Axxess St. George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
The hosts won the toss and chose to field, restricting Northerns to 154/5 at the end of their 20 overs. Wickets were few and far between after the initial two wickets that fell in quick succession seeing captain, Francois le Clus (3), and Pieter Malan (2) dismissed in the first three overs.
Henry Davids scored a swift 70 from 49 balls and shared a 103-run, third-wicket partnership with Farhaan Behardien (46 from 44) to keep the scoreboard ticking before Brad Dolley scattered Davids’ stumps in the 16th over. Five balls later, Graeme van Buuren was caught behind by Vernall Charles off Lyall Meyer for one and Meyer struck once more when he took the wicket of Behardien at the end of the 19th over.
Northerns were never going to make the chase an easy one for their hosts. Openers David White (20) and Kelly Smuts shared a 29-run partnership before the latter was dismissed for 19 off 13 balls by CJ de Villiers in the fourth over.
Northerns’ bowlers worked well as a unit with everyone taking at least one wicket but for Van Buuren who returned figures of 0/9 in his single over. Tumi Masekela was the pick of the bowlers, taking 3/26 including the wickets of Colin Ackerman (9) and Warren Bell (6). He broke a threatening 39-run partnership between Meyer and Simon Harmer (20) when he dismissed Meyer for 39 runs off 27 balls. Masekela also ran Charles out for three.
EP ran out of overs and could only manage 138/9, giving the visitors the victory and the 2012 champions’ title.