This past Sunday saw Kelvin Grove host the Rondebosch Pumas in what was to be a smasher. With both captains desiring the same start the Pumas headed into the field to welcome the Grove opening batsmen, without a toss in sight. From the first few overs it became evident that the spongy, green deck and short boundaries were a batsman's treat, with anything marginally short sitting up tamely, begging to be slapped over the rope.
Kelvin Grove started off rock solid, setting the pace at a run a ball without loss for the first ten overs, including a great knock by Drew (46). Not taking this lying down the Pumas shuffled up their attack and responded with five wickets in five overs, leaving the hosts seemingly dismantled on 96/5 at drinks. It was at this point things got nasty. Peter (33) came out guns blazing and belted out a few sixes in quick succession before falling to a peach from Tjoppie, which in turn just ushered in Chris (53) to join Gareth (53*) at the crease, for what was to be a knockout 107 run 7th wicket partnership, costing the Pumas their match ball along the way. Then, akin to the Springboks, after calling off their two half-century heroes, Kelvin Grove sent in their 'bomb squad' of Cieron (26) and Dean (18), blasting anything and everything almost exclusively beyond the rope. Not giving up the Pumas managed to snap up the final wicket in the 34th and found themselves staring down a mammoth 271 run target to chase down.
Kicking off their innings the Pumas batsmen got to work chipping away at some tight bowling from the Kelvin Grove opening pair, amassing a steady 51 off the first ten, losing openers Gareth (5) and David (16) along the way. Garth (36), showing a stunning return to form, then quickly picked up the pace and proudly returned the 'replacement ball' favour to the hosts. Unfortunately for him the Pumas middle order offered little in terms of support and the visitors' response collapsed to 93/7 shortly after drinks. With a "all the time in the world" and "we may as well get some batting practice" attitude, the Pumas 8th wicket pair of Daniel (40) and PJ (30) then set off on a valiant and entertaining campaign, culminating in a 62 run 8th wicket partnership, frustrating the hosts as best they could along the way. A literal 'bum ball' for PJ and two quick wickets from Gareth and it was all over, with the Pumas reaching a respectable 173 and seeing out 33 of the 35 overs.
A special thanks to the boys from Kelvin Grove for a great game played in great spirit, gentlemanly sportsmanship all around! We look forward to hosting you down the road next year, with slightly longer boundaries 😉