Match Report

4 Dec 2016 - First XI (1A) vs Victoria

On: 6 Dec 2016

A tired and error-ridden Cape Town fielding effort in the opening match of their Limited Overs campaign, against First Division neighbours Victoria at the Boon Wallace Oval - combined with a generous ration of wides conceded by a wayward bowling attack - helped boost an already solid Victoria batting effort to a formidable final total.  Then, when the home side’s own batting effort fizzled out in reply once numerous starts were not converted, the subsequent bonus-point defeat finished off an unhappy weekend for Cape Town with their second straight defeat in two days.

The visitors had elected to bat first upon winning the toss and, boosted by six wides in the first three overs, got off to a flying start - Byron Wyngaard striking four fours in a single over en route to a brisk 27 from 25 balls.  Thus, although Brendan Young dismissed both opening batsmen in his initial six-over spell, and Matthew Olsen took a spectacular return catch to become the first Cape Town player in the last 20 seasons to hold 100 catches in the field, the Victoria total nevertheless sped along unchecked at around a run-a-ball throughout the first hour.  Sammy-Joe Avontuur maintained that initial momentum in a fluent knock of his own, striking two sixes and five fours in reaching his fifty off just 53 balls faced, while combining with his captain Marco Wyngaard in a 56-run stand for the fourth wicket that took just eleven overs to compile.

At 150 for three after 30 overs Cape Town were thus up against it in every way possible, but at that juncture they received a lifeline when some madness crept into the Victoria batting.  First Avontuur carelessly tossed his wicket away dancing down the pitch, and then two run outs followed in quick succession as the visitors managed to lose four wickets for eleven in five overs.  It gave the home side a golden ticket back into the contest, but with Marco Wyngaard still at the crease they were unable to exploit the opportunity.  Reaching his own fifty from 64 balls faced with just his second four to go with an earlier six, he then exploded into action with a flurry of scoring shots that included two further sixes and three more fours as he stormed to 84 from 87 balls.  In the process he scored 45 out of an eighth wicket stand of 51 in nine overs that snatched the initiative straight back for Victoria, and though Nicholas Scott finally cleaned up the last two wickets in an over, by then the visitors had already posted a dominant score of 231.

A target as high as that didn’t bode well for a successful run chase – only once in their previous 97 matches in the format has Cape Town successfully managed to chase down more than 230 – but the visitors’ own opening bowlers seemed determined to make a match of it.  Though seemingly scarcely possible, they were even more wayward with the new ball than the home side had been, conceding nine wides and five no-balls in the first five overs.  With Michal Lord taking advantage to reach the highest score of his short Cape Town First XI career to date, the home side sped merrily along to 49 without loss in the first six overs – before Byron Wyngaard held the first of four catches over the next six overs to knock over Cape Town’s top order.  Three of those came in the space of eleven balls off the left-arm spin of Victoria’s Kent professional Imran Qayyum, who at that point boasted figures of 3-0-8-3.

Having thus lost their entire top four just twelve overs into their innings as a result, the contest had effectively been decided.  There was still some fight left in the home side though, as their provincial pairing of Young and Kyle Verreynne then combined in an aggressive counter-attack to add 64 together in less than nine overs.  Young was in a particularly destructive mood, striking four sixes and two fours in his 42 from just 32 balls, but he too fell to a loose shot as opening bowler Jared Barnes weathered the storm after returning to the attack to claim two further wickets in his spell.  Switching to spin at both ends - off-spinner Robert van der Ross pairing up with leg-spinner Robin Hendricks - served to further smother the home side’s batting, and when their eighth wicket fell midway through the 28th over already, it was strictly one-way traffic.  Verreynne stayed a while longer to battle on, but in being successfully limited to just taking singles, his impact on proceedings was minimal.  Finally striking a second six to go with a single four, he was held on the boundary soon after for 42 from 46 balls, after which Qayyum wrapped up the game with his own third catch in the field to seal a comfortable win as Cape Town were bowled out with almost 15 overs still left unused.