Match Report

4 Feb 2017 & 11 Feb 2017 - First XI (1A) vs Ottomans

On: 6 Feb 2017

A superb spell of sustained hostile fast bowling by Brendan Young at the outset of Day Two in Cape Town’s Two-Day match against Ottoman at the Boon Wallace Oval quickly destroyed any hopes that the visitors may have harboured of making a fight of it.  Ottoman had begun the day’s play with their backs firmly against the wall, still trailing by 101 runs on the first innings with two wickets already down in their follow-on innings, but they crumbled quickly in the face of Young’s pace and aggression, such that it took the home side just 80 minutes to run through the remaining batting and wrap up an innings victory.  The result gave Cape Town the biggest points haul of the day, allowing them to leapfrog Rondebosch into third place on the Premier League log, and further close the gap to the leading two sides with just three rounds remaining.

With Ottoman resuming their second innings on 13 for two, Young’s second over of the day took care of both overnight batsmen – inflicting a damaged ankle on one that soon required his retirement as he sought to avoid a bouncer, and then castling the other as he pushed tentatively forwards the ball after receiving another bouncer himself.  The double blow set the trend thereafter, with Young striking again in two successive overs to send the visitors reeling to 23 for five.  Marc de Beer’s medium pace then chipped in from the other end too, and allied with solid slip catching from the home team’s stand-in captain William Hantam, Young swept to the third (and best to date) five-for of his Cape Town career by claiming the final available wicket at around the time of the scheduled mid-morning drinks break.

It sealed the dominance that Cape Town had held for all but the first half-hour of the match.  Back then, having elected to bat first after winning the toss, the home side were quickly in trouble against veteran opening bowler Waleed Samsodien, who needed just seven deliveries to dismiss both Cape Town’s opening batsmen.  That poor start soon deteriorated further to 19 for three, and matters were not looking good for the Plumstead-based outfit.

Indeed, things may have gotten even worse had either the edge through the slips offered by Hantam on 4*, or a mishit strike across the line skied to square leg on 17* a little later, gone to hand, but the stand-in skipper survived both chances to settle in at the crease.  Joined by provincial representative Kyle Verreynne – who himself survived a relatively straight-forward catch offered to short cover on 19* - the pair then set about turning Cape Town’s fortunes around.  Careful batting had taken their stand to 38 in 16 overs when spin was first introduced into the attack shortly after the mid-session drinks break, and the erstwhile patient Hantam quickly pounced.  Lining up Ottoman’s ace off-spinner Sadiek Davids, Hantam lofted three consecutive deliveries for six across his first two overs, in the process posting the fifty partnership, and not too long afterwards pulled a fourth to reach a 91-ball fifty.  Verreynne at the other end was more content to pick up his runs less explosively, passing 500 career runs for the side in the process – at 18 innings needed to reach the milestone, only his partner at the other end had achieved it faster in the course of the last 20 seasons (Hantam incredibly needed just 10 knocks to get there).

At 115-3 less than half an hour shy of Lunch as a result, the home side had consequently moved well beyond recovering all lost ground, and indeed were well in control of proceedings when Hantam finally got out (58 off 97 balls, with four sixes and five fours).  That dismissal offered the visitors little respite though, as Neo Mlumbi arrived to provide Verreynne with more solid support and stymie any further progress on Ottoman’s part.  Verreynne cut the second ball after Lunch for four to reach his own fifty from 83 balls faced, and half an hour later he too struck Davids for six to raise the fifty-run stand with Mlumbi in 20 overs together. 

Still, although their wicket-taking ability had almost ground to a halt, Ottoman had never really allowed the scoring rate to get out of hand, and with just six overs remaining before the compulsory 60-over declaration, the home side’s total was still a manageable 182.  Something therefore had to give, and though Young (28 off 15 balls) then led a Cape Town assault in those closing six overs that successfully bagged 55 additional runs – including three further sixes off Davids to take his total conceded to eight, the most sixes given up by any bowler in an innings in a match involving Cape Town over the last 20 seasons – Davids also benefitted by netting four scalps in the space of twelve deliveries.  That included the wicket of Verreynne, who unselfishly forfeited the chance of reaching a maiden hundred for Cape Town while on the charge just eight runs short.

Once the dust had finally settled, the home side had consequently posted a most respectable total of 237 in the end, which quickly took on Everest-like proportions when their guests then collapsed to 45 for seven less than 24 overs into their reply.  Destroyer-in-chief was left-arm spinner Tommy Jansen, who had figures of 5-3-6-3 during the process, while off-spinner Matthew Olsen chipped in with two scalps of his own from the other end as Cape Town’s spin twins dominated completely once the new ball had quickly dispatched the opening pair. 

There was no way back for Ottoman from there, and an attempt to aggressively counter-attack quickly gave Jansen a fourth victim.  Number nine bat Mujahid Isaacs had more success though, taking the attack to the two spinners and even briefly seeing them off as he charged to 44 from 48 balls with a six and five fours in dominating a 48-run stand for the ninth wicket.  It couldn’t last indefinitely though, and Jansen duly completed the fifth five-for of his Cape Town First XI career when Isaacs eventually holed out to the cover sweeper.  With the last-wicket pair unable to contribute anything more than singles, the visitors’ first innings closed 114 runs adrift of their hosts’ total, and they found themselves following-on with ten overs still left for play in Day One.

With the early evening sun deciding to put in a strong late showing too, the home side made good use of their window of opportunity to bag two top-order batsmen before the close and finish off a very successful first day’s play for them.  As matters transpired though, they would do even better on the second morning by needing just 16 further overs to knock over their opponents once again -and maintain their perfect record of five wins from five matches in all formats against Ottoman since the sides first met in the 2011/12 season.