Desperate times call for desperate measures. The phrase provides a fitting context and backdrop to the resumption of cricket in South Africa. Despite few early hiccups where more than 50 staff contracted the virus and some high-profile omissions in the form of Kagiso Rabada and Quinton de Kock, the 3TC Solidarity Cup ended on a high note.
The Eagles, captained by AB de Villiers, emerged as the winner by a fair margin, courtesy a brilliant, match-defining partnership between De Villiers and Aiden Markram. Both of them completed their half-century, propelling The Eagles to a massive total of 160 runs.
After posting 66-1 in the first innings, De Villiers ward off the rustiness that he showed in the first half. He smashed 20 off the first over in the second innings for the Eagles. ABD scored an entertaining 61 off just 24 balls while Markram made 70 off 33 balls before getting caught by Dwayne Pretorius.
After finishing the innings with a mammoth 160 in 12 overs, Kites and Kingfishers, both needed more than 100 runs in their last six overs to secure the Gold medal.
Meanwhile, The Kites already dealt a significant blow after their captain De Kock pulled out of the tournament in the eleventh hour, citing some personal reason. Temba Bavuma took up the captain responsibility in De Kock’s absence.
Bavuma and Jon-Jon Smuts batted well enough and took Kite’s scoreboard to 58 in their first half. Ryan Rickelton, the late-replacement for De Kock, was the only batsman they lost in their first innings.
Bavuma lost his wicket cheaply to Kingfisher’s Glenton Stuurman in the first over of the second innings. Soon after, Smuts too walked back to the pavilion after making 48 off 26 balls.
Dwaine Pretorius slammed a swashbuckling half-century but Kites failed to reach Eagles’ target of 161 to win the match. Pretorious scored the fastest fifty of the game, in just 17 balls.
Kingfisher, captained by Reeza Hendrick in the absence of Kagiso Rabada, required 161 to win the gold medal and 139 to win the silver medal.
After putting up 56-2 in their first innings, Kingfishers’ batsman didn’t perform up to the mark and ended up settling for bronze. The Hendrick-led side lost five batsmen and could only reach 113 runs in 12 overs.
Overall, it was an entertaining match amidst the global pandemic. The organiser deserves a lot of praise for their wonderful initiative in the gloomy time.
- AB de Villiers’ Eagles- 160/4 – wins the gold medal
- Temba Bavuma’s Kites- 138/3- wins the silver medal
- Reeza Hendricks Kingfishers- 113/5- wins the bronze medal