The first day of the Coca-Cola Khaya Majola Week (Coke Week) belonged to the spinners, three of them were in the top four of the day's best bowlers list in Potchefstroom on Sunday. Spinners, Sohail Mahmood (KwaZulu-Natal Inland) and Shaakir Abrahams (Eastern Province) were the only two bowlers who succeeded in to grabbing five-wicket hauls.
The best bowling performance of the day belonged to Mahmood. He got rid of six of Boland's batsmen for 43 runs. However, his performance was not enough to save his team from a defeat. KZN Inland batted first and managed a scant 77 runs before they were bundled out. Boland posted 187/9 before declaring their innings closed. Inland captain Robert Anderson (47 *) produced a true captain’s innings to deny Boland an outright victory.
Eastern Province (EP) defeated KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) on the first innings thanks to Abrahams’ bowling. KZN were in a strong position on 94/2 before EP gave Abrahams (5/47) a bowl.
KZN's spinner, Kyle Simmonds produced a valiant all-round performance in the match. He contributed 31 runs to his team’s total before taking four wickets while conceding 46 runs t finish with the fourth best bowling figures for the day.
He is happy with his day's performance, “My first day went exceptionally well considering my form has not been good lately.
“When I went in to bowl we were on the back foot as they were hitting boundaries off us. At first I had to work hard but the wicket got a bit rough which helped me and I just gained momentum. The win today has definitely helped build the team’s morale and we are hoping that this is the first of great things to come."
Several batsmen managed to record half-centuries on their first day. Western Province's (WP) David Beddingham stood out with an impressive 75 runs scored against Northerns.
Northerns' left-handed batsman, Leus du Plooy also impressed with his batting performance in the match. He made 47 runs in the first innings before being run out and followed it up with an unbeaten 26 in the second innings. Beddingham and wicketkeeper Clyde Fortuin (52) formed a 96-run partnership for the fifth wicket. WP won the match on the first innings.
The highest score of the day belonged to Juan Heunis (92) of South Western Districts (SWD). He narrowly missed out on his century against Mpumalanga. He hit eight fours and five sixes while at the crease and was caught by Sizwe Zwane off Max Khoza’s (3/46) bowling.
The match between Free State and Limpopo ended in a draw. Free State's Hanco Olivier (58) and Sachinta Galhenhage (56) scored half-centuries. The two shared a partnership of 102 runs for the second wicket and helped their team to a declared score of 213/6. Limpopo's Tian Koekemoer (85) helped his side record 192/7 at the close of play to secure the draw.
The hosts, North West lost against Border on the first innings. They were restricted to 124 in their first innings. Craig Sansom (87) was the hero for Border with his half-century.