Western Province (WP) put an end to their two-season final disappointment when they emphatically beat Gauteng by nine wickets to claim the 2012/2013 Cricket South Africa (CSA) Women's Provincial League championship at the Bidvest Wanderers on Saturday.
In what was a decidedly one sided match, Gauteng were overwhelmed by a ruthless WP side that was determined to win after featuring in finals for the past two seasons and coming up empty in the end. They take home the championship and R20 000 in prize money, which features in the competition for the very first time this season.
Four ducks and a top score of 23 by Kirstie Thomson were simply not good enough in a final against their determined foes as Gauteng were bundled out for 76 in 32 overs.
The first wicket fell at the end of the first over as Shabnim Ismail removed her first of three wickets for the day as Robin Searle departed for a duck. It took another 10 overs for the second wicket to fall, but as soon as Thomson was gone, Nonkululeko Thatbede (0) was removed, followed by Savanna Cordes for 10.
Gauteng were 44/5 in the 17th over when they lost Jessica Engelbrechdt (2) to a run out thanks to the quick hands of Robyn Appels. Captain, Cri-Zelda Brits and Chené Bester tried to revive the innings but only managed a 22-run partnership for the sixth wicket before the skipper was dispatched for 12 by Leighshe Jacobs.
Ismail claimed the two wickets of Bester (16) and Jameelah Shaikjee (0) in the 30th over to leave their hosts reeling on 74/8. Tayla Wilmot succumbed to Moseline Daniels to finish off the painful assault after Yumna Plowker retired hurt without scoring.
In their batting reply, WP were clinical starting with a 37-run opening partnership by Appels (40*) and Carolyn Esterhuizen (12) before the latter was removed by Thomson. The subsequent 40-run partnership Appels shared with captain Alexis le Breton (21*) took the team all the way to victory, ending the match in just 24 overs.
Breton is delighted to finally win the trophy after two seasons of losing in the final. "This is such a satisfying win for us because every single person in the team contributed to us getting here. When the national team players were gone, the youngsters stepped up and did the job and this is just the result of all that hard work," she said.
WP coach, Cobus Roodt is thrilled with his side's achievement.
"The team played like champions today. They deserve this win because they went after what they wanted and didn't spare a thought for anything but their goal and most importantly to me, they did it as a team. It's been a very long season and for us to end it with a league victory away from home makes it just that much more special," he commented.
Kurt Human is a disappointed Gauteng coach today, but he is proud of the season his side has had.
"Our batting let us down today," he said. "We prided ourselves in our batting and for some reason it went horribly wrong today. We spoke about batting out our overs and that just didn't happen but this is part of the learning aspect of the game."
Human does not believe in looking at only the bad, he prefers to pay attention to the good that his side can take from the season as a whole.
"Even though we missed out on the win, I am still proud of the team for getting this far. They gave their all this season and they have laid the foundation for the next one. A hard lesson was learned today and we will allow it to sink in and discuss it later but for now it's time for us to relax and rejuvenate so that we are back to full fighting strength when the season begins," he concluded.