Assupol Tuks continued their winning ways when they beat Mecer Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) Madibaz PE by a comfortable 94 runs to win the Momentum National Club Championships at SuperSport Park on Monday.
This is their third successive Club Champs title win and it comes with a R50 000 cash prize for the second year running. The winners also receive kit worth R10 000 to donate to an underprivileged club of their choice.
The Tuks batsmen did not fail their side when they were put into bat first. They posted an impressive 316/6 in their allotted overs. Aiden Markram and Murray Coetzee shared a 133-run opening stand before they were removed by Brad Dolley (2/37) for 79 and 52 runs respectively.
Johan Wessels played a good innings of 49 off 53 balls before he was dismissed by Sisanda Magala, but it was Graeme van Buuren’s 97 off 68 balls that set his side up for victory. He missed his century thanks to Magala, who finished with 2/72.
The Madibaz reply did not get off to a good start when they lost their top order cheaply. David White was trapped lbw for five and was followed by Edward Moore for 18 at the hands of Sean Nowak in the eighth over. Lloyd Brown and Curtis Samboer provided a little stability with their 26-run stand before the former was removed by Corbin Bosch for 20 off 23 balls.
Wickets continued to tumble as Samboer and captain, Simon Harmer, were removed for 31 and one respectively by Wessels and Gerhard Linde. Josh Dolley was the top run-scorer, contributing a spirited 64 from 60 balls to give NMMU hope.
Tuks’ unrelenting bowlers maintained the pressure, removing Sisanda Magala (37), Onke Nyaku (7) and Devon Adams (0) to bowl Madibaz out for 222 and win the match comfortably.
Winning captain, Heinrich Klaasen was delighted to keep the trophy for another year.
“I think what has led to our success is everyone contributing in some way or another,” he said. “If one of us doesn’t produce the goods, someone else will step up, we have a team of very talented young players in our pool.”
Coach, Pierre de Bruyn, agrees that Tuks are fortunate to have a pool of talented players who more often than not move on to play provincial and franchise cricket.
“These players put in a lot of work to produce this result for three years running,” he said. “To be unbeaten for three years is a massive achievement and it’s because of the winning culture we have instilled in the team. This is all due to their hard work and sacrifice and having lost seven senior players from last year’s final to franchise and provincial teams, I’m especially happy to see our youngsters playing their part and making positive contributions.”
Madibaz captain, Simon Harmer, was disappointed with the result but still saw a lot of positives to take home.
“It’s always disappointing to lose at the final hurdle after playing such good cricket throughout the week,” he commented. “We have to go back to the drawing board to figure out what it is that sees us play so well and then fall short in the final. On the flip side, I am also proud of the team to reach the final four times out of six years. We just need to get our basics right and let the rest take care of itself.
“I want to congratulate Tuks on a really good win, they are the deserving team today and deserve the accolades that come with it,” Harmer concluded.
South Africa under-19s’ World Cup winning captain, Aiden Markram, was named the Player of the Tournament after an outstanding week of cricket including his 210 from 153 balls against United CC.
He said, “It’s always good as a youngster to help your side win. We work and train hard at Tuks and the team gives its all to you and the only thing that you can do as a player is to do the same for the team. It’s been a really good week of cricket and I’ve enjoyed it thoroughly. I’m in a really good space in terms of my game and I’m looking forward to just milking it for what it’s worth and doing what needs to be done to keep playing the way I am and getting even better.”
Jan Frylinck (West End CC) and Jacobus Dreyer (Kovsies CC) were named the Bowler and Batsman respectively of the tournament.