Pharo, Butler shine in their team’s 37-run win over East London rivals
PIONEERS United brought smiles to the faces of their supporters – and community – after beating East London’s Stirling in a thrilling Border Cricket Promotional league game played in Breidbach last weekend.
Fifth-placed Pioneers won the toss and elected to bat against the visitors, who are in third place on the log. Pioneers scored 182 all out from 40.3 overs before bowling their opponents out for 145 after 43.1 overs.
The game was played on a slow and sticky wicket, but it did little to jeopardise the spirit of the players of both teams as they produced mouth-watering action from the onset.
Pioneers started cautiously, before opener Darryl Fourie was brilliantly caught by De Kock at point for seven with the score on 19. Vuyo Mtini followed shortly after he was caught by the same fielder. (21/2).
Pioneers captain, Zoyisile Booi, and Theodore Lewis took the score to 39 before the latter became the third victim to fall with his score on five.
New man at the crease, Shandre Butler, did not last long, when he was adjudged leg before wicket for a duck and one run later with the score on 40/5, Booi had his middle-stump uprooted for 11 runs.
Veteran and former skipper, Byron Esterhuizen, came to the crease and joined Arief Kazi, which saw the Hashim Amla look-alike, Kazi, being dismissed for one run, which meant Pioneers were in big trouble, leaving their supporters in a state of panic, at 46/6.
He was replaced by Josie Newton whose stay was short-lived as he faced five balls without bothering the scorers.
In walked young and talented Dale Junior pupil, Dwayne Pharo, who rescued his side, as he and Esterhuizen combined for a 71- run stand, before the former captain was caught for 46 runs.
Pharo was joined by Damian Jina and the pair managed a hard-earned partnership that saw Pioneers all out for 182.
Pharo contributed 65 runs to their total, before he was out caught.
His innings included 10 sparkling boundaries.
Stirling in reply, started well, but lost wickets periodically, failing to reach the target, as the home side’s bowlers proved too strong.
Butler proved to be a thorn in the flesh for the visitors, taking 6/31 runs in 8.1 overs and Mtini also bowled superbly with figures of 10 overs, two maidens, 2/20.
Pioneers secretary Kermit Du Plessis commended his charges on a job well done and reckoned the win was just the perfect tonic and the boost they needed for their following games.
“The victory was needed to boost the morale of the team since we had a bad start to the season,” Du Plessis said.
“There was a great vibe in the team today, the youngsters stood their ground as they produced magnificent performances, so I am overwhelmed by their all-round performances and looking forward in much anticipation to our next encounter against log-leaders Healdtown this coming weekend.”