Breidbach side win easily on DL method
PIONEERS United team captain, Byron Esterhuizen, was all smiles after leaving Komani with a six-wicket victory over Queenstown last weekend.
Inclement weather affected The Border Cricket Promotional league clash, with Pioneers winning on the Duckworth-Lewis method after persistent rain had the final say.
An elated Esterhuizen attributed their success to the character and camaraderie within the squad, believing that they had come back with renewed vigour with the resumption of the second leg of competition that kicked off last month.
The Breidbach-based team, fourth on the log among 10 sides in the league, are sitting pretty after beating their Komani opponents, who are currently in seventh place.
Veteran, Esterhuizen, the most experienced player in the squad, was captaining the side in place of Zoyisile Booi, who was nurturing an injury, and has shown immense potential as a leader, judging from his leadership skills in recent games.
“The game was tough and we had some nerves considering our poor fielding, dropping easy catches. The wet surface and continuous rain worsened conditions, but I think the success was down to the team spirit. It was pleasing the way we rolled the opposition over under difficult circumstances,” Esterhuizen said.
Pioneers won the toss and elected to field in a match reduced to 45-overs a side due to a wet patch on the pitch. The Breidbach outfit, managed to limit the home side, who only fielded 10 players, to 202/9 in 35.3 overs.
A brilliant 123 (11×4, 9×6) off 82 balls by Queenstown captain Anathi Joe, who was also dropped three times, went a long way in helping his team reach their total of 202.
In reply, Pioneers made a winning total of 190/4 in 36 overs, a rain-reduced target that had to be achieved in 42 overs.
The visitors started poorly, with opener, Vuya Mtini, falling for six with the total on 8/1. A partnership of 40 runs off 55 balls ended when Tasleem Safter was castled for 18. Pioneers were soon in trouble again, when Onele Gqomfo was unlucky to be adjudged lbw for 15 with the score on 56/3 in 11 overs.
Lynden Esterhuizen joined Darryl Fourie and the pair combined for a 15-run partnership before Fourie was caught behind.
Damian Dyani joined Esterhuizen at the wicket and the pair played with caution and never looked back as their confidence grew with splendid strokeplay. With the score on 119/4 in 26 overs, the heavens opened and the umpires took the players off the field for 12 minutes, with Esterhuizen on 36 and Dyani on eight. On resumption of play, the pair were severe on the bowlers – as a result they both raced to their 50s. .
Esterhuizen ended on 59 not out off 61 balls and Dyani 56 not out off 82 balls.
Pioneers will play host to fifth-placed Mdantsane-based Masakhane this weekend and Esterhuizen is confident the match will be a thriller.