Christiaan Jonker stars as Boland Rocks beat Iinyathi in CSA T20 Knock Out clash
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Johannesburg – The Iinyathi were made to pay for poor ‘death’ bowling as they suffered a defeat that left their future in the CSA Provincial T20 Knock Out competition in jeopardy.
The East London based team, will face their provincial neighbours, the Warriors on Wednesday afternoon, in what is a virtual eliminator for a quarterfinal spot in the tournament.
The Iinyathi, after choosing to field, had kept the Boland team in check for most of the innings, picking up four wickets in the first 10 overs. However they conceded 59 runs in the last five overs, 33 of those coming in the final two overs, with the Iinyathi bowlers struggling to find the right lengths having been put off by some innovative shot-making from Christiaan Jonker and Shaun von Berg.
Boland got off to a good start thanks to a 33-run opening partnership between skipper Pieter Malan and his brother Janneman that appeared to be setting them up for a far more substantial total than they ultimately managed.
However the captain’s dismissal in the fourth over, bowled by Clayton Bosch trying to slog him over mid-on, gave the Iinyathi a route into the match. Clyde Fortuin, after making a superb 104 on Monday, scored a duck 24 hours later, driving Bosch to Jason Niemand in the covers, and Sinalo Gobeni was trapped lbw by leg-spinner Nqaba Peter for just one.
Janneman Malan had timed the ball well in his innings of 39, but fell trying to pull the impressive right arm quick Gideon Peters in the 10th over.
Jonker and Ferisco Adams (21 off 15 balls) added 47 runs for the fifth wicket, but when Adams was out, Boland were still in danger of falling short of the 150-run mark.
But Jonker, battling with the Kimberley heat, found a stable partner in Von Berg, and the two showed their experience, playing some deft leg-side flicks and then carving the ball through off-side when the Iinyathi bowlers missed their lengths attempting to bowl wide yorkers.
Jonker after scoring 45 on Monday, made a workmanlike half-century, hitting six fours and a six to finish unbeaten on 56, off 39 balls, while Von Berg was out off the last ball of the innings for 27.
In the absence of Marco Marais, who struggled with a stomach bug on Monday and failed a fitness test before Tuesday’s match, those ‘death’ overs looked even more costly.
The Iinyathi lost three wickets inside the power play, but skipper Jerry Nqolo kept their hopes alive with a gritty half-century. His dismissal in the 16th over to Imran Manack proved fatal, with Boland ultimately claiming a comfortable victory, which confirmed their qualification for the play-offs.
Once more their spinners proved influential with Imran Manack picking up 1/25, while Siyabonga Mahima finished with 1/19.
The Rocks face the Impalas in the first match of the last day of Pool D action on Wednesday, with the Eastern Cape derby between the Iinyathi and the Warriors, to decide the second qualifier from the Pool.
Gbets Rocks 172/6 (Christiaan Jonker 56*, Janneman Malan 39, Clayton Bosch 3/37, Thomas Kaber 1/17)
Eastern Cape Iinyathi 154/5 (Jerry Nqolo 50, Jerome Bossr 26, Ziyaad Abrahams 2/34, Siyabonga Mahima 1/19)
Rocks won by 18 runs