Border must have given its supporters some grey hairs before clinching a three-wicket victory over North West with seven balls to spare in their opening Pool B match at the Africa T20 Cup in Potchefstroom on Saturday. The visitors seemed to have an easy enough task after winning the toss and restricting their hosts to 104/8 in their 20 overs. But the task suddenly became a much more difficult one as they lost three wickets in successive overs to leave them on 12/3 after four overs.
It did not get much better after that as they found themselves on 50/5 after 11 overs. At that stage there was even the prospect of North West winning with a bonus point. Border captain Jerry Nqolo says: ‘We decided to go hard up front with the bat but unfortunately we lost too many wickets. However, I never doubted our ability to get over the line.’ That they did get over the line was entirely due to the sixth wicket partnership between Nqolo and Darryl Brown which realised 34 runs in 6.2 overs.
Nqolo was caught in the deep with 21 runs still needed off 21 balls but Brown comfortably completed the task with his unbeaten innings of 63 (50 balls, three fours and four sixes). That Border faced such a modest task was largely due to Nqolo who, with excellent catching support in the deep, took 4/21 in his four overs. Unfortunately the Border batting did not measure up to their excellent bowling and fielding and this prevented the opportunity of going for an invaluable bonus point.
North West never got partnerships going at their turn at bat with the best effort being the 39 for the fourth wicket between Wihan Lubbe and his captain, Nicky Van Der Berg, which was more than twice the next best. Border are now second on the log with four points behind KZN Inland on 9 while Boland and North West have yet to get off the mark.