Henry Davids proved to be a more than adequate replacement for Indian-bound Albie Morkel as Northerns cruised to a 35-run victory over KZN in the first semi-final of the Africa T20 Cup competition at the Mangaung Oval on Saturday. Davids’ innings of 73 not out off a mere 42 balls (eight fours and two sixes) was pivotal to the Northerns total of 180/4 and for good measure he picked up 1/9 from his only over of off-spin. The Northerns total was all about big partnerships with Aiden Markram (50 off 42 balls, three fours and a six) and Lerato Kgoatle putting on 43 for the first wicket in 4.4 overs, Markram and Davids 64 for the second in 8.1 overs and Davids and Theuns De Bruyn 70 for the third in 6.5 overs.
By contrast KZN never got their innings off the ground with their best partnership of 41 in 3.2 overs for the eighth wicket coming when the issue had virtually been settled. Cameron Delport made top score of 44 off 39 balls with three fours and to sixes and his run out did not exactly help their cause. The Northerns bowling was as impressive as their batting with Lungi Ngidi (2/31) and Ruben Claassen (2/22) being the pick of their attack.
Apart from the obvious exceptions KZN came to the tournament with what almost amounted to their Academy squad and they, in fact, did very well to reach the semis where their lack of experience caught up with them. Northerns will play the final tomorrow (10:00) against the winners of the second semi-final between KZN Inland and Free State.