The victory left two-time defending champions Tuks unbeaten and at the top of Section Two, meaning they will take on the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Madibaz, the students from the Port Elizabeth campus, who came through Section One with a similar record, in today’s final.
“We set ourselves the tremendously high goal going in of achieving a hat-trick of titles and we said we had to go through the first five days unbeaten to do that.
“We are unbeaten, which makes it 17 games in a row at club champs, and now there’s the big one to go tomorrow,” De Bruyn told The Pretoria News yesterday.
“We probably had the easier pool, but there were areas in which we were tested and I was happy to see how we responded.”
Tuks lost the toss yesterday against NMMU George and had to bowl first, and this time leg-spinner Tertius Gouws was the man to shine as he took four for 27 in 10 excellent overs to limit the South-Western Districts champions to 171.
Neil Hornbuckle (36), Tyron Walsh (36) and Hendrik Kotze (33) provided islands of resistance, but no-one else reached double figures as the George students were bowled out in 45.2 overs.
Paceman Gerhard Linde claimed an impressive three for 23 in 8.2 overs, but Graeme van Buuren (8-1-27-0), Ruben Claasen (7-1-14-1) and Johan Wessels (5-0-18-1) were also effective.
Wessels then also starred with the bat as he safely steered Tuks to their target in just the 35th over with a swift 69.
Captain Heinrich Klaasen applied the finishing touches with 53 not out and he hit the winning runs that put Tuks into their third successive final, and a repeat of last year’s title decider against the Port Elizabeth students.
The NMMU Madibaz outfit is a potent one, with their spin bowlers – Simon Harmer and Brad and Josh Dolley – a real threat.
Opening batsman David White is one of the most exciting young players in the country, while his partner Ed Moore is once again in fine form at this tournament.
The University of Pretoria students are going to be under increased pressure today, but then again they came through a tough situation on Saturday in their crunch game against Maties.
Chasing 207, they had crashed to 107 for five, but Sean Dickson anchored the innings with a determined, match-winning 74 and there were important contributions too from Tian Koekemoer (29) and Sean Nowak (19*), who had earlier been the best bowler with three for 20 in 10 overs.
“We were tested the whole game against Maties, but we’ve trained those situations, like chasing 20 off 20, and we stood up and really believed we could do it,” De Bruyn said.
Yesterday: Section One – University of Free State Kovsies 307-5 (Jacobus Dreyer 120, Dirk Bruwer 49 not out) Crusaders 246 (Michael Alexander 70, Robbie Clift 68, Jason Biddulph 40; Leonard Killeen 4-61) University of Free State Kovsies won by 61 runs. University of Jhb 73 (Brad Dolley 5-11) NMMU PE Madibaz 75-0 NMMU PE Madibaz won by 10 wickets. NWU Pukke 370-7 (Grant Mokoena 105, Righardt Frenz 81, Wihan Lubbe 57; Gerhardt Abrahams 4-51) West End 274-6 (Xander Pitchers 62, Roche Rossouw 47, Gerhardt Abrahams 76) NWU Pukke won by 96 runs. Section Two – NMMU George 171 (Tertius Gouws 4-27) Tuks 173-3 (Johan Wessels 69, Heinrich Klaasen 53 not out) Tuks won by 7 wickets. Kempton Park 67 (Dewald Botha 5-10) Maties 70-3 Maties won by 7 wickets. United CC 112 (Romano Esau 53) Cape Town CC 113-4 Cape Town CC won by 6 wickets.
Saturday: Section One – Crusaders 218-9 University of Jhb 203 (Umar Asad 57 not out, Harry van Straaten 42, Neels Bergh 41; Jared van Heerden 4-47) Crusaders won by 15 runs. West End 139 (Gihahn Cloete 40 not out; Brad Dolley 4-35) NMMU PE Madibaz 141-4 (Lloyd Brown 51 not out) NMMU PE Madibaz won by 6 wickets. NWU Pukke 332-7 (Ludwig Roos 103, Grant Mokoena 82, Righardt Frenz 74) University of Free State Kovsies 243 (PJ Jansen 101; Bjorn Fortuin 4-56) NWU Pukke won by 89 runs. Section Two – Maties 206-9 (Dewald Botha 58) Tuks 207-7 (Sean Dickson 74) Tuks won by 3 wickets. United CC 182 (Romano Esau 64, Marco Marais 53; Lance Roelfse 5-47, Bronwell Goeda 4-35) NMMU George 183-6 (Tyron Walsh 68 not out) NMMU George won by 4 wickets. Kempton Park 179-9. Cape Town CC 162 (Marc de Beer 40; Jurie Snyman 4-33) Kempton Park won by 17 runs.