The University of Pretoria’s Assupol Tuks, who have won the title for the last two years, made a triumphant start to the Momentum National Club Championships yesterday when they beat Kempton Park by 39 runs.
Tukkies, who were sent in to bat at the Tshwane University of Technology Oval with rain imminent, made an impressive 258 for eight as their innings was cut short by one over.
Gerry Pike (7) and Aiden Markram (18) were dismissed cheaply in the testing early conditions, but Tian Koekemoer laid a solid foundation with his half-century.
As the clouds cleared, Man of the Match Sean Dickson and Graeme van Buuren, who was the star of last year’s title run, made merry as Tukkies seized control of the match.
Dickson was in sublime form as he cruised to 70 off 76 balls, while Van Buuren was once again in great touch as he collected 58 not out off just 43 balls.
Medium-pacer JC Fourie was the best of the Kempton Park attack, bowling 10 tight overs for just 31 runs.
The Kempton Park chase was rocked early on by the loss of three early wickets to each of the impressive trio of Tukkies pace bowlers, Sean Nowak, Gerhard Linde and Corbin Bosch, as they slumped to 38 for three.
But Fourie and Grant Thomson arrested the slide as they added 81 for the fourth wicket off 103 balls. It left the Easterns champions needing 140 off 17 overs, but that became highly unlikely when Thomson was caught, skying spinner Tertius Gouws, on the brink of his half-century.
The Titans bowlers, whether pacemen or spinners, were impressively on target and they restricted Kempton Park to 219 for nine in their 49 overs.
Fourie went on to a classy century, reaching three figures with an outrageous paddle for four off Nowak, and finished unbeaten on 103 off 139 deliveries.
The on-song trio of Nowak, Linde and Bosch took two wickets apiece.
Section One: West End 141 (Etienne Gerber 4-18). University of Jhb 132-2 (Harry van Straaten 50) University of Johannesburg won by 8 wickets (D/L target 132 in 43 overs). NWU Pukke 296-8 (Grant Mokoena 88, Righardt Frenz 56, Wihan Lubbe 58) Crusaders 238 (Riaan Minnie 42). NWU Pukke won by 60 runs. NMMU PE Madibaz 246-8 (Ed Moore 60, David White 101) University of Free State Kovsies 240-9 (Jacobus Dreyer 70, Leus de Plooy 71) NMMU PE Madibaz won by six runs.
Section Two: Tukkies 258-8 (Tian Koekemoer 50, Sean Dickson 70, Graeme van Buuren 58 not out). Kempton Park 219-9 (JC Fourie 103 not out, Grant Thomson 49). Tukkies won by 39 runs. University of Stellenbosch 251 (Emile Kriek 97) United CC 101 (Niel Botha 4-9) University of Stellenbosch won by 145 runs (D/L). Cape Town CC 203 (Matthew Norris 74). NMMU George 171. Cape Town CC won by 35 runs (D/L).