NMMU PE were bowled out for 222 as pacemen Gerhard Linde, Sean Nowak and Corbin Bosch put regular spokes in their wheel, sharing seven of the wickets as Tuks won by an impressive 94 runs.
Josh Dolley was the one man to seriously trouble Tuks with the bat, scoring a brave 64 off 60 balls, while wickets fell regularly at the other end.
The Port Elizabeth students had won the toss and sent Tuks in to bat, and openers Aiden Markram and Murray Coetzee ensured that the NMMU bowlers were having a hairy time of it from the start.
Markram continued his incredible week – for which he won the Player of the Tournament award – with a fine 79 off 85 balls, proving once again that he is a star of the future, while Coetzee scored a fluent 52 as they added 133 for the first wicket in the first half of the innings.
The Madibaz were under considerable stress already by the time Markram holed out at long-off off slow left-armer Brad Dolley, and the loss of Coetzee to the same bowler did not bother Tuks.
Johan Wessels, who continued his fine week with 49 off 55 balls, and Van Buuren added 96 for the third wicket in 14 unruffled overs.
Wessels fell just one run short of his fourth half-century of the tournament when he mis-hit Sisanda Magala to long-off, but Van Buuren just kept plundering runs as he struck a match-winning 97 off just 66 balls, with eight fours and five sixes, to add to his reputation as a fantastic finisher.
He took 20 runs off Magala in the penultimate over before swinging the 23-year-old Muir College product to deep square-leg. Van Buuren may have just missed out on his century, but he had done enough to win the Man of the Match award and he averaged 90.70 during the week.
University of Pretoria coach Pierre de Bruyn said Van Buuren had again showed that a long and successful career lies ahead of him – “his innings was really important and he absolutely took the game away from them”.
De Bruyn also said the performance of his new-ball bowlers, Linde and Nowak, had been crucial, removing key Madibaz batsmen David White (5) and Ed Moore (18) early in the innings.
“We were aiming to have them three down in the first 20 overs because then they would always have to try and rebuild. With wickets in hand, you could have chased just about anything with the one very short boundary, but we definitely bowled better than them, our disciplines were much better.
“They had a sloppy start with the ball, but we pride ourselves on working hard on those disciplines,” De Bruyn said.
It was a highly mature bowling performance by Tuks, with Linde taking two for 32, Nowak three for 31 and Bosch, who showed wonderful skill and strategic thinking for one so young, claiming two for 28.
With Wessels and off-spinner Ruben Claasen chipping in with wickets, NMMU were already faced with a required rate of nearly eight-an-over midway through their innings, and although the lower-order tried hard, the target was way too high.
The ridiculously short boundary on the Wierda Park side of the ground certainly prejudiced the Port Elizabeth students as it meant they were unable to bowl spinners in tandem – which has been their greatest strength this week.
But the discipline and focus, and excellent skills of Tuks were the major difference on the day, with the University of Pretoria’s unbeaten run in the National Club Championships now stretching to 18 games over the last three years.
Scores in brief
Tuks 316 for six (Aiden Markram 79, Murray Coetzee 52, Johan Wessels 49, Graeme van Buuren 97; Sisanda Magala two for 72, Onke Nyaku two for 78, Brad Dolley two for 37).
NMMU PE Madibaz 222 (Lloyd Brown 20, Curtis Samboer 31, Josh Dolley 64, Kirwin Christoffels 20, Sisanda Magala 27; Gerhard Linde two for 32, Sean Nowak three for 31, Corbin Bosch two for 28).
Tuks won by 94 runs.