Cricket South Africa’s new initiative to raise funds for the people affected by the pandemic attracted a lot of eyeballs. The 3 Team Cricket format was out in the world for the very first time in Centurion with de Villiers garnering the spotlight yet again.
After Chris Morris and Kagiso Rabada opted out of the match earlier on, wicket-keeper batsman Quinton de Kock followed suit just moments before the match due to “unforeseen personal circumstances”. Temba Bavuma was chosen to lead the Mr. D Food Kites, in the absence of de Kock.
The toss went in favour of Reeza Hendricks of the OUTsurance Kingfishers, who opted to bat first. It was determined that Ab de Villiers’ Takealot Eagles would bat next followed by the Kites.
The opening pair of Janneman Malan and Reeza Hendricks started things off for the Kingfishers. After settling the nerves in the first over, Malan went for the kill right from the next over to propel himself to 30 in just 11 balls. The skipper, at the other end, struggled to get going with a run-a-ball 13. The partnership was broken right after the half-century mark. Both the openers were back in the hut after the end of the first part of the innings which read 56-2 after 6 overs.
Eagles, who were in to bat next lost Rassie van der Dussen in the second over itself which brought in Ab de Villiers onto the crease. The skipper and Aiden Markram remained unbeaten as they finished over the Eagles at the end of the first part of their innings. The score read 66-1 after 6 overs.
Kites, who raced to 44 in just four overs were in pole position to lead by the break but Andile Phelukwayo’s penultimate over only yielded 5 overs and they lagged behind to end with 58-1 after 6 overs. Scores at the end of the first half were:
Kingfishers: 56 for 2 after 6 overs
Eagles: 66 for 1 after 6 overs
Kites: 58 for 1 after 6 overs
Since the Eagles led the scoring chart, they earned the right to bat first in the second phase of the match. Ab de Villiers wasted no time as he along with Markram added 30 runs in the first 2 overs. Aiden Markram was eventually dismissed for a well made 70 off 33 deliveries. However, the skipper stood tall to bring up his fifty in just 21 balls and was eventually dismissed in the penultimate over for 64. The Eagles added 94 runs in the second phase to post 160-4 at the end of 12 overs.
Posed with a mammoth task of scoring more than 100 runs in 6 overs, both the teams fell short to give Eagles the gold. Kites earned the silver medal after posting 138-3 courtesy off a rapid 17-ball fifty from Pretorious while Kingfishers fell way short in their chase with only 113-5 on the board.
Kingfishers: 113-5 after 12 overs
Eagles: 160-4 after 12 overs
Kites: 138-3 after 12 overs