The Thalang Cricket Team (TCT) and the Kuckreja Boks snared the points in Sundays C&C Marine 8’s matches at the ACG.
Patong batted first against TCT. Boundaries were hard to come by early for Patong against a stint of accurate bowling. Seemant Raju 23 (28) was the first wicket to fall, run out on the last ball before the drink break with the score on 46 runs. Craig Murphy found himself on a hat-trick in the next over as Patong tried to push for runs. Anthony Van Blerk chipped in with a handy 26 not out from 19 balls but with only 3 wide balls in the 16 over innings the Black Horses only amassed 96 runs. Murphy was the pick of the bowlers with 2/13 from 3 overs.
TCT were in need of a big run rate boost if they were to make the finals and it wasn’t long before Patong reaped the rewards. Two wickets for Patong’s Shivam in 4th over and another for Neil Quail in the next left TCT 3/21. The third wicket reunited last season’s leading run scorers Andrew McMillan and Hico McDonald and the game was quickly turned in TCT’s favor. McDonald 37* (11) wreaked havoc on the Patong bowlers, clearing the ACG fence several times and helping TCT to reach the target in just 9.1 overs.
In the 2nd match the Kuckreja Boks won the toss and choose to bat. Alex Runhaar 51 (37) batted through most of the innings bringing up the 3rd half century of the C&C Marine 8’s. Ali Khan 2/14 (3 overs) was the best of the Blasters bowlers. He picked up Runhaar’s wicket and continually threw in yorkers at the end of the innings that kept the run rate in check. The Boks finished their 16 overs 7/109, a very achievable total for the in-form Blasters.
Iqbal Malik 15 (13) including 2 sixes had all of the strike early but couldn’t connect with the swinging ball. Ike Bekker grabbed the ascendency for the Boks in the 7th over with the wicket of Master Blaster Ali Khan 2/34. From there the Blasters struggled to keep up with the run rate and limped to 3/52 from 10 overs.
The ACG crowd asked for more action and it was delivered in spades when avid helper of the ACG Owen Pringle crashed his motorbike in spectacular fashion on his way off the ground after assisting with some minor pitch repairs. In an ACG first, an ambulance was required to assist Mr Pringle off the playing surface.
Blaster Simon Wetherell 43 (33) benefitted from the 40 minute interruption, scoring heavily to put the Blasters back in the game. At the start of the last over 15 runs were needed for a Blaster victory. Bok recruit Adam Victor was entrusted with the last over of a tight match for the second week in a row. This time he had the batsmen’s measure taking 1/6 from the last over and helping his side to an 8 run win. Best of the bowlers was captain Hico McDonald with the super figures of 1/5 from 3 overs.
This Sunday is the penultimate week of the C&C Marine 8’s. Play will begin on the ACG between the Kuckreja Boks and the Island Cricket Club from 9:30am. They’ll be playing for a spot in the 2:30pm final against the Blasters. The middle match at noon is between the Blasters and the Patong Cricket Club. The Boundary Bar will be open throughout the day, serving cold beverages and burgers to players and guests.