Ryan Murray struck 131 runs from 112 deliveries to help Zimbabwe claim a two-run upset over the bizhub Highveld Lions on the fourth day of the Cricket South Africa (CSA) Franchise Cubs Week in Stellenbosch on Saturday.
Murray’s ton included eight fours and 11 sixes to take his side to a daunting 314 in 49.2 overs after electing to bat first. Jayden Schadendorf (58) added a half-century and Alvin Chiradza 37 runs to round off the innings’ most notable contributions.
It was tough going for the Lions bowlers against Murray, but Katlego Thena (4/49) and Curtis Campher (3/59) took seven wickets between them to finally bowl Zimbabwe out. Campher also got the big wicket of Murray in the 49th over.
The Gauteng side’s reply got off to a good start thanks to a solid, 99-run opening stand between captain, Wandile Makwetu and Joshua Richards (55). The skipper went on to lead a 52-run, second-wicket partnership with Louis van Schalkwyk (30), before his big 121-run, third-wicket stand with Mitchell van Burren (78*).
Makwetu celebrated his 18th birthday with a fine century, finishing on 111 off 130 balls (12 fours, 2 sixes), but it did not prove enough for a win in the end. He lost his wicket in the 47th over, his side still needing 42 to win. Muhammed Mayet added a vital 17 runs from 10 balls but was run out with two deliveries left in the match. Thena added eight from two deliveries, but Zimbabwe’s bowlers showed good discipline to secure their first win in the tournament so far.
In Coronation Cricket Club, the Multiply Titans held their nerve to beat the VKB Knights by two wickets.
The Knights set a 240-run target after they were asked to bat first. Phillip Visser hit 111 runs from 115 deliveries (6 fours, 4 sixes) and Wihan Victor chipped in with 40 from 59 to help their side to 239/7.
Donovan Ferreira played a captain’s knock, blasting 115 runs off 90 deliveries, including 11 fours and two sixes to spearhead his side to victory after the rest of the batsmen could not manage more than Musawenkosi Twala’s 21. They reached their target with four overs to spare.
The Warriors secured a third win when they took on the Hollywoodbets Dolphins, beating them by 24 runs. Half-centuries from Jason Niemand (77), David Masterson (62) and Matthew Breetzke (61) saw the Eastern Cape side to 240/7.
The young Dolphins could only manage 216 thanks to Luke Dallas (2/32) and Niemand, who took two wickets for 37 runs to round off a good day for the all-rounder.
In the last match of the day, the South Africa under17 Invitational XI suffered a massive, 155-run defeat at the hands of the Buildnat Cape Cobras. Sinalo Gobeni and Michael Cohen took three wickets each to help restrict the youngsters to 100 in their chase of the Western Cape side’s 256-run target.
The Titans will hope to continue their unbeaten streak when they take on the Lions in the tournament final tomorrow at Coetzenberg Oval.
To follow live scores of all the matches, visit: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/series/1074752.html