A riveting bowling performance from Matthew Lovatt helped the USSA XI storm to the Cricket South Africa (CSA) Future Cup title with a 29-run win over the South Africa Rural XI at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley on Sunday.
Lovatt claimed 4/16 in four overs, which included one maiden, to help his side bowl out their opponents for 114 in the triangular Twenty20 tournament decider, with Tayo Walburgh playing a key role with the bat earlier on in the game.
Batting at number three, he scored an unbeaten 55 off 53 balls (5 fours, 1 six) to help USSA post 143/2 after winning the toss and batting.
Promising young opener Jiveshan Pillay was also amongst the runs with 41 and so too was Rubin Hermann after he blasted three sixes and a four in his innings of 44 from just 26 balls.
The Rural team looked on course for victory at 71/2 in the ninth over, but they were then dismantled by Lovatt, who received good support from Sean Whitehead (2/7) and Mitchell van Buuren (2/24), leaving them all out in 17.5 overs.
Earlier, the Rural XI reached the final by overcoming the South Africa Colts by four wickets – a result that was built around a fine all-round showing from Luxolo Tsewu.
The all-rounder first took 3/27 as the Colts were restricted to 126/6 after they had lost the toss and were put in to bat. Ruan de Swardt top-scored with 35.
Tsewu (26) was then one of three players to hit 20s as the SA Rural team chased down their victory target with one over to spare. Marcus Fourie top-scored with 29, while Warwick Abrahim chipped in with 21.
Jaco Janse Van Rensburg bagged an impressive 3/7, but it proved in vain as his side was denied a place in the final.
Full scorecards from the three-day CSA Future Cup can be view at www.websports.co.za.