Chad Claasen claimed a sensational four for nine as University of Johannesburg (UJ) sprung a major upset by inflicting a first loss of the week on University of Stellenbosch (Maties) on day four of the Varsity Cup Week in Potchefstroom on Thursday.
The seamer was in brilliant form as the team from Gauteng dismantled their Cape opponents for 105 – defending 144 – to win by 38 runs at Senwes Park.
It was a crucial loss for Maties and one that saw them knocked off their perch at the top of the table after University of Pretoria (Tuks) crushed University of Cape Town (UCT) by nine wickets in their game at Ibbies Oval.
Tuks would have been grateful to Claasen, though, who delivered a telling performance after his side had first posted 143 for six, which was built around 33 by Delano Potgieter and 20s by Jacob Miltz and Juan Landsberg.
UJ were then emphatic with the ball as they dismissed Maties in 19.3 overs – moving ahead of them on the standings in the process.
Apart from Claasen’s four-fer, there were also two wickets each for Potgieter (2/11) and Tumelo Thlokwe (2/16).
Meanwhile, Tuks bossed their way to the summit of the table thanks to a fifth win out of six when they thrashed UCT with a clinical all-round display.
After winning the toss and batting, the team from the Mother City were restricted to 124 for seven despite Mphokuhle Dube (58 off 41 balls, 6 fours, 1 six) top-scoring in the match. Sean Murray Gilson was the best of the bowlers with three for 11.
The top three – Francois van Heerden (44 not out), Neil Brand (48) and Aaron Visser (26 not out) – then all shone for Tuks helping them bulldoze their way to the target in only 13 overs.
Host team North West University (Pukke) also moved ahead of Maties by the end of the day after they produced twin wins from their two matches on the day.
First the local boys thumped UCT by 128 runs, before demolishing Central University of Technology (CUT) by eight wickets and nearly 10 overs to spare.
Danfred Sefoor was the star of the evening game with three for 21 to set up the game.
CUT had won their earlier match in the day when they edged Nelson Mandela University (Madibaz) by one run in a thrilling affair – 133 for seven playing 132 for seven at NWU Puk Oval.
That was one of two losses for the Port Elizabeth side on day four after they also lost to University of Western Cape (UWC) in another close affair where four runs proved to be the difference between the sides.
Day five of the Varsity Cup continues in Potchefstroom on Friday. To keep up to date with live scoring from the competition, visit www.websports.co.za.