FREE STATE took a firm grip on Pool D of the Africa T20 Cup competition when they beat Kenya by 10 wickets at Mangaung Oval on Saturday to make it two bonus points wins out of two.
They now top the log with 10 points followed by SWD who have four. Gauteng and Kenya have yet to get off the mark but they both have two matches still to play. Sunday’s final match between Free State and Gauteng could well turn out to be decisive.
Unlike the earlier game on the second day the pitch was far more placid for the second match and Free State, in spite of not being at their best in the field, were able to restrict their African visitors to 131/4.
Andries Gous and Michael Erlank, who had also had a good opening partnership in their opening match against Canon SWD, had little trouble in knocking off the runs, reducing the target to a run a ball after 10 overs and then accelerating to score the remaining 60 needed for victory in 5.5 overs.
Gous finished on 78 (53 balls, 9 fours and 3 sixes) and Erlank on 42 (42 balls, 6 fours). It has been a wonderful tournament for Gous who has scored 113 runs in his two innings for a strike rate in excess of 152. He was one of the many talents who spent the winter months at the SA Academy although he did not go on the tour to Sri Lanka. He has also emerged as a wicketkeeper of note with 5 dismissals so far.
“This tournament has been wonderful exposure for players such as myself who are trying to break through to the next level,” commented Gous. “We seldom get the chance to get exposure on TV and to play against a player of the calibre of Vernon Philander on Friday night was a privilege.”