A well-earned 39 runs from Guguletu Cricket Club’s captain, Mbulelo Shane Nkomo was not enough to bag his troops a victory against an in-form Milnerton Cricket Club, at the NY49 sports complex, on Saturday.
The last time these two teams met, Guguletu were victorious, at home. This season, coach Craig Phillips’ side remains unbeaten in three league games and three T20 games.
In the league, Milnerton has beaten former champions, Northern Goodwood Cricket Club (NGCC) and Kuils River in their two opening away games. While Guguletu has had a rather tough time adjusting to the new season following their loss in the opening encounter against Vikings Cricket Club.
On Saturday, Milnerton won the toss and elected to bowl first. Guguletu’s opening batsmen, Thando Mdodana and Lwando Kulati had a tough time adjusting to the pace and were dismissed early.
The work was left with the middle order batsmen, Nkomo and Siyambonga Nyawose (9 runs) who had to face over 130 balls for just 41 runs runs between them.
Mbulelo Dube (21 runs) and Siphamandla Hlakudi (12 runs) added a promising partnership using 47 balls, before they were both runout.
The skipper, Nkomo said the gents played well, however, some touch ups will have to be done at training.
“Our batting needs to be strengthened a lot. We need to bat as partners. It’s not easy to play in this league so we need to grind together in the gym and put in the time so we can win together.
“Our bowling was good. I think we need to rotate more of the bowlers so that the batsmen don’t settle on fast bowlers,” he said.
Milnerton’s bowlers, Robin van Harte, Malcolm Cloete and Kieron Paterson were having the best day with the ball. Van Harte picked up two wickets for nine runs in 10 overs, Cloete had 1/16 runs in 10 overs, and Paterson received 1/26 runs in seven overs.
Milnerton’s Ben Beaver, from Wales, scored the last boundary of the game to win and also to get him to an unbeaten 50 runs. His teammate, Matthew Snyman scored 38 runs not-out.
Coach Phillips said there is plenty of room for improvement for Milnerton ahead of their first home game against Avendale Cricket Club this season.
“The goal is to keep the winning momentum. So far we are unbeaten this season,” he said.
Guguletu’s coach, Labeeb Fortuin said they were batting too slow up front then put the rest of the pressure on the rest of the team.
“We batted our full 50 overs which never happened before, which is positive going forward,” he said.
Fortuin said Guguletu is ready to take the game up to NGCC at the Arnold Bloch Oval in Goodwood on Saturday morning.
“We have set ourselves certain goals to better last years performances. We have won two T20 games which gave the players confidence going forward. The players have a good attitude and we can only build and improve. We still need to work on our self belief that we can compete at this level and not just make up numbers,” said Fortuin.