It took sheer brilliance from Gugulethu Cricket Club to beat top spot holders, Northern Goodwood Cricket Club (NGCC), in a Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA) First Division A encounter, on a scorching afternoon, at the NY49 sports complex, on Saturday December 2.
Mondli Mahlombe caused chaos in NGCC’s middle batting order. As soon as he bowled out the danger man, Keanen Nortje for 28 runs, he went on to dismiss all-rounders Ambrose Visagie, Marcel Rautenbach and Davin May. Mahlombe picked up four wickets for 35 runs.
Alongside Mahlombe were his Gugulethu counterparts, Mbulelo Dube (3/32 runs) and Siphamandla Hlakudi (2/21 runs). Together they managed to take nine wickets against the visitors.
Gugulethu captain Mbulelo Nkomo said they anticipated NGCC’s decision to make Gugs bat first, and that’s precisely how it unfolded after NGCC won the toss.
Nkomo and Lwando Kulati had a solid opening partnership. Nkomo scored 67 runs off 120 balls, while Kulati hit 31 runs off 38 balls.
In the middle order, Mangaliso Mthiya scored four quick boundaries and singles before he was dismissed for 22 runs. Alongside him was Dube scoring 21 runs off 36 balls.
NGCC’s Rautenbach (5/43) took home the match ball following his five-wicket haul. Rautenbach’s teammates, May, Marvin De Kock and Duane Abel, each received a wicket to slow Gugs down.
In the WPCA First Division A top-10 run scorers for this season, NGCC’s Reeve Cyster’s score of 37 runs moves him into second spot, while Gugulethu’s Nkomo moves up into third spot.
NGCC are joint first spot holders of the WPCA First Division A one-day standings, with 35 points, level with Brackenfell Cricket Club. This coming Saturday, these two sides will battle it out for the number one spot when they face each other at the Arnold Bloch Oval in Goodwood.
Gugulethu’s 54 run-win over NGCC moves them into ninth spot on the log. They have won two games out of nine and are 11 points above Hottentots Holland Cricket Club, UCT and Vikings. They have a bye this Saturday and will play against Hottentots on Saturday December 16.