WITH THE scent of the Western Province Cricket Association 1A throne in their nostrils, 2001 runners-up UCT and current league leaders Alma Marist (Almar) played to a tough draw last weekend.
UCT captain, Ryan ten Doeschate, described the match as a must-not-lose contest – Almar had a five-point lead on the students before the game – as it was likely that the winners would go on to take the championship. The UCT first innings was not the best of their season, the side managing to only score a haphazard 176 all out, Keith van Niekerk's 48 the best of the batting bunch.
In response, Almar finished the first day on 184 for seven, Andrew Puttick's 103 laying the foundation for their innings. Ten Doeschate's bowling performance of 4/66 helped pull Almar back after a good start.
Almar eventually declared on 212 for eight, hoping to scuttle the UCT side out for a lowish score and then chase a small target.
UCT's second innings was a much more satisfying affair, however, the side finishing the day on 283 for five when the game was called to an end. Van Niekerk (123), Ryan Cotterell (60) and Neil Kruger (34) were the stars of the UCT innings.
The draw did however earn Almar two more points than it did UCT, giving them a seven-point lead at the top of the league. Which means, said Ten Doeschate, that UCT must win both their last games and hope that Almar draw at least one.