CSA Provincial T20 Cup 2021: Joyful Knights Are Crowned Champions

After 10 years of failed attempts, the Joyful Knights finally won the CSA Provincial T20 Cup beating the Dolphins by 7 runs at the Oval on Friday. The two finalists went into the match with an unbeaten record since the beginning of the tournament. It was the second time for the Dolphins to emerge as the losing finalists in the tournament. However, for the Joyful Knights, it was a day filled with thrill and accomplishment after they had their share of luck in beating the North West Dragons in their semi-final match.

During the match, the Joyful Knights batted first after being given the opportunity by the Dolphins’ captain Marques Ackerman. They created an impressive third-wicket partnership by skipper Pite van Biljon and Patrick Kruger, who made 86 in 58 balls. The partnership gave the Knights a final total of 176 for five. This was a tricky target for the Dolphins, who had 164 as their highest total in a successful run chase.

The Dolphins tried their best to add more to that number, but they could not go past 169 for six, which was lower than the target that the Knights had set for them. Sarel Erwee and Khaya Zondo made a third-wicket partnership of 51 in 39 balls. This was after the Dolphins had built a reply around a canny 43 in 28 balls.

As the match approached the final third of the innings, the Dolphins had a more challenging task trying to level up on the run-rate required. They managed to get as far as past the halfway mark. For the fifth wicket, Jason Smith and Bryce Parsons made a 50 partnership. However, they needed an extra 44 balls to reach their goal, but they did not get them.

With no way forward, Jason Smith decided to give the Knights a hard time in the death overs. He managed to slam a six and a four in a 23 ball 36. This move did not stop the Knights from forging forward. One of their excellent bowlers, Alfie Mothoa, defended 21 in the final over. In the end, Jason Smith could only knock off 14 runs. The Knights have a group of exceptional wicket-takers who contributed majorly to the team’s victory. Mathos took 2-27, Nealan van Heerden 1-24, and Miguel Pretorius took 3-30.

Kruger was given a Life-Line

In the beginning, the Dolphins’ skipper had decided to bowl first, which at the time seemed to be paying off.  Rilee Rossouw pulled a long-hop from Ntini to the exact position where Baartman had taken the catch.  On the other hand, Kruger, who had struggled initially and was dropped on five by Keegan, stopped the Dolphins’ partnership.

Van Biljon made an impressive 42 in 25 balls which changed the tempo of the match. He later partnered with Kruger to stop Ntini’s poor bowling, who had given away 34 off his first two overs and 46 in three. After Jason Smith had bowled Van Biljon, Kruger then anchored his half-century in 47 balls.

Reference Links:

  1. https://supersport.com/cricket/csa-t20-knockout-202122/news/211022_Joyful_Knights_win_first_trophy_in_10_years#:~:text=The%20ITEC%20Knights%20won%20their,Oval%20in%20Kimberley%20on%20Friday.
  2. https://www.cricbuzz.com/cricket-commentary/38778/dol-vs-kng-final-csa-provincial-t20-cup-2021
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