KNYSNA CRICKET NEWS - Knysna Cavaliers' first team stumbled to a two-wicket loss against Nelson Mandela University George in their season opener on Sunday 13 October, with their batting costing them once again.
The top tier of SWD Cricket's hierarchy (Premier League) had already got under way the week before with 2018/2019 champions Madibaz kicking their season off with a win against Ramblers on 5 October, thanks to an unbeaten 84 from opener Levin Muller.
Madibaz would play on Saturday 12 October as well, managing to muster up a 15-run win against George, with Muller impressing again with a knock of 82.
Cavaliers would have to wait until Sunday, however, before they could begin their campaign, coming up against Madibaz at Loerie Park with the hope that they could upset the defending champions. Madibaz would win the toss and send the home side in to bat first, with openers Francois Bonthuys and Maurice White getting off to a decent start before Bonthuys fell for 22, beginning yet another top-order Cavaliers collapse similar to the one they suffered in the T20 competition in September.
Cavaliers would find themselves in some trouble at 64-5, but Trevano Thorne and AB van der Walt would steady the ship somewhat before Thorne fell for 10 with Cavaliers at 104-6. Van der Walt would continue to battle on, playing a brilliant innings while his fellow batsmen fell around him. He would reach 97 before perishing to Dustin Adolph, who was the pick of Madibaz' bowlers with three wickets for 46 runs in 9.5 overs.
Van der Walt's gritty innings steered the home side to a defendable 188, and the bowling got off to the best possible start thanks to captain JP Ellis who dismissed in-form Muller having trapped him LBW only two balls into the innings. While wickets continued to fall for the away team, Madibaz' run chase comprised one or two more solid partnerships than what Cavaliers were able to put together, with this proving to be the difference.
Even though some catches would go abegging, Cavaliers' bowlers didn't make it easy with an impressive showing with ball in hand. Batting hero Van der Walt would step up with the ball too, claiming two wickets, while captain Ellis was the pick of the Cavaliers bowlers with three wickets.
Madibaz would end up reaching their target with only four overs remaining, earning themselves a gritty two-wicket victory to continue their perfect start to the season. Cavaliers will be hoping to bounce back in their next fixture, however, with a clash against Plettenberg Bay Pioneers lying in wait on 2 November.
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