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Fear Not are the champs

In grand style Fear Not put on a fantastic all-round effort to beat Never Give Up in the Champ of Champs final of the Ngumbela Tournament at Ngumbela Park in Healdtown yesterday afternoon.

Star bowler Luxolo Maqina claimed the final wicket in the 39th over to send the vocal home supporters wild. It sealed a dominant 98-run win for the Healdtown-based team that sees them now hold bragging rights over Alice until next year’s tournament.

“I am absolutely ecstatic for the guys,” said a beaming Fear Not coach Thando Mahlanyana.

“We knew it was going to be a tough match and we had to be on our best. In the end we produced our best performance of the tournament.”

Having batted first and scored an impressive 240/8 on a slow pitch, Fear Not were well on top heading into the second innings.

“I knew on this wicket that a score between 200 and 220 would be hard to chase, so I was happy and very confident when we surpassed that,” claimed Mahlanyana.

Never Give Up could just not put enough partnerships together, losing regular wickets and they were eventually bowled all out for 142.

Opening batsman Lwando Makhongolo and number three Bayelwa Siko were the top scorers with 41 and 47 runs respectively but with no further help from the rest of the batting order, they fell well short.

Maqina with 4/24 in 6.3 overs and Loyiso Mngxekeza with 3/36 in 10 overs were the destroyers in chief on the bowling front.

“I told the guys that even if we didn’t take wickets at first we just had to restrict them, put them under pressure and then the wickets would come and that is what happened in the end,” said Mahlanyana.

In the morning Never Give Up won the toss and elected to bowl.

It seemed to be a good call as regular wickets had Fear Not in a bit of trouble near the mid-way point. However some counter attacking cricket from the middle and lower order meant they were able to set a solid target which in the end proved too much.

Andile Gladile and Mngxekeza got Fear Not off to a decent start before opening bowler Lonwabo Rodolo got the breakthrough in the ninth over when Gladile (15) was caught by Camagu Sandlana in the outfield.

Mngxekeza (22) then fell with the score on 49, caught by Makhongolo off the bowling of Abongile Mbi in the 11th over.

In the next over Pumzile Tsolokile and new batsman Xolani Ngumbela took them past 50 and just when they thought they had consolidated, Ngumbela (5) was bowled by Mbi and Tsolekile (10) followed two balls later and they slipped to 68/4.

Zanoxolo Kwatsha and Soso Nyenyeku then looked to consolidate. However in the 22nd over Nyenyeku (17) fell and Fear Not were in a spot of bother at 98/5.

This however saw the start of the counter attack as Kwatsha found willing partners in Carlos Koyana (22) and Siyabulela Ncapai and they shared in partnerships of 45 and 47 respectively.

Kwatsha brought up his half century along the way and just as he was looking to kick on he was caught for 56, with Fear Not on 190/7 in the 41st over.

Phikomzi Noveve (38no) then joined Ncapai (30) at the crease and he proved to be the spark they needed as he went on the attack in the final few overs, including hitting Sandlana for two sixes and a four in the 46th over, to take Fear Not to 240/8 at the end of 50 overs.


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