Malans shine on opening day of Club Champs

A 163-run third-wicket partnership between Pieter Malan and Andre Malan helped Durbanville Cricket Club make a strong start to the Momentum National Club Championships with a victory on the opening day in Pretoria on Saturday.

The World Sports Betting Cape Cobras representatives overcame Impala Cricket Club by eight wickets at Irene Country Club – in a match reduced to 34 overs per side – while there was also an easy six-wicket triumph for Assupol Tukscricket over Kovsies Cricket Club at the Tuks Oval.

The third match on the opening day between Clares Cricket Club and Madibaz Cricket Club at the Mandela Oval had to be abandoned without a ball being bowled.

The most impressive performers on the opening day were the Malan brothers, who both hit unbeaten half-centuries. Pieter continued his impressive season overall by top-scoring with 87 (83 balls, 7 fours, 1 six), while Andre struck 61 (87 balls, 7 fours) to help their side chase down 178 with 18.4 overs to spare.

Impala, representing the Warriors, lost the toss and were asked to bat first, and posted 177 for eight thanks mainly to a blistering unbeaten 66 off 48 balls (6 fours, 1 six) from Pieter van Niekerk.

Kudakwashe Samunderu (2/33) and Leon le Roux (2/39) picked up two wickets apiece.

Durbanville were reduced to 17 for two when the Malans walked in and they took their side to the target with 2.4 overs to spare.

Tuks meanwhile, won by a lesser margin on paper, but they took with them a bonus point after 4/34 by Jordan Morris helped bundle out Kovsies for 178.

Beyers Swanepoel (53 off 54 balls, 5 fours, 1 six) was the top scorer for the Free State team, who lost the toss and were asked to bat.

Christopher Britz (72 not out off 104 balls, 6 fours, 1 six) and Jandre Pretorius (62 off 77 balls, 7 fours, 1 six) then hit half-centuries to take the local side to victory with 10.4 overs remaining.

Day two of the competition continues on Sunday.

The April 13-17 competition, which is put together by Cricket South Africa (CSA), encompasses the six outright winners of the Franchise regional play-offs, all playing against each other in a 50-over format.

To follow the National Club Championships from Pretoria, visit www.websports.co.za.

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