Proteas pip the Boks

The Proteas finally had their day against the Springboks after they won the third edition of the Nelson Mandela Legacy Cup by 16 runs at Newlands on Thursday.

The national cricket team had been beaten at their own game by the national rugby side in previous editions, but there was no repeat this time around, thanks to a mammoth target laid down by Faf du Plessis’ men.

After winning the toss and opting to bat first, they amassed 252/9 in their 20 overs with Hashim Amla leading the way with his blistering 94 off 43 balls.

Dwaine Pretorius made 47 off 14 as most of the Springbok bowlers toiled, while Farhaan Behardien (25) and Du Plessis (24) also chipped in with useful cameos.

There were a few stand-out performers with the ball, amongst them being former fly-half Butch James, who took 3-25. Another ex-Bok, fullback Conrad Jantjies, took 2/33, but former Proteas captain Graeme Smith conceded 16 from the only over he bowled.

Crowd favourite and winger Sergeal Petersen was the stand-out fielder for his team with two fine catches.

Needing to score at over 12 and-a-half runs to the over, the Boks lost key man and captain Patrick Lambie (8) early in the chase.

Faf de Klerk made a good impression with the bat, and along with Tiaan Liebenberg (25), put on 56 for the second wicket to spark the chase to life.

De Klerk eventually fell for 32, striking Imran Tahir, who was virtually unplayable for the Springboks, to Du Plessis at cover.

Leg-spinner Tahir claimed the prized wicket of Smith, playing as a player-coach for the Springboks, when he skied to Wayne Parnell for 13 as the chase faded.

But centre Damian De Allende’s sensational 60 gave his side hope. Along with 44 from James, they brought the equation down to just over 50 from the final three overs, but solid enough bowling at the death enabled the Proteas to secure the win – the Springboks closing on 236/9.

Tahir ended as the best of the bowlers with the magical figures of 2/3, while Du Plessis bagged 2/15