Jerome Xaba claimed an impeccable five for 25 as the VKB Knights climbed to the top of the table on the third day of the Cricket South Africa (CSA) Franchise Academy 1-Day Week in George on Wednesday. The Central Franchise overcame the Warriors by six wickets in their latest outing, while there were also wins for the Imperial Lions and Multiply Titans in the Western Cape. Xaba, whose figures were the best of the week thus far, was one of the stand-out performers on the day as his 10 overs played a key role in their victory. Bowling first after winning the toss at Glenwood House School A, the Knights shot out their opponents for a below-par 150 in 41.5 overs. Alindile Mhletywa did his best for the Warriors, but his unbeaten 51 (88 balls, 6 fours) lacked support – Morne Venter (33) the only other batsman that managed to get into the 30s. Pheko Moletsane (2/36) and Tshediso Keshwa (2/18) were the other two bowlers amongst the wickets.
Moletsane then struck an unbeaten 28, and together with support from Nathan Roux (40) and CP Klinjhans (34), took the Knights to their target with just over nine overs to spare. The result put them top of the table with nine points, the same as the Titans and Lions but with a superior net run-rate.
The two Gauteng academies were also winners on day three, although the Johannesburg-based team had to dig deep to scrape past the Hollywoodbets Dolphins, who in the process suffered a third consecutive loss. The KwaZulu-Natal side were asked to bat first after losing the toss at NMU George, but managed only 148 all out in 41.2 overs. Tetelo Maphaka (3/14) and Nabeel Ahmed (3/36) claimed three wickets apiece, before 51 (86 balls, 5 fours, 2 sixes) by Callum Broodryk laid the platform for the Lions to squeeze over the line for a two-wicket bonus-point triumph.
Finally, the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras suffered their first loss of the week when they suffered a 70-run hammering by the Titans.
Dian Forrester recorded the highest individual score of the week when he posted an unbeaten 96 (150 balls, 9 fours) out of his team’s 227 for six.
Musa Twala chipped in with 43 at Pacaltsdorp Sports Ground A.
Forrester then turned up the heat with the ball by returning figures of two for 12 – supporting pick of the bowlers Devon Botha (4/25) excellently – as the Cobras fell for 157. Travis Ackermann top-scored for the losing side with 56 (92 balls, 5 fours) and was last man out. Day four of the CSA Franchise Academy 1-Day Week continues on Friday. To follow the action live from George, go to www.websports.co.za.