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#Assupol TuksCricket wins 2017 USSA Cricket Tournament
9 October 2017

The age-old concept of one for all and all for one led to Assupol-Tuks Cricket winning the USSA title on Friday by beating the Madibaz by five runs in the final at the Tuks Oval.

With this victory, UP-Tuks capped a brilliant year winning their ninth USSA title. The university's sports teams were also victorious in USSA's chess, swimming, judo, cross country, women's hockey, volleyball, golf and rowing tournaments. 

Assupol-Tuks batted first and managed to score 256/7 in their allotted 50 overs. The 18-year old Mitchell van Buuren played a captain's innings scoring 76 runs from 93 balls. 

Towards the end of the innings, Thomas Karber scored a valuable 59 runs from 46 balls. Donovan Ferreira's unbeaten 18 runs from eight balls were also quite useful. 

Assupol-Tuks bowlers and fielders impressed with the way they made it really difficult for the Madibaz batsmen to get going. Going into the last ten overs, they had to score at nearly eight runs an over which was always going to be a tall order. 

All credit to Lloyd Brown whose patient 108 runs (136 balls) enabled his teammates to go for the big slog in the last few overs nearly succeeding in pulling off a fantastic victory. 

Craig Kirsten (Assupol-Tuks) received the man of the match award for taking 4/77 in ten overs. 

A modest Kirsten is the first to admit that it was not his best bowling performance but he got the job done taking wickets at crucial times. 

"Me winning the man of the match award is due to a brilliant team effort."

Van Buuren, who was still at school last year, shares the same sentiment ascribing their success to being a brotherhood on and off the field. 

UP-Tuks did not have the best of starts to the tournament losing against UCT in their first game. 

In hindsight, Van Buuren sees it as a blessing in disguise.

"After that lost, we all knew what had to be done. That was to win the rest of our games. It was none negotiable."

UP-Tuks went on to beat UJ and Northwest Pukke to qualify at the top of their log which was fortunate as both semi-final games got rained out which meant the two top teams in both pools went through to the final. 

It was special for Karber to be part of a team winning the USSA Tournament as it was his last opportunity to do so. He is turning 25 which means he is not eligible to play for UP-Tuks in student tournaments from next year.

He described his knock of 59 runs as payback.

"I owed it to the team to score runs as I did not contribute much in our first few games."

According to him, they were never worried that they could lose in spite of the Madibaz aggressive batting in the last few overs. 

"The challenge was just to ensure that they had to get more than ten runs in the last over as we were confident of defending that."

 

- Author Wilhelm de Swardt
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Last edited by Mmane BoikanyoEdit
Photo Reg Caldecott