Despite losing their last match of the season by two wickets against Northerns Goodwood last week, Strandfontein Cricket Club were crowned Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA) First Division B, two day league champions.
Playing at home on day one, Goodwood batted first and posted a first innings total of 245/9 in their 50 overs.
The visitors then took to the crease for their first innings, making 237 in 58 overs at the end of day one.
They went on to record a second innings total of 201 all out. The home side, in reply, scored 212 for the loss of eight wickets to win the match by two wickets.
Prior to the match against Goodwood, Strandfontein had been in fine form – with the perfect record – in the league this season.
They proved to be unbeatable as they conquered every side that came their way, and the statistics confirm they have been the best in the division this season.
They have won all eight of their league matches, to sit comfortably on top of the table, and gained promotion to WPCA First Division A in the process.
Strandfontein’s league form ahead of that match meant it was always going to take an extra effort from the Goodwood side to come up with maximum points in that match.
However, Goodwood, in their own right, have been playing impressive cricket. And, that is why they were, ahead of that match, second on the log, having collected 180.425 points after winning five and losing three of their eight league matches.
And, this is the same Goodwood side that beat Strandfontein in the semi-finals of this season’s T20 competition.
But, having said that, Strandfontein was on a mission to finish the season on a winning note and, at the same time, maintain their 100% record.
They were convincing and uncompromising in their first four matches of the new year, beating Somerset West by seven wickets, Yorkshire by 82 runs, Helderberg by 67 runs and Bishop Lavis by 113 runs, in their most recent match before the Goodwood encounter.
Strandfontein were particularly ruthless against Lavis. Playing away, the Strandfontein side won the toss and elected to bat first.
Their batsmen proved to be on point, scoring 275/8 in their 60 overs.
In reply, the home side’s bowlers struggled to find their rhythm against the rampant and disciplined Strandfontein bowling attack.
They were so consistent in finding the right areas that the batsmen couldn’t get any partnerships together.
In the end, Bishop Lavis were only able to record a first innings total of 95 all out. With that, Strandfontein forced them to follow on and, once again, the batsmen failed dismally under pressure from the visitors’ bowlers.
This time they recorded only 67 all out and the visitors went home with a 113 runs victory.
Strandfontein was formidable in all formats of the game this season, as they did well in the limited overs too, going all the way to the semi-finals of the T20 and One Day formats before losing to Goodwood and Atlantis respectively.
Speaking ahead of day two, coach Kevin Heuvel made it clear that – having won the limited formats in recent seasons – league was their biggest priority this season.
“The guys proved to be mature and played as a team this season.
“We had each other’s backs throughout the campaign and that was great to see,” he said.