Rain forces Pineapple split

Nobody will complain about how the 115th edition of the annual Kenrich Pineapple Cricket Tournament came to a close, with rain on the final two days of the tournament to bring much needed relief to the drought-ridden area. Both the A and B sections of the tournament had joint winners decided by the net run rate system, with only the C section having an out-and-out winner at the end of the week.

Rhodes Shrews were promoted to the B section after winning all of the games that they were able to play throughout the week. They started the week off with a great 69-run victory over Manley Flats second team on Sunday 3 March, which can be seen as their best of the week. Daniel Berndt (97 runs) and Jason Wehmeyer (four wickets for 21 runs) shone with bat and ball respectively to give the Shrews their opening victory.

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Allister du Blocq playing a textbook sweep for the Shrews against Manley Flats. Photo: Stephen Kisbey-Green

Kenton and Salem Seconds would share the B Section, after both sides looked strong heading into the final two days. Arguably Salem Seconds’ best match came when they defeated Station Hill on Monday 4 March, taking a convincing 96-run victory. Salem set a strong total of 240 runs, with Ross Pittaway (48) narrowly missing his fifty. It would turn out to be a good day for Pittaway, however, as he managed to destroy the Station Hill batting lineup in taking 8/60, and limiting them to just 144 runs.

Kenton, despite losing to Port Alfred on the Sunday, bounced back to break Tiger Titans by seven wickets in their clash on the Tuesday. The Titans took to the crease first, scoring 248 runs, with Zokes Simanga cracking 64 runs for his side. However, with the help of Dusty Mitchell (64) and Christoff Groenewald (61), the Kenton side managed to chase down the total, only losing three wickets along the way.

In the A section, Salem would share with Southwell after both teams had experienced strong tournaments up to the last two days. Salem easily dispatched Manley Flats Firsts in their second match on the Sunday, which was their most convincing day out of the week. Chris van der Meulen (108) scored a century for Salem as they opened the batting, and with the help of Leard King’s 70, Salem set an immense target of 320 runs. Manley could only manage 192 runs in reply, resulting in a 128-run Salem victory.

Southwell, on the other hand, had to wait until the Monday for their defining match which saw them go up against Rhodes First team. Southwell started with a relatively low target of 209 runs, with James Stirk’s 60 being the best performance with the bat. In response, Ryan Harley’s 55 runs for Rhodes was not enough to carry the team, as his support was not there, being bowled out for 134 runs.

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Sean McQuillan plays a cut shot during the Shrews versus Manley Flats Game at Bushman’s field. Photo: Stephen Kisbey-Green

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