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Sport - Date: 19 November 2004
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The captain Andrew Galloway won the toss and elected to bat first. The Pumas attacked fiercely and the Impalas battled to get their first 50 in 19.3 overs with three wickets down. A solid partnership of 49 runs for the fourth wicket gave the Impalas a boost, but it was only when left-hander Pieter Haasbroek came in that he produced the necessary spark to light the flame. At the end of day one, Impalas had 269/9 after a solid 97 (not out) from Haasbroek. His innings included 12 fours and one six. The only other significant contribution came from Andrew Galloway with 43 from 88 balls.
Mpumalanga started their first innings with a solid first-wicket partnership of 44 before Roland van Rooyen could strike. It became clear that neither the Impalas nor the Pumas were going to let go and Roland took it upon himself to ensure that they did not pass the score of 269. The Pumas were bowled out for 223 in 78.2 overs, which gave the Impalas additional bonus points to take the lead. Roland’s bowling figures were 7 wickets for the loss of 66 runs in 27.2 over. This included 9 maiden overs. Craig Rosendorf and Pieter Haasbroek each took one wicket to secure the first over lead.
The second innings of the Impalas started off almost the same as the first innings and this time around the captain, Andrew Galloway, had to put in some effort to produce the runs. Andrew made 87 runs from 166 balls which included 13 fours and two sixes. Gerhard Els contributed 34 not out from 54 balls.
The Impalas attacked fiercely with the ball in the second innings and, although the first-wicket partnership of the Pumas was 70, Roland came into the attack and took three brilliant wickets. When the umpires called for bad light Mpumalanga were 121/4 and the Impalas were positive to beat their opponents, as there were still 50 odd overs left to complete the day. However, fate was the eventual winner as the day’s play was called off because of bad light. The match ended in a draw with Limpopo receiving 8.38 bonus points and Mpumalanga only 7.46 bonus points. The weary coach, Johan Rudolph, complimented his team for their fighting spirit.
On Sunday, the two teams met again for the 45 limited over match. Again Andrew Galloway won the toss and this time elected to bowl first. It seemed from the start that the Impalas wanted to finish the game early when Roland van Rooyen took two wickets in the first over for only one run. After 18 overs the Pumas were in trouble with 59/5. Then suddenly the Impalas lost control of the match and with the help of the opening batsman from Mpumalanga – P van den Bergh who knocked 73 runs from 181 balls - the Pumas took control and were on 208/8 at the end of 45 overs.
The Impalas started off well and at some stage it looked like they were going to finish off their opponents easily. However, they only managed to score 194/9 in their allotted overs, securing a solid win for the Pumas. Roland took 4 wickets for 28 runs in 9 overs with two maiden overs. Gerhard Els (39 from 42 balls, 3 fours and 2 sixes) and Craig Rosendorf (36 from 99 balls) were the only batsmen who could withstand the attack of the Pumas.
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