Free State seal final semi-final spot with bonus point win on Day 3

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Wolvaardt records unbeaten ton to help WP to opening day victory

Laura Wolvaardt in action. ©ICC

On a crucial day for most of the participating teams, Free State’s Izabella Cilliers and Gezelle Janse van Rensburg starred to help their side secure a place in the semi-final on Day Three of the Cricket South Africa (CSA) Women’s National Week in Bloemfontein on Wednesday.

The home side joins Northerns in the top four, alongside the only unbeaten sides so far, North West and Western Province (WP).

Free State overcame Boland by 73 runs in their intense encounter after Cilliers struck a opportune 64 off 116 balls (4 fours), well-supported by Christen-Lee van Wyk (30), to help the hosts to a competitive 186/8 after their 50 overs. Veronique Smith took figures of 3/35 to lead her side’s efforts with the ball.

In reply, the Cape side’s innings was curtailed by a superb bowling display from Janse van Rensburg. The right-arm medium pacer picked up a five-wicket haul as Boland’s batters struggled to build partnerships before eventually being reduced to 113 all out in the 36th over.

Janse van Rensburg ended with figures of 5/31 while Michelle Botha (2/12) and Envrick Cornellisen (2/15) provided good back up with two scalps each.

In the high-scoring clash of the day, North West clinched top spot in Pool A following a three-wicket victory over second-placed Northerns. A superb, unbeaten century from Proteas all-rounder Suné Luus (129* off 127 balls; 14 fours, 1 six) took the Pretoria outfit to 239/9 in their 50 overs. Ricea Coetzer also contributed with the bat, adding 70 from 114 deliveries (8 fours), while North West’s Tazmin Brits took 3/17.

The Potchefstroom based side had their opening pair to thank again after they laid a solid foundation with a 159-run stand to get their chase off to the perfect start. Brits followed up her century on Day Two with a 59-ball 56 (6 fours), while Lee went one better and raised her bat for a thrilling 124 off 103 balls, including 14 fours and five sixes. The Proteas opener’s knock guided her side to an indisputable win with over nine overs to spare.

Western Province’s Laura Wolvaardt continued her impressive tournament with a second century in three innings. The opening batter smashed ten fours and a six on the way to her 121 off 124 balls. Wolvaardt and Proteas teammate, Andrie Steyn (50) once again combined for a crucial 124-run partnership to propel WP to 259/4 in 50 overs against Border.

Despite Moseline Daniels (43*) and Angelique Taai’s (37) best efforts, a Leah Jones-led Province attack ripped through Border’s batting line-up to remove them for 178 in 48.1 overs.

In the last match, Gauteng completed a ten-wicket trouncing over KwaZulu-Natal Coastal (KZN). Shabnim Ismail (3/13), Raisibe Ntozakhe (3/8) and Yolani Fouri (3/10) took nine wickets between them, skittling out KZN for just 56 in 21.2 overs before Jenna Searle (33*) and Palesa Mapoo (17*) eased their team to a convincing win.