First XI vs Rylands at Gatesville, 12 Nov 2022

With Cape Town travelling to Gatesville to do with battle with Rylands, the former’s recent win-one-lose-one pattern maintained since the last weekend of October was never in any danger of changing.  Having won their last match easily, Cape Town’s defeat now was perhaps no great surprise: since the two sides met for the first time in their respective histories just the season before, Cape Town have now lost all three encounters, and all by fairly large margins – although none quite as badly as this time around: the visitors were ultimately comprehensively thumped by a ten-wicket margin in a wholly one-sided contest that ended before the scheduled lunch break between innings.

Despite being asked to bat first on this occasion, matters started promisingly for the visitors when William Hantam swung just the second ball of the match over square leg for six.  However, the bowler – home team captain Riaaz Teladia – exacted his revenge by the end of the over.  Worse, with the left-arm seamer’s new-ball partner Abdullah Bayoumy simultaneously finding the edge regularly in an immaculate spell of 7-3-10-3 from the other end, Cape Town were consequently left floundering at 24-5 before the end of the first hour’s play.  Matters would not improve from there either, as seamer Munowar Samsodien, who had been primarily responsible for Cape Town’s demise the last time that they played at the AW Mukuddem Oval with figures of 10-6-7-3, then nipped out two further scalps of his own.  The net result was that, by barely a half-hour after the first drinks break, the game had already been decided at 47-8.

As had also happened on that last visit, it was thus left solely to the visiting skipper Geoff Dods to try and fashion at least something to defend – he again being the only batter able to make anything of the conditions.  Launching a spirited but all too brief counter-attack against Teladia’s second spell, Dods was missed on 16* from a swirling mishit hoisted deep over backward point in the process of taking 14 off Teladia’s first two overs.  But sadly that was about the extent of Cape Town’s forward progress on the day, as Teladia again had the last laugh – before claiming the final wicket as well with his next delivery to finish with a four-for.

With the visitors’ innings having lasted barely two hours, Rylands started their reply just over an hour before the scheduled lunch break between innings.  With a total of just 80 to defend, an unaffordable seven wides conceded in the first three overs merely underlined the already glaringly obvious fact that this was not Cape Town’s day.  Six fours in the space of four overs from aggressive left-handed opener Jack Newby further emphasised the gulf between the sides, as the home side’s opening pair swept passed 50 inside eight overs.  Newby’s partner Taariq Chiecktey, already with four catches behind the stumps to his credit, was never far behind either, puncturing the field with five fours of his own.  And finally, in a fittingly emphatic demonstration of their superiority, Newby finished matters off with a six and a four off consecutive balls to end on an unbeaten 44 from just 36 balls faced.

It was a sobering experience for Cape Town, who with two handsome wins at home prior to this match had been sitting pretty in third place on the Premier League points table.  However, the catastrophic hit that their net run rate took in this encounter sent them tumbling straight down to seventh at a stroke, with just the slight consolation that it was still early early days in the competition to hold onto.

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