Struggling Saints aim to bounce back

John Bowers sends down another delivery.

St Augustine’s Cricket Club spin bowler John Bowers, 20, was in good form against Kuils River CC, taking 3/31 in 10 overs in a Western Province Cricket Association(WPCA) Grand Challenge one-day cup, at the Sarepta Sports Complex, on Saturday.

Despite Bowers’s performance, his side struggled to cross the finish line first and lost by 85 runs.

The difference between the two sides was a 68 run third wicket partnership between Kuils River’s top order batsman Randall Roberts and Irwin Brown.

The duo laid the foundation as the home side posted 200 runs after St Augustine’s had them 40/2 in the 10th over. Bowers was the destroyer in chief taking those two early wickets and one later in the innings, closely supported by Denovan Ekstraal taking 3/36 in 13 overs. The visitors young top order (average age of 20) could not not handle the pressure from Kuils River and were dismissed for 115 runs.

Bowers said his side had take advantage of the game situation when he picked up those two early wickets.

“We let the game slip after the 10th over and that was when Kuils River capitalized on our mistakes.

“If we can bowl well throughout the match and our batsmen come to the party, then we can pick up our first one-day victory of the season,” he said.

The all-rounder has not been used much thus far with the ball, but he hopes to get more opportunities when the season resumes, next month.

“I need to improve on my bowling and batting. It is never easy to juggle both as I am hoping to work on it during the christmas break,” he said.

Bowers’s fondest moment was when he scored his first 100 against Rondebosch in a WPCA division 1C, three years back.

Bowers started playing cricket eight years ago when his brother, Keenan, invited him to play for Strandfontein. He later joined Western Province CC and has been with St Augustine’s since the age of 17.

Saints kicked off their WPCA Grand Challenge one-day cup opener on a sour note, going down by eight wickets against Milnerton.

This was after they were dismissed for 118 with Milnerton chasing the total in 31.4 overs, last weekend.

Saints have not been doing well in the two-day format, losing three and playing to one draw. The draw came at the start of the season back in October, followed by a nine, eight wickets and 53 runs defeats against Rondebosch, Bellville and Ottomans respectively.

They also lie second from bottom on the log with Primrose CC in last place.

Coach Achmat Brown said things are tough at the moment for his young guns but they are staying positive and hope to turn around their season, next month.

“ We are hoping to pick up the intensity and play to our strengths when the second half of the season begins .We need to do the basics right and not be afraid to take on the bad ball. There are times where we play well but we don’t use our chances ,” he said.

In other action WPCA Grand Challenge one-day cup action, Avendale beat Green Point by seven wickets, Rondebosch beat Cape Town CC by six wickets, Bellville beat Edgemead by 18 runs and Milnerton won Ottomans by four wickets.