Centuries by Taariq Behardien and Raees Salie helped Ottoman Cricket Club win by 98 runs over Green Point Cricket Club in a Western Province Cricket Association Premier League match, at Diamant Street, in Athlone, on Saturday.
The home team won the toss and elected to bat first. With the conditions favouring the batting team, Ottoman scored 273/7 after 50 overs.
Coach and captain, Behardien scored one of the fastest hundreds this season with 118 runs from 116 balls, with a strike rate of 102. He had 14 boundaries and included 12 fours. Fellow opening batsman, Salie scored 112 runs off 145 balls with 11 boundaries.
Green Points bowlers found it difficult to break the partnership, however, when they eventually did get the two openers out, Ottoman’s wickets tumbled like dominoes.
Ahead of the game last week, Behardien said the young Ottoman lads were up for the task against the fifth-ranked Green Point. He said the match started at training already, as they would focus on an all-round holistic performance for the weekend.
The Ottoman side did exactly that: they batted, fielded and bowled well in front of the crowd at Hassan Howa Pavilion.
“Discipline in bowling, batting and fielding will prevail,” he said.
Their best bowler of the day was, arguably, Mohamed Sohail Imran, following his bowling figures of two wickets for 12 runs in five overs. Imran averaged at least 2.4 runs an over. First change bowler, Suhayl Abrahams also picked three wickets for 34 runs in five overs.
Behardien said they have enough time to win six of the remaining games in the Premier League to ensure they stay in the top flight.
“Each individual has to trust in their ability. When they succeed, the club succeeds. We have to put in all the contribution so that will lead to a win,” he said.
The following day, Ottoman hosted a stubborn UWC side in Athlone. UWC batted first and scored a whooping 304/9 runs in 50 overs.
A sixth-wicket partnership between Kai Curran (74 runs) and Brent Johnson (72 runs) set the pace for the students.
In defence, Ottoman had a secret weapon of their own on Sunday. Meeka-eel Prince crawled out of the batting hive with a score of 80 runs off 85 balls in third position. His score was assisted by a 48 runs score by Behardien.
Once the partnership was broken down by UWC’s wicket-keeper, Siya Simetu with the stumping off Behardien, Shabir Mallie dismissed Prince with a catch by Curran on the field. Ottoman were bowled out for 255 after 47 overs, with UWC winning by 49 runs.
Ottoman are on the same points with the side at the bottom, Kraaifontein Cricket Club (14 points). A fortnight ago, they narrowly lost to Kraaifontein. This weekend, they will hope to get maximum points when they host Rondebosch.