EASTERN Province made a promising start to their CSA Provincial cricket campaign when they easily defeated North West in their one-day encounter in Potchefstroom yesterday.
Needing 220 to win, EP wobbled slightly at 47/3, but Eddie Moore (87 not out off 126 balls) and James Price (77 off 97 balls) added 169 for the fourth wicket to set up a six-wicket win with six overs remaining.
On Saturday, EP may have been thwarted in the three-day fixture by some determined North West batting, but they can be satisfied with their efforts in a match they dominated almost throughout.
Starting the final day on Saturday 182 runs in arrears and with nine wickets standing, North West showed commendable resilience to finish the day on 263/8.
Twice they were staring defeat in the face – at 25/3 and 146/7 – but each time they found the batsmen to stave off the EP attack.
First Wikus Botha (41) and Kyllin Vardhan (60) added 107 for the fourth wicket and then Brett Pelser (65no) and Dale Deeb (52) posted a match-saving 109 for the eighth wicket, allowing them to escape with a draw.
There will be disappointment in the EP ranks at not capitalising on their opportunities, but their overall performance was encouraging and gives them something to build on for the season ahead.
Anrich Nortje starred with the ball for EP, taking 4/54 in the second innings for an eight-wicket match haul.