Horan helps Associates claim dramatic win
Dave Horan broke Tuff Dogs' hearts for the second successive season by dramatically hitting a boundary off the final ball to lift The Associates to victory in an Evening Cricket League knockout match.
Last season, with his team needing five to prevail, Horan struck a six to win the final at Somerset Cricket Club.
On Saturday at Shelly Bay, with three needed off the 96th and final ball of the innings, Horan flicked the same bowler — Terence Corday — off his legs for four to secure a six-wicket victory and a berth in this weekend's final against league champions Renegades, who crushed PHC by 89 runs in the other semi-final.
The Associates, runners-up in the league, needed 26 off the final two overs to overhaul Tuff Dogs' 121 for five — spearheaded by Azeem Khan's 26-ball 51, which included five sixes, and Kwame Tucker's 24-ball 39 not out — and the equation came down to 12 off the last over.
Horan rose to the occasion again, unfurling a six, two and four from four balls to finish 12 not out.
The Associates' reply had earlier been built around Matt Ball's 48 from 39 balls and Alex Brown's 38 off 36.
“Yes, Dave and The Associates got the better of me and the team once again. It was very deja-vu-like,” admitted Corday, the Tuff Dogs' captain, who finished with three for 32 despite nursing a rotator cuff injury.
Added Simon Jones, captain of The Associates: “It's always a tight game with the Tuff Dogs. They have a great team and it always seems to go down to the wire.
“I'm hugely proud of the efforts of all our players. To get over the line in the last ball was a moment that a lot of us old boys will remember for a long time.
“We've had a good season so far and will be looking forward to next weekend.”
Renegades, who go into Saturday's 2.30pm final odds-on favourites to complete the coveted double, having beaten The Associates by 19 runs in the league, proved far too strong for PHC.
Opener Riaan Engelbrecht's 60, coupled with 31 from Ian Esterhuysen and 29 from Matthew Spencer, laid the foundation for Renegades' 147 for four in their 16 overs. They then dismissed PHC, who began the match with ten men and finished with nine, for 58.
Dean Stevens, with 16, was the only PHC batsman to reach double figures as Christof Van Tonder and Mike Ford shared six of the wickets, claiming three for ten and three for 18 respectively.
Said Durnferd Davis, captain of Renegades: “We knew PHC had a great batting line-up with Cup Match-quality players [Kevin Hurdle and Ryan Steede among them], so we worked hard on our bowling and tight fielding and forced them to make mistakes by building pressure.”
High Flyaz will face De Wicketest in the plate final starting at 11am.