The innovative 3Team Cricket (3TC) marked the return to live sport in South Africa after a four-month coronavirus-induced haitus in an inaugural Solidarity Cup at Supersports park in Centurion on Saturday.
The match, which was put together to raise funds for the Hardship Fund, a joint Cricket South Africa (CSA) project aimed at providing relief to those within the cricket industry affected by Covid-19, was won by AB de Villiers' team, Takealot Eagles.
AB de Villiers
played a remarkable innings of 61 runs off 24 balls, stitching a century stand with an equally attacking Aiden Markram (70 runs off 33 balls) to win the gold medal.
The Eagles amassed 160 runs for four wickets across the two halves of six overs each.
That put them 22 runs clear of the 138 for three posted by silver medallists Mr D Food Kites and 47 ahead of the OUTsurance Kingfishers (113/5), the team that ended up with a bronze.
Players take a knee to support BLM movement
Squads of the three teams:
Hendricks' OUTsurance Kingfishers: Reeza Hendricks (captain), Heinrich Klaasen, Janneman Malan, Faf du Plessis, Thando Ntini, Gerald Coetzee, Glenton Stuurman, Tabraiz Shamsi. Coach: Mignon du Preez.
Bavuma's Mr D Food Kites: Temba Bavuma (captain), Jon-Jon Smuts, David Miller, Dwaine Pretorius, Lutho Sipamla, Beuran Hendricks, Anrich Nortje, Ryan Rickelton. Coach: Wandile Gwavu.
ABD's Takealot Eagles: AB de Villiers
(captain), Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne, Andile Phehlukwayo, Bjorn Fortuin, Junior Dala, Lungi Ngidi. Coach: Geoffrey Toyana.
When Markram and de Villiers made the difference in first 3TC match
Batting first in the opening half after winning the toss, or selecting ball one in a draw, the Kingfishers reached 56 for two at the halfway point.
And, with the Eagles (66/1) and Kites (58/1) all reaching similar scores after six overs, it meant that just 10 runs separated the teams at halfway.
Critically it was de Villiers and Markram who were still not out for their sides at the changeover, and the skipper got things going by lashing 20 off the first over back that got them going.
Markram hit 50 off 27 balls, followed by De Villiers’ half-century in only 21 deliveries as they finished in a powerful position.
The Kites were in next and still had Jon-Jon Smuts in, but he fell for 48 and with it the hopes of his team as the scoreboard pressure took its toll.
Dwaine Pretorius, the man with the quickest half-century of the day, 50 off only 17 balls, did momentarily give them hope, but his effort proved a mere consolation.
As for the Kingfishers, the fact that they lost both openers Janneman Malan (31) and Reeza Hendricks (21) towards the end of the first half left them with a mountain to climb. Faf du Plessis
was its last hope but he got dismissed at the score of 28.
The pick of the bowlers on the day was Andile Phehlukwayo of the Eagles with two for 24, but Glenton Stuurman (2/26) was hugely impressive alongside the likes of Bjorn Fortuin (1/20) and Anrich Nortje (2/27).
What is 3TC match?
A 3TC match is contested between three teams of eight players each and is played over 36 overs in two halves of 18 overs with a break at halftime. In the second half, teams bat in order of the highest scores in the first half. If scores are tied, the first half order is reversed.
Rules of 3TC match:
The game will be played between three teams consisting of eight players each. The game will be of 36 overs, which is divided into two equal halves of 18 overs each.
In an innings, each team will get a total of 12 overs, divided between two six-over periods in each half.
The toss is replaced by a draw, which would determine which team will bat, bowl or sit in the dug-out in the first half. In the second half, the team that finished with the most number of runs in the first half will bat first. In the case of a tie, the order of the first half will be reversed.
Each bowling team will bowl with a new ball for 12 overs against both opponents. A bowler can bowl a maximum of three overs in the game.
After the fall of the 7th wicket, the last man will be allowed to bat till the overs are completed or till the time he is dismissed. However, the last-standing batsman can score only in boundaries or in an even number of runs.
If a team loses all eight wickets in the first half, the remaining overs will be forfeited in the second half and the last batsman will be asked to resume the innings in the second half.
The team with the most number of runs across the two halves will be the winner. The winner will be awarded by a gold medal while the teams finishing second and third will be conferred with silver and bronze medals respectively.
In case of a tie for the gold, Super-Overs will be used to decide the fate. In case of a tie for the silver, both teams will share the award.
A match can only be shortened by weather to 18, 24 or 30 overs in terms of a formula laid down by 3TC