3TC Solidarity Cup: AB de Villiers' Eagles clinch gold
Takealot Eagles clinched gold in the inaugural 3TC Solidarity Cup, that marked the resumption of professional cricket in South Africa. In an exclusive format, as many as three teams participated in a 36-over match, split over two halves of 18 overs each. Meanwhile, Mr D Food Kites and OUTsurance Kingfishers settled for silver and bronze respectively. Here are the key takeaways.
A look at the match preview
Earlier, Kites skipper Quinton de Kock pulled out of the Solidarity Cup match, citing personal reasons. Meanwhile, Kagiso Rabada and Sisanda Magala missed the match due to the deaths of immediate family members. All-rounder Chris Morris was also unavailable for the match. As expected, all players and match officials took a knee ahead of the match to support 'Black Lives Matter' movement.
Eagles were on top in the first half
Kingfishers won the toss and elected to bat against Kites, while AB de Villiers' Eagles started in the dugout. The Reeza Hendricks-led Kingfishers tallied 56/2 at the end of six overs. In the next six overs, Eagles put up 66/1 with vital contribution from Aiden Markram (47*). Meanwhile, Kites' 6-over innings ended on 58/1. Jon-Jon Smuts racked up an unbeaten 36 for them.
Here is how the second half panned out
The second half started with Eagles batting against against Kites. Markram (70) and De Villiers (61) propelled Eagles to 160/4 after the assigned 12 overs. Kites were restricted on 138/3 (12 ovs) even after a half-century from Dwaine Pretorius. Besides, Kingfishers settled for the lowest score in the match, piling up 113/5 at the end of 12 overs.
Artificial noise and new fielding restrictions introduced
The 3TC event introduced new fielding restrictions in order to help players maintain social distancing. The restrictions required each of the six fielders to remain within the demarcated fielding position until the ball gets bowled. Notably, each side comprised a maximum of three fielders. Furthermore, artificial crowd noise was installed for keeping up the tempo throughout the match.
Markram, De Villiers lead the runs tally
Aiden Markram emerged as the highest run-scorer of the match, having struck 70 off 33 deliveries. His compatriot AB de Villiers follows him with a 24-ball 66. Kites' Dwayne Pretorius (50*) and Jon-Jon Smuts (48) were also among runs in the match. The duo holds the following two spots on the tally. Kingfishers batsman Janneman Malan (31) is on number five.