Ottoman Cricket Club secured a seven-wicket victory against Hottentots Holland Cricket Club in the Western Province Cricket Association First Division A.
The pitch at their home ground, the Hassan Howa Pavilion, had been undergoing a revamp, so Saturday marked their first home game since transitioning from the Premier League to the First Division 1A.
Under the leadership of captain Mujaahid Toffar, Ottoman won the toss and chose to bowl first, limiting the visitors to 106 runs in 32.3 overs.
“We started really well. We, obviously, came back down to the 1A and we are looking to go back up to the Premier League. We could not have asked for a better start. From 11 league games we’ve only lost two games. We are sitting quite nicely close to the top of the table. It is a very important second half of the season. It is an important year for us,” he said.
Bowlers Imraan Philander, Zubair Safodien, and Mujahid Isaacs had a field day with the ball, tormenting their opponents’ batting lin-eup from top to bottom. Together, they each claimed two wickets, totalling 48 runs in 19.3 overs.
“I think it was a good way to start the year for us. It is our first game on our home field. The way we went about it we did very well. We bowled well. We restricted them to 107 and I think that set the tone. It is quite a tough wicket to play on. It is a fresh wicket. It is our first game here. We just have to graft a bit, I think we played well,” he said.
Hottentot’s all-rounder, Abdul-Aziz Temoor, hit six boundaries, which included five sixes, to score 51 runs off 57 balls. He was, however, bowled out by Toffar.
The victory brings the Athlone-based side’s record to nine wins and two losses, driving them into the fourth spot with 41 points. They are currently nine points behind log leaders, Brackenfell Cricket Club, who maintain an unbeaten record in 10 games.
“One thing that stood out for us is that fight. We have been in a few positions where it looked like we were buried but we still came out on top. That fighting spirit throughout the first half is one thing we can take away, if we can continue that, we will get that promotion,” said Toffar.