19 Jul

The innovative 3Team Cricket marked the return to live sport in South Africa for the first time since March as the inaugural Solidarity Cup, sponsored by Rain, served up an entertaining new format in Centurion on Saturday.

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, the teams bat in order of the highest scores in the first half. If scores are tied, the first half order is reversed.

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 the Takealot Eagles.

The AB de Villiers-led Eagles profited from another  by their captain, whose swashbuckling century stand with the equally attacking Aiden Markram went a long way towards cementing the gold medal.

It was an anxious return to play for everyone involved after more than 100 days of no sport and a lockdown enforced due to the coronavirus pandemic.

That also meant that the stands, usually packed to watched South Africa’s cricketers at the famous Tshwane venue, were empty.

But that mattered little as the players – all sporting black armbands and then taking a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement – delivered an excellent exhibition.

The Solidarity Cup was broadcast live on SuperSport 2.

John Stephenson


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