11 April 1891, Kimberley win the Currie Cup cricket in Johannesburg.
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It took only the one year before Kimberley (Griqualand West) regained the Currie Cup for cricket in 1891, the first and only time that the province would win in “open” competition.
The Kimberley team had not changed too much from the previous year, an important addition however being that of Charles Finlason, then resident in the diamond city. Finlason had played for Transvaal the previous year when they won the Cup. It was the Transvaal who were favourites to win in Johannesburg, but they would sorely miss their two stalwarts who had won them the Cup in 1890 – the England players C Aubrey Smith and Monty Bowden.
Transvaal won the toss and sent Kimberley in to bat, Kimberley totalling 255 runs in their first innings. AB Tancred top-scored with 89 runs, the next best being opener Johan Gyselman with 46 runs. The Transvaal right arm off break bowler John Piton took seven wickets for 82 runs in what would be his career best display.
As per the previous year Transvaal cruised past Kimberley’s total, amassing 313 runs, a 58 run lead on the first innings. Clarence Wimble top scored for the Vaal with 62 runs, while Charles Finlason was the best of the Kimberley bowlers, taking 3 wickets for 68 runs.
Kimberley’s second innings was much better as they totalled 475 runs. Gyselman, in what would be his only first class match, made 87 but it was newspaper man Finlason who top scored, making 154 runs not out. The tenth wicket partnership of 95 runs between Finlason and Alfred Cooper was still the record for Griquas as of end 2014. AB Tancred made 62 runs in a much better batting display. Piton again impressed for Transvaal with his off-breaks, taking six Kimberley wickets for 122 runs.
This left Transvaal set to score 418 runs to win.
They tried but when AE Ochse went with his score on 99 runs and Wimble only scored 46, the team fell short, totalling 359 runs, leaving Kimberley the winners by 58 runs and the holders of the Currie Cup.
The correspondent at the time attributed the high scoring to three things – very strong batting, weak bowling, and a very fast ground.
Well done to Kimberley (Griqualand West). They would never again hold the Currie Cup for cricket, although they came very close in the following four decades.
Pictured are Monty Bowden, AB Tancred and Charles Finlason.