Final fixtures of school season

2008-03-08 00:00

The curtain falls on schools’ cricket today with the final fixtures of the season.

There are three matches in particular that will create general interest: the traditional derbies between Hilton and Michaelhouse, Durban rivals DHS and Glenwood, and the anticipated match between St Charles and Kearsney. All should be closely contested.

Hilton, who would have gained much confidence from their victory last Saturday, defending a relatively small total against Maritzburg College, host Michaelhouse who lost their first match of the year against Kearsney last week.

Surprisingly, these two Independent schools have both only played three local KZN schools this term. Against Maritzburg College, Michaelhouse won by five wickets and Hilton won last weekend by 42 runs. Against Northwood, Hilton won convincingly by 107 runs and Michaelhouse by five wickets. Hilton lost narrowly by 15 runs against St Charles while Michaelhouse drew the match.

Michaelhouse may have felt the pressure of being unbeaten and their results reflect this. Hilton, on the other hand, have become stronger as the season has progressed. With the pressure now off, Michaelhouse are looking to improve batting, but Patrick Lambie, who has maintained his form throughout the season, needs more support from his fellow batsmen.

Where Hilton will probably have the upper hand is in their balanced bowling attack, with Nathan Roberts bowling superbly last Saturday when he captured seven College wickets for 17 in 14 overs.

This should be a fascinating contest and one hopes the side going in first in this declaration game does not bat too long.

St Charles, after playing a number of games away from home, are at home in their last match of the season against Kearsney. St Charles started off the season extremely well, but, like Michaelhouse, they have also stuttered lately and lost last Saturday against DHS. Kearsney, who surprisingly lost against St Johns from Harare, have not lost against a KZN school and they are a confident unit at present.

The results of the term against local schools point to another close contest. Kearsney beat Michaelhouse last weekend and, as mentioned, St Charles drew this match. Against Hilton, St Charles won by 15 runs while Kearsney won more comfortably by six wickets. Kearsney won by only 20 runs against Clifton, but St Charles triumphed by a huge margin of 150 runs.

Kearsney are considered, at present, the top side in the province after the win last week, but St Charles are not far behind and we should be treated to a close and exciting contest.

DHS travel across Berea Road to play long-standing rivals Glenwood.

DHS, hard hit by cancellations, have played four matches against local opposition, winning three and drawing against Hilton. Glenwood have had six matches, with three wins and three losses. The two schools that both have played are Northwood and Westville. Both won comfortably against Northwood, DHS by 103 runs and Glenwood by seven wickets. Against Westville, DHS won by 28 runs, with Glenwood losing by six wickets.

The vagaries of the Glenwood pitch and the heavy outfield may play a part in the final result, but if DHS, who look stronger and more experienced on paper, play to their potential, then they will win.

Northwood, after their narrow and surprising win against Westville last Saturday, host Pinetown. This should give them their second victory of the term while, in the midlands, Howick host Treverton.

Fixtures (home side first): Hilton v Michaelhouse; St Charles v Kearsney; Glenwood v DHS; Northwood v Pinetown; Weston v Alexandra; Kloof v St Henrys; Howick v Treverton; George Campbell v Crawford; Carter v MCS.

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