Michaelhouse, St Charles favourites

2013-02-02 00:00

ONCE again the weather forecast is not favourable for cricket today, but recently it has been wrong. With a 60% chance of rain there are still 40% of areas where the rain will stay away, so schools will be hopeful that some cricket will be played.

The four major games today are split evenly between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. The remaining two top 10 schools see Hilton travelling to Bloemfontein to play against Grey College and Clifton against a second-tier school.

St Charles are at home against Kearsney and the local lads have had plenty of cricket in comparison. Kearsney have played one full game, one T20 and two matches, which were washed out after one innings. St Charles have played two T20s and six other matches. This must make St Charles the favourites, as they have also done well since their first two games, although on Thursday evening the batsmen struggled against spin.

Andrew Darroch is proving to be a good leader and a number of other players have put their hands up and made good contributions. Kearsney do have some senior players, but will still be unsure of who should be in the regular starting line-up.

Maritzburg College started the year quite shakily, but have looked much more competitive in their last two matches, other than the T20 against St Charles. They will be hosting Glenwood, who will be playing their first match against local opposition. The three games and T20 that Glenwood have won have been against largely weaker sides. They lost against Rondebosch and Grey HS — two stronger sides. Today’s match will be keenly contested.

Michaelhouse travel to Durban to play against Northwood, and like the other Inland school sides, have played more cricket than their opposition. Northwood have played just the one game against St Charles, which they lost badly. Michaelhouse played St Charles on Thursday in the Sunfoil series and won very comfortably. They will be the more confident and should come home with a win.

Westville will be playing their first match, other than two T20 matches, when they first beat Glenwood by eight wickets in the semi-final and then DHS by the same margin in the final. They will go into the game today against visitors DHS, full of confidence. DHS will be hoping for a better showing.

Hilton will have a tough match in Bloemfontein, but they are a side that is confident after doing well locally. They have not yet lost, but it will be necessary that one of their top batsmen scores well and the bowlers play their part in keeping it tight, as Grey are seldom a weak unit.

Clifton should find their match against George Campbell fairly easy after their win against DHS. Complacency is always a danger and they need to concentrate as hard as in any other game.

Selected fixtures in brief: St Charles vs Kearsney, Maritzburg College vs Glenwood; Northwood vs Michaelhouse; Westville vs DHS; Grey College vs Hilton; Clifton vs George Campbell; St Henrys vs Hillcrest; Voortrekker vs Howick; Kloof vs Thomas More; Weston vs Carter; Kingsway vs Port Shepstone; Pinetown vs Amanzimtoti; Alexandra vs Grace.

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