Top schools in action at last

2012-11-06 00:00

AT last a Saturday dawned with little threat of rain and schools cricket could get its first full day’s play for the term, or so most hoped. There were two surprises, the one at Hilton, where the home side were beaten by Glenwood and the other in Durban where DHS were beaten by Northwood. The match at Michaelhouse was cut short by hail and in the capital, Maritzburg College finished their season with a victory in a good game of cricket.

St Charles vs Maritzburg College

College had little hesitation in taking first knock on a perfect cricketing pitch, one on which batsmen could play their shots, and, if the bowlers bowled in the right areas, also gave assistance. College coach Mike Bechet had plenty of praise for groundsman and ex-cricketer Peter Allan, not only for the pitch, but also the smooth outfield.

Lack of match practice was evident as the St Charles bowlers struggled with their line. Neither of the first two wickets that fell was due to the bowling, but rather to rash shots. At the halfway stage, College were 97 for two, with Gareth Orr having made 33. When Tim Guise-Brown came to the wicket with the score on 135 for three, the scoring rate immediately increased and a score in excess of 250 was on the cards. He was removed when caught in a lofted drive. When Josh Rencken fell shortly thereafter for a patient 84 in 135 balls, the innings stuttered. Tyron Walsh (22* off 19) and Karl Hillermann (15 off 13) did what was necessary and took College to an eventual 236 for seven.

St Charles came out undaunted by the target, and after losing an early wicket to Daryn Dupavillon, Dean Robinson and Ben Philpott added 53 runs to take the score to 80 before the Robinson was out for 32. At the halfway stage, St Charles were slightly ahead of where College had been, with a score 100 for two. With Robin Mitchell still at the crease the odds were on St Charles, but it was Guise-Brown who changed all that.

In the space of 10 overs, St Charles went from 145 for five to 156 all out.

Guise-Brown had Mitchell (37) stumped by Shaun Wormington and then in his fourth over took three wickets, ending with five for just seven runs in seven overs. To cap his final performance for College, Guise-Brown also took a great diving high catch over his shoulder. St Charles were all out 80 runs short with four overs remaining.

Maritzburg College 256-7 (Orr 33, Guise-Brown 32, Rencken 84)

St Charles 156 (Robinson 32, Philpott 37, Mitchell 39, Guise-Brown 5/7)

College won by 80 runs

Hilton vs Glenwood

The pitch on the Hartt-Davis Oval arguably sees more rain than most others and thus the spin of the coin was going to be important after it had been lying under covers for much of four weeks. But to most people’s surprise, Hilton elected to bat after winning the toss. Some of the senior players were not playing as they saw their exam preparations as being more important. So a relatively young Hilton batting line-up faced the more seasoned Glenwood bowlers.

Not all the wickets that fell were due to good bowling, but both lack of experience and poor shot selection saw Hilton at a parlous 116 for nine, of which Bantu Futshane had made 37. A 40-run 10th wicket partnership between Matt Lauryssen and Daniel Roy took them to 156 all out, a target which would give the Hilton bowlers something at which to bowl. Callan Pearce and Andile Phehlukwayo were the best of the visiting bowlers, taking three wickets apiece.

Hilton’s bowlers did not allow Glenwood to have an easy passage and there was also a break of about 40 minutes for rain, which meant they had to rebuild an innings. If it had not been for Dave Flowers (47) who batted well, putting up some stubborn resistance, Hilton may well have bowled them out within the target. Lauryssen, Lungi Ngidi and Theunis Nel all ended with a brace of wickets, but Glenwood reached their target with three wickets in hand.

Hilton 156 (Futshane 37, Pearce 3/32, Phehlukwayo 3/40)

Glenwood 157-7 (Flowers 47)

Glenwood won by three wkts

Northwood vs DHS

Northwood have probably played more cricket than any of the other top schools in the province this term and they reversed an almost certain loss from the first term, when they held on for a draw. They were 71 for eight chasing 187 at the close, to win on Saturday.

DHS were asked to bat first, and on a wicket that gave plenty of assistance to the seamers, they were all out for 141 in the 47th over. Sureshan Moodley did most of the early damage, taking four wickets for 27 runs. Many of the wickets that fell, however, had less to do with the pitch than with bad batting. Dale van der Merwe scored a good 40 and with the DHS bowlers not keeping to a good enough line, they reached the target with seven wickets down, giving the home side a significant win.

DHS 141 (Moodley 4/27)

Northwood 142-7 (van der Merwe 40)

Northwood won by 3 wkts

Michaelhouse vs Kearsney

A deluge of hail during the lunch break put an end to what could have been a good finish on the Roy Gathorne Oval. Michaelhouse had opted to bat and made a creditable 244 for seven in the allotted 50 overs. After an early wicket fell, Robbie Anderson and Jason Marshall added 84 for the second wicket to set a solid base from which to launch.

And launch it was when Greg Oldfield came to the wicket. He treated some of the more esteemed Kearsney bowlers with some magnificent hitting, making 89 in 71 balls, and was the last Michaelhouse batsman to fall. His innings included five fours and six sixes, taking his side to the competitive total. Only Jordan Gregory captured more than one wicket, ending with two for 50 in 9.5 overs.

It was unfortunate that the rain and hail caused the game to be abandoned.

Michaelhouse 244-7 (Marshall 42, Anderson 37, Oldfield 89) Kearsney did not bat

Some schools opted to play CSA T20 matches as they had been unable to play during the week.

Howick have ended as the top side in the pool and will play one of the seeded schools in the next two weeks.

On Saturday, Howick played Wartburg in the official T20 in the morning, winning very easily as Wartburg were bowled out for just 47 in the 10th over. Howick won by eight wickets.

In the afternoon, they played a second “friendly” T20 and Wartburg did much better, but Howick still won by 35 runs.

Howick 112-7 (Bauer 3/26) Weston 101-4 (Blair 37, Wichman 27*) Howick won by 11 runs

Wartburg 47 (Webb 3/19) Howick 48-2

Howick won by 8 wkts

Howick 132-7 (Stead 48, Page 30), Wartburg 97-9

Howick won by 35 runs

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