Cricket fans to be spoilt for choice in next four days

2014-10-04 00:00

THIRTY-SIX quality matches to choose from over the next four days — those of us who love schoolboy cricket are in for a buffet.

Now in its 55th year and having seen the likes of Hashim Amla and Lance Klusener (DHS), Graeme Smith (KES), Kevin Pietersen, David Miller, Jonty Rhodes (Maritzburg College) and the Affies pair of AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis grace it, who are the individuals to watch at Oppenheimer Week this time round? There are many.

Michael Smith, coach of hosts Maritzburg College, says numerous players have answered the cometh-the-hour cometh-the-man call. “Brad Hope is our banker. He can bat through an innings. Two weeks ago, we were 100 for six against Westville and we got 260, Bradley ending with 97 not.

“Lwandiswa Zuma [SA U19] can spark with bat, ball and in the field; all-rounder Jean de Wet — things seem to happen around him — gets runs and wickets when we’re in trouble; Sohail Mahmoud makes things happen during the middle period; he gets under batters’ skins …”

Still only in Grade 11, College skipper Bryce Tullis is mature beyond his years and has the sort of BMT that welcomes responsibility. “Bryce leads by example and has been superb,” his coach added.

Michaelhouse mentor Graeme Calway will be hoping to shake off the flu as much as he looks forward to opening bowler Nick Glassock getting vital wickets with his away-swing. “Nicholas takes a big load on himself and is a prolific wicket-taker.”

Calway says Michaelhouse’s Mr Reliable with the bat is opener Jason Marshall who stays strong when wickets are falling around him and has scored a number of hundreds this year.

“Brandon Tattam is back from a rugby injury and is a welcome boost to the side,” says Calway, while Michaelhouse need players to step up in the absence of their explosive batsman at the top of the order, Brad Roberts, who is away playing rugby for the KZN Sevens side.

St Charles College coach Gary Ritchie says his side won’t be at full strength on all four days due to exam commitments and it gives opportunities for others to take on more responsibility.

Go-to men with the ball in his side are frontline bowlers William Squires and Kylan Naidoo while captain Brent Kennedy, Eric de Rauville, Zac Koutsouris and Mark Ortmann provide the spine with the bat.

Weekend Fixtures

Today (50-over): DHS vs KES (Eston), Glenwood vs PBHS (Richmond), Kearsney vs St Davids (Collegians), KZN Development vs St Albans (Oval), Maritzburg College vs Affies (Goldstones), Michaelhouse vs St Andrews (Barns), Northwood vs St Johns (Varsity Oval), St Charles College vs Hudson Park (St Charles Oval), Westlake vs Jeppe (Varsity 2).

Tomorrow (50-over): DHS vs Affies (Collegians), Glenwood vs St Johns (Var 2), Kearsney vs KES (Var Oval), KZN Dev vs Hudson Park (Barns), Maritzburg College vs Jeppe (Goldstones), Michaelhouse vs St Davids (Eston), Northwood vs St Andrews (Pmb Oval), St Charles College vs St Albans (Richmond), Westlake vs PBHS (St Charles Oval).

Hours of play: 9.30 am-11 am; 11.15 am-12.45 pm; 1.45 pm-3.15 pm; 3.30 pm-end.

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