Fingers crossed for schoolboys

2008-02-02 00:00

After a stop-start early part of the season, schoolboy cricketers will be hoping for clear skies and no interruptions today.

Most of the big games are in the Durban area, with only one set down for the capital.

In Pietermaritzburg, St Charles will be hosting Clifton. Both these schools have played five matches, with St Charles winning four and drawing last Saturday against Michaelhouse.

Clifton, in their first year in the top league, have done well to win two matches with one defeat, last Saturday against Hilton. The other two games were drawn due to rain.

Clifton will be very much the underdogs on the St Charles Oval, against an in-form home team high in confidence.

Michaelhouse, who at this early stage look to be the side to beat in the province, travel to Durban North to play Northwood. Michaelhouse will be playing their sixth match while this is the first outing for Northwood.

The Durban North school have established an Indoor Cricket Coaching Academy, run by Andrew Shedlock, and it will be interesting to see what impact this has on their future success.

Northwood, in the 2007 year, were the weakest of the top sides in the province and it is therefore unlikely that they will pose too much of a threat to Michaelhouse.

Michaelhouse are particularly strong in the batting and Patrick Lambie has scored well in each of their five matches played. He has had strong support from the top-order and the Northwood bowlers could battle.

Kearsney host Hilton and this will be a good tussle between two evenly matched teams. Hilton won against Clifton last Saturday, while Kearsney did not play. This has given Hilton four wins in their five matches, with a narrow loss to St Charles.

Kearsney have three wins from four matches, with one draw against Bishops. Matthew Gregory has been their most consistent batsman and he has had good support from a number of others and Kearsney have scored well this season. Hilton’s main strength seems to lie with the bowling, with Courtney Allen being the chief wicket-taker.

Maritzburg College travel to play against Glenwood and, as both missed out last week, they will be keen to win. Glenwood have played four games, with two draws due to rain and two losses. College have played four games with one win, one loss and two rain-affected draws.

It has been the Glenwood batting that has been their weak point. No batsman has been consistent and their highest individual score came from KZN Coastal U 17 player Cody Chetty, when he made 38 against St Johns, and they have placed their bowlers under pressure.

Dean Pengelley has been College’s most consistent batsman, with a number of others that have contributed. Here again, it is their bowling that has been less effective than the batting.

Finally, in the Durban area, DHS are hosting Westville. Neither side played last week and they will also be keen to get their domestic season off to a good start. Westville have played three games, losing two and drawing one. DHS have one loss and a draw. This match is another that is likely to go down to the wire.

Selected fixtures (home side first)

Northwood v Michaelhouse; Kearsney v Hilton; Glenwood v Maritzburg College; DHS v Westville; St Charles v Clifton; Weston v Carter; Kloof v Pinetown; Hillcrest v Thomas More; Wartburg v Alexandra; Crawford v D&D; St Henry’s v George Campbell; Grantleigh v Treverton; Ixopo v Howick; Port Shepstone v Kingsway; Voortrekker v MCS; St Charles II v Northern KZN; Wembley v St Charles III

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