Holiday cricket success

2009-10-06 00:00

THE Michaelmas holiday traditionally has a number of cricket festivals that not only cater for the best schools in the country but also for the lesser-known schools. These festivals have also grown and now include the younger age groups.

Locally there were four such festivals, with one run by Kingsmead Mynahs at Kearsney. This festival was held for the youngest age group, the U11s. Boys at primary schools in the Durban area were mainly catered for but there was one side from Pietermaritzburg, St Charles College.

Hilton had three full days of cricket at their U14 festival, with the last day washed out. The KwaZulu-Natal teams involved were hosts Hilton, Michaelhouse, St Charles, Maritzburg College and Westville. The three most successful teams were Grey College, St Albans and St Stithians who all won two games and drew the third. The most successful KZN teams were Hilton and Michaelhouse, who each won one game, drew another and lost one.

One name that was prominent in all three matches for the Rondebosch side was Zubyre­ Hamza, with scores of 101 and 66, both not out, and 58 in his first game. Bradley Dial from St Johns scored two centuries in the three games. These two names seem sure to appear prominently in the future.

The senior school players were involved­ in Michaelmas Week, which was hosted by Maritzburg College, and the Weston Tournament. The Cambridge High School (HS) Festival in East London included two KZN sides, Wartburg and Pinetown­.

At the Oppenheimer Michaelmas Week, the two unbeaten teams were hosts Maritzburg College and Grey College­. On the third day they were due to play one another, but unfortunately, due to illness among the Maritzburg players, the game never took place.

KES, who certainly looked to be the side to beat, lost against Kearsney on the last day. The latter, who could have been expected to be unbeaten, also lost against Pretoria BHS.

It was a very successful festival and many of the names that were prominent with bat and ball are likely to represent their provinces at either U17 or U19 level­ at the end of the year. There were seven centuries in the four days with Devon Conway of St Johns and SA U19 in 2008, making the top score of 141. A further 44 half centuries were scored.

The best individual bowling performance was six wickets for 18 runs including a hat trick by Grant Stone of St Charles. Nathan Roberts from Hilton also­ had a six-wicket haul and there were also three 50s.

The Weston Week was also a huge success. The tournament involved two sections, a knock-out and a points competition. Stellenberg High School from the Western Cape was the knock-out winner, having won every game and Northcliff High School from Johannesburg was the points winner.

Wartburg and Pinetown were the KZN representatives in East London at the Cambridge HS Festival. Pinetown, with six juniors in their squad, didn’t fare too well but Wartburg won all four of their games.

Top batting performance was 69 by Jens Hillermann and the best bowling was four for 16 and four for 18 by Lance Jeffrey and Hillermann, respectively.

Grey High School in Port Elizabeth ran a festival for U15 players and KZN was represented by Durban High School and Kearsney. It was a profitable festival for Kearsney as they returned with three wins and a draw. They beat the until now unbeaten Grey HS in their last match.

DHS was the host for the 2009 annual U14 Charl van Rooyen Festival. (Unfortunately, no details have been received from the festival.)

All the teams that participated in one of these festivals will have a definite advantage on Saturday when most schools will be playing.

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