It’s double celebration for Pinetown Cricket Club

2014-04-11 00:00

WHAT a season it has been for Pinetown Cricket Club’s first team, rounded off with the Challenge League T20 trophy at the weekend.

Having already secured the Challenge League 50-over title, which grants the team promotion into the Premier League next season, the men in green were at Kingsmead on Saturday to meet Verulam in the final of the Challenge T20 competition.

The young team were focused and pumped up for the occasion. The lads wanted the trophy, nothing less, an eight-wicket win proving the point.

Winning the toss, Verulam took first guard and struggled to find any fluency throughout their innings, despite the best efforts of Azar Razak who was far and away the best batsman with 35 in a meagre total of 88-9 in 20 overs.

Pinetown’s bowlers set the tone, striking early and throttling the Verulam batsmen with a mixture of pace, spin and medium pace.

Captain Nick Tatham’s off-spinners brought him 3-16, with fellow tweaker Quin Jones getting in on the act with 2-8. Speedster Kyle Gilham chipped in with 2-15 and Grant Romeril’s medium pace gave him 2-16.

Two early wickets had Pinetown’s run chase on the rocks but, as has been the case throughout the season, the ship was guided across the line by two of the youngsters in the team who batted with maturity and purpose. Westville Boys’ High School’s first team captain Bruce Kerr and SA U19 World Cup winner Greg Oldfield repaired the damage and never looked troubled in bringing the silverware to Pinetown.

Kerr, who played in the schools’ coastal T20 final against Northwood at Kingsmead, obviously has a liking for the venue as he settled quickly, blazing the ball around the park as he finished undefeated on 36 from 25 balls, with five fours and a six. Oldfield took 29 balls for his undefeated 34, with five fours, the pair knocking off the runs in only 12 overs.

Tatham, who stepped in as captain after Tim Spence was side-lined with a knee injury early in the season, was proud to lift the trophy and was full of praise for his charges.

“The spirit in the side has been fantastic and the guys have lifted their game whenever it counted throughout the season. They wanted the league and T20 title, went out there, produced the goods and reaped the rewards,” he said.

Jay Naidoo, KZNCU’s manager of amateur cricket said it was encouraging to see the youngsters standing tall and he welcomed Pinetown back into next season’s Premier League.

Watching in the stands was chairperson of Pinetown Cricket Club, Marco Chixaro, who, on the back of the season’s accomplishments, predicted big things for the club next season.

“Developing young players has been a major priority this season and we are currently nurturing some talented players, as can be seen from our results,” he said. “Oldfield, Kerr and Jason Oakes have settled well and watching them combine with older players and lead from the front bodes well for the season ahead. Life in the Premier League is never easy but we have a great platform.”

Chixaro thanked player/coach Barry Dyer, sponsors and supporters who had made the club’s 140th year one to savour.

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