Playing fields level in Schools Pro20

2010-03-27 00:00

JUDGING by some of the schools that have reached the national finals of the Standard Bank Schools Pro20, the playing fields are levelled in the short format of the game and the lesser-known schools can beat the traditional powerhouses of schools cricket.

Beginning this morning in Pretoria are the semi-finals of the Pro20, where the six schools representing each of the six provincial franchises have been divided into two pools of three each and the winner of each pool will play in the final on Sunday.

Pool A consists of the winners from the Lions, Cobras and Titans franchises. The other three franchise winners, the Dolphins, Warriors and Diamond Eagles, make up Pool B.

The Lions will be represented by King Edwards, who beat St Johns in the Gauteng final and then played Klerksdorp, winner of the North West region.

This match they won by 10 wickets and with it the right to represent the Lions.

Wynberg will represent the Cobras, after getting through tough competition. They won the right to play in the franchise final against Rondebosch, against whom they won by 13 runs.

In the Titans franchise, Middleburg HS had won the Mpumulanga region and Jeugland had won the Easterns final. They played one another with Jeugland winning, thus claiming the right to play Menlopark, the surprise winners of the Northern region.

In the final played at SuperSport Park — the first schools game to be played there for 12 years — Menlopark won and will represent Titans.

In Pool B, Maritzburg College were worthy winners of the Dolphins franchise after convincingly beating DHS in the final at Kingsmead last week.

The big surprise in the Diamond Eagles Franchise was the defeat of Free State winners Grey College by Griqualand West winners Noordkaap. It was a narrow seven-run win by Noordkaap, who will nevertheless be the Diamond Eagle representatives.

In a three-way playoff between Border winners Hudson Park, South West Districts winners Oakdale Agricultural HS and Eastern Province winners Woodridge, it was Woodridge who beat favourites Grey HS and won the right to represent the Warriors.

While this competition is a good idea and interest in cricket should be stimulated, the timing by Cricket SA was not right.

This weekend sees the Nomad Hockey Festivals and the Grey HS Rugby Festival, amongst others, and thus some schools will have to make choices of where their cricket, hockey or rugby players will go.

Wherever they do decide to go, there will be a side weakened as a result of the merging of the summer and winter sports.

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