Seasoned campaigners keen to impress at Khaya Majola Week

2012-12-18 00:00

THE premier school cricket week, the Coca Cola Khaya Majola Under-19 Week, has started in Potchefstroom. At the culmination of the five days the SA Schools and SA Colts XI will be named.

A cherry on the top for the SA U19 team, which will have some eligible players from the 2011 week, will be selection to play an English U19 in two Tests and five one-day internationals in January and February.

The two KZN teams should be competitive as they both have experienced players in the line-up.

Uniquely, there are also three players, two in the Inland side and one in the Coastal side, who have played or were close to playing 100 games for their school first XIs. The two who did not reach the milestone would have done so if the weather in the fourth quarter had been kinder to school cricket.

Dean Robinson, of St Charles, managed to reach his 100th game in their last match of the season against Kearsney, but it was not a good day for him as he was one of the early victims claimed by Craig Kirsten, who just missed his century of caps as he played his 99th game for his school. Kirsten went on to capture five for 17 in that game.

The third player close to 100 caps is Daryn Dupavillon, of Maritzburg College, who played 96 games for College’s first XI. More than half of the wickets he claimed were clean-bowled and he and Kirsten are two of the quickest bowlers who will be at the week.

All three players have followed similar paths, playing in the first team in 2009. In that year they mainly gained experience and at the end of the year represented the under 15 provincial sides.

In 2010, as Grade 10 lads, they began to be more heavily involved in the team, with Dupavillon taking his first fifer. Robinson made a top score of 71 and Kirsten made enough runs to be considered a bowling all-rounder. At the end of that year, Robinson and Kirsten played in the provincial U17 sides, but Dupavillon had a finger injury and was unavailable.

In 2011, all flourished as seasoned members of their sides, with Kirsten mainly succeeding with the ball. Dupavillon took three fifers and was always putting batsmen under pressure. Robinson made his first century and had a good year with the bat. All three represented the U19 provincial teams and Kirsten was selected for the SA Schools side after a good haul of wickets.

This year, all three will be playing for the second time at the Khaya Majola Week. A back injury prevented Kirsten bowling during the first quarter, but he has made runs for Kearsney and on their tour of England during July made two half-centuries and took a fifer. In the fourth quarter, he was back to his best with the ball in the few matches that were played.

Dupavillon was College’s main strike bowler and particularly good with the older ball at the end of an innings, where he often polished off the tail.

He will have some tough opposition with Kirsten and Jan Frylinck,of Boland Landbou, from the SA Schools side in 2011.

Robinson will hope to get back to some form after a dearth of runs in the fourth quarter. His crowning glory was the two centuries scored in one two-day game against St Albans during the first quarter. He will be striving for that form when he was undefeated in the 130s in both innings of that game.

Inland’s first match is against Boland and the selectors would have been at the ground comparing the bowling of those two fast bowlers. KZN Coastal have played Eastern Province, a side with five players from one of the top SA Schools this year in Grey HS.

Yesterday, Inland played Namibia, an unknown quantity and Coastals came up against Free State, with almost half the side coming from Grey College.

Both these two matches are declaration games, so spinners will probably do much of the bowling, with Kyle Simmonds hoping to get off to a good start, as will Greg Oldfield, of Inland.

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