Tough Westville win against Waterkloof

2013-09-26 00:00

IT was something akin to a tennis match when Westville Boys’ High School met Waterkloof on the cricket field at Westville.

If the current schools cricket rankings were anything to go by, Water­kloof were at the top of the pile, ranked number one, while Westville were slightly off the pace at number six.

As with tennis, upsets are frequent and Westville duly won by two wickets to make a strong statement ahead of the final term’s fixtures after the current Michaelmas holidays.

Waterkloof’s visit was eagerly anticipated by the cricket fraternity. The two sides have met on one previous occasion, a T20 outing won by Westville. With a proud sporting tradition, Westville were undaunted by Water­kloof’s ranking and reputation and was always going to play hard, looking for the win.

Winning the toss, Westville sent the visitors in on a damp track that looked to favour the seamers. The decision was soon seen to be the right one as Westville’s Jesse Smit soon had the opening batsmen back in the pavilion.

Simon van Staden (3-18) and Tyrone Koen (3-6) put the skids under Waterkloof’s batsmen who struggled to get going and find any rhythm in their cause. At 95-9, Waterkloof called it a day, their last batsman retiring hurt after being hit on the knee by a full toss.

Cricket dictates that a low total is not always the easiest to conquer and so it proved as Westville took up the chase.

With the sun staying hidden, the home side batted in similar conditions to the visitors — damp, cloudy and muggy — and they found the going just as tough.

Westville’s batsmen had to dig deep, calling on all their powers of concentration and patience. They had to keep their wickets intact and wait for the bad ball to score, but it was easier said than done.

Both openers departed early and in form batsman Nick Pentz was the victim of a run-out, setting Westville on the back foot. It was up to the middle order to knuckle down and see Westville home, but it went to the 33rd over before the deal was done and dusted.

Smit and Garryth Jackson were at the wicket when the win came, giving Westville a narrow two-wicket victory. It was a dogged effort and in the context of things, a superb exhibition of application and commitment to the cause from Westville. They now have a two from two record against the Pretoria visitors.

The win has boosted Westville’s confidence ahead of the fourth term and upcoming cricket fixtures. They have shown they are prepared to fight for a win and take on whatever comes their way, regardless of what the weather gods throw at them.

With such a great start, the season is shaping up to be a cracker for Westville and opposing teams would do well to attempt some homework before taking them on.

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