Two U19 KZN sides for Majola week

2012-11-20 00:00

THE two KZN teams that will be playing in the national Coca Cola Khaya Majola U19 cricket week will both be reasonably confident of doing well.

It begins in Potchefstroom in just under a month. All the players in the Coastal 13 come from one of the top 10 schools in the province. The Inland side has just one player who is not from one of the four major schools in the area.

Why is this particularly important?

The players at the major cricketing schools are normally getting top class cricket most Saturdays, whereas those from the smaller schools play at a level far below what will be expected from them at the national week. This year has been an exception due to all the rain. The majority of the T20 CSA matches, which have pitched one of the major schools against one of the minnows, illustrates the point clearly. Seldom has the smaller school raised even a slight sweat from the lads from the major schools.

Unfortunately, most of the major schools have not only lost Saturday matches, but also much of the practice times, and the majority of them do not have indoor practice facilities. When looking at the records of the players that have been selected, there is plenty of evidence to show that the selectors in the respective regions have got it mostly right.

Coastals have Craig Kirsten from Kearsney, who made the SA schools XI as a bowler, but has spent much of the first term on the sidelines with an injury. He was third in the bowling statistics at Coke week. This term, he has one five-wicket haul against St Charles. Senuran Muthusamy from Clifton was selected for the SA Colts XI. He has scored two half centuries, one century and taken one fifer this year.

Kyle Simmonds from Westville was also a member of Coastals in 2011, where he was ranked fifth in the bowling at the national week. He has been very successful this year, scoring two fifties, and one six-wicket and one five-wicket haul. These players will provide plenty of experience and stability to the side.

For Inland, Daryn Dupavillon from Maritzburg College, who was unlucky not to be selected last year for higher honours as he was second in the bowling stats just ahead of Kirsten at the U19 week, will be their main attacking bowler. This year, he has taken three four-wicket hauls during the curtailed year. His pace will mean much to the Inland attack.

All three St Charles players, Robin Mitchell, Dean Robinson and Pavi Indrajith, also represented Inland U19 last year. Robinson has scored two centuries, both in the first term and he appears to be getting back to form. Indrajith and Mitchell have scored regularly, but not big scores, although Mitchell did score two unbeaten half centuries.

Bantu Futshane from Hilton was another in the U19 Inland XI last year. He has also scored well with two half centuries, also unbeaten.

There are a number of players in both teams that played in the U17 national week last year. For Inland, all three Michaelhouse players, Robbie Anderson, Kyle Pyne-James and Greg Oldfield, played in Bloemfontein at the U17 week. This year, Oldfield has arguably been the most prolific run-scorer in the province. He has scored three centuries and seven half centuries. Anderson has scored two centuries and three half centuries, while Pyne-James has scored two fifties, and his glove work behind the stumps has also been good. Ladysmith player K. Mungroo was another in the Inland U17 last year. Coastals have five players that represented their province in Bloemfontein in 2011 — DHS players Aatish Maharaj and Taariq Booley and Westville’s Dudu Zondo and Luke Schlemmer, together with bowler Nhlakinipho Madwe from Glenwood. Booley has one century to his name, but will be hoping to improve on his form. Schlemmer, who was second in the U17 batting averages, and Zondo have both scored three fifties.

There is one U15 player from last year in the Coastals side; Glenwood’s Andile Phehlukwayo. He has been their most successful bowler this year and has taken one four-wicket and four three-wicket hauls. There are three players, all bowlers, from last year’s Inland U15 team; Lungi Ngidi from Hilton and two from College; Lwandizwe Zuma and Sohail Mahmoud. The latter, after Dupavillon, has probably been their most successful, attacking bowler. He has taken two four-wicket and two three-wicket hauls.

While these young players have made the two respective sides on merit, would it not have been better that they have a year in the U17 team before playing against the best in the country?

Players that had not been selected for a representative team last year in the Coastal’s team are Sibonele Makhanye and Tyler Trenoweth, both from DHS and Kearsney boys Tyler Smith and James Lambert. Makhanye has scored three half centuries and taken one six-wicket and one three-wicket haul to be the most successful all-rounder in the DHS team. Trenoweth has scored a ton and three half centuries to deserve his place in the team.

Lambert has also scored three fifties, while Smith, a lower order batsman, has one fifty to his name, but usually scores useful runs and is the wicketkeeper for the team. Luc Maingard from Hilton is the only Inland player not to represent his province last year, but he has been one of the mainstays in the Hilton batting line up.

There are no players who do not deserve to be representing their province and there is enough seniority and experience for both sides to hold their own at the Coca Cola Khaya Majola Week in December.

The capping ceremony for all Inland players in the four boys teams and the U19 Girl’s will be held this coming Sunday during the lunch break in the Dolphin’s match against the Knights at the Maritzburg Oval.

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