Last month, Westville Old Boy Luke Schlemmer, the KZN Inland senior team captain, put together two milestones innings.
On Friday 5th October vs Gauteng in the CSA Provincial Three-Day Challenge at the Walter Milton Oval Wits University in Johannesburg, the 23-year-old Luke made his maiden first-class century (119 off 215 balls in four minutes short of 5 hours that included 17 fours).
Feature image: KZN Inland captain Luke Schlemmer.
Two days later, on October 7, in the CSA Provincial One-Day Challenge match vs Gauteng; Luke played an innings that required a completely different approach.
Luke hit an unbeaten 117 in 110 balls over a period of 2,5 hours, a knock including 15 four and 2 maximums at a strike rate 106.36, the KZN Inland captain taking his team home by 7 wickets with 14.4 overs to spare.
For Luke, who played for KZN Coastal U19 in his earlier years, it was his second List A century.
KZN10.com asked Schlem to describe these momentous knocks against Gauteng, who as of today, 27 November 2018 are comfortably Pool A log leaders in this national 3-day completion.
“Thanks Jono. The first-class innings was by far the more draining of the two centuries I managed to score on that weekend.
“Gauteng have a really good and experienced attack with guys like Nandre Burger and Sean Jamison, who both offer something with the ball throughout the innings.
“I did have periods in my innings where I got a bit of momentum and scored quicker than at other times but it was more about identifying the bowlers’ plans to get me out and finding ways to combat that.
“At the same time, I needed to be able to score when opportunities presented themselves.”
Jono: Luke, surely that is not easy to achieve, it’s kind of like sitting in the middle of 2 different objectives?
“Sure Jono, it can be tricky at times, but absorbing pressure and being able to stick to each game plan I had towards each bowler really helped.
“Our coach Shane has been a big help, especially mentally; he reads people really well and understands what gets you going and what each cricketer amongst us needs.
“Shane has backed me for a while now so it’s awesome to ‘give back’ in terms of performances and to back up all the work we have done together in the nets and the chats we have had.”
Jono: Yes, personally I have a very high regard for Shane Burger, Luke. What he has done as coach of the KZN Inland senior team over the past number of seasons has been nothing short of remarkable.
Shane Burger has a way about him, a manner of doing things, a calming presence, almost an aura of assured competence that must rub off on his players.
But going back a bit, who else has played a major part in the shaping of Luke Schlemmer the cricketer and Luke Schlemmer the person?
Luke: “My mom and dad (he never played cricket) are my biggest supporters and have both played a huge role in my life and where I am today. They have always given everything to help me on this path I have of chasing my dream.
“Cricketing influences have been the likes of Doug Watson, Fabian Lazarus and Yash Ebrahim, who all played a massive role in getting me into first-class cricket. And, more recently, Shane Burger has added to that.”
Jono: Yip, no one can do it alone. Let’s get on to the CSA Provincial One-Day Challenge innings against Gauteng; that unbeaten 117 in 110 that took you Inland guys to such a comfortable win.
Luke: The innings was a lot of fun. A lot of balls hit the middle of the bat. I enjoy hitting through the line on the Highveld wickets.
“I tried to make use of the Power Play as best I could, as I felt the pitch might get worse and harder to score on as the game went on.
“Spin was a bit harder to score off but I was helped along the way by my Inland batting partners Sohail Mahmoud and Grant Roelofsen.
“Sohail and Grant made the chase a lot easier with some awesome strokeplay.”
Jono: Yes I watched both Grant and Sohail as schoolboys and know exactly what you mean in the strokeplay scenario.
KZN10: Luke, if you had to rate, or compare, the two innings, how would you put it, if that’s possible as they required completely different approaches.
“Jono, I would say that the one-day innings played second fiddle a bit compared to my maiden first class century, which was very special to me, but the one-day century helped the team to a bonus-point win, which made me very proud as a player and captain.”
Jono: Luke, thanks for your time in sharing your thoughts on what I have termed ‘The Luke Schlemmer Weekend’ – and may there be many more.
Luke made his first-class and List A debuts, for KZN Inland, as close to exactly two years ago.
After his maiden ton in first-class cricket, as described above, Luke hit his second century in first-class cricket just three weeks later, a knock of 132 against Eastern Province in Port Elizabeth.
* Of interest are the performances of several Old Boys of the KZN10 schools in the recent 3-day and 1-day CSA Provincial Challenge KZN Inland/Coastal derbies at the PMB Oval over the weekend of Nov 22-25.
Cody Chetty (Glenwood), Attie Maposa, Lwandiswa Zuma, Kurtlyn Mannikam, Sohail Mahmoud, Kyle Nipper (Maritzburg College), Gareth Dukes (St Charles College), Blayde Capell (Northwood), Luke Schlemmer (Westville), Brad Porteous (Kearsney College), Prenelan Subrayen and Nduduzo Mfoza (Glenwood).
SCORES IN BRIEF
3-Day @ PMB Oval from 22-24 Nov 2018
KZN Inland 1st innings 209 (Cody Chetty 63, Attie Maposa 49*)
KZN Coastal 1st inn 117 (Blayde Capell 33; Lwandiswa Zuma 4-18)
KZN Inland 2nd inn 141/8 dec (Cody Chetty 39)
KZN Coastal 158/7 (Kurtlyn Mannikam 4-35)
3-Day logs as @ 27 Nov 2018
KZN Inland lie 4th on the 6-team Pool A log having played 5 lost 1 and drawn 4
KZN Coastal lie 5th of 7 teams in Pool B having played 4 lost 1 and drawn 3
1-Day @ PMB Oval 25 Nov 2018
KZN Coastal 250/9 in 50 overs (Blayde Capell 45 off 39, Brad Porteous 29 off 49, Prenelan Subrayen 47 off 64; Sohail Mahmoud 10-0-41-3)
KZN Inland 231 in 48.1 overs (Luke Schlemmer 33 off 40, Sohail Mahmoud 37 off 40, Kyle Nipper 25 off 30, Gareth Dukes 48 off 50, Attie Maposa 37 off 50)
KZN Coastal won by 19 runs
1-Day logs as @ 27 Nov 2018
KZN Inland lie 2nd in Pool A having 5 won 2 and lost 3
KZN Coastal lie 4th in Pool B having won 2 and lost 2
Of further interest is where Old Boys of the KZN10 stand in the current Top 20 averages in the CSA competitions (as of today, 27 Nov 2018)
19th place in Batting – Luke Schlemmer 330 runs averaging 47.14
14th place in Bowling – Lwandiswa Zuma 14 wickets at 19.92
5th place in Batting – Luke Schlemmer 269 runs averaging 67.27 at strike rate of 92.75
13th place in Batting – Sohail Mahmoud 220 runs average 55.00 @ strike rate 91.28
2nd place in Bowling – Westville Old Boy Kyle Simmonds (Boland) 5wkts at 10.60
9th place in Bowling – Maritzburg College OB Daryn Dupavillon (KZN Coastal) 5wkts at 14.80
14th place in Bowling – Gareth Dukes 10wkts at 16.20