The history of sport at Clifton College is remarkable, especially when one considers that the school is only 18 years of age. Most of its sport is played at an elite level, like cricket, waterpolo, tennis and hockey. But basketball? With their performances at the prestigious Saint John’s Basketball Festival this past weekend, Clifton’s basketball players proved they can, no doubt, compete at an elite level, writes KZN10.com’s Brad Morgan.
The team, led by their inspirational captain Jacques Mahanga, put together a string of eye-catching performances in the toughest pool of the event. They opened with a 32-29 victory over Saint Alban’s College, an established power in the game, showing character to score a late equaliser to force overtime before earning a sweet victory in the extra period.
Clifton’s pool, the toughest of the lot, included the hosts, Saint John’s College. (Photo: Saint John’s basketball, https://www.stjohnscollege.co.za/basketball/)
They downed a much-improved Enjabulweni School 25-13 in their second outing and followed that up with a 28-23 win over Cape Town’s Wynberg Boys High, a team that hadn’t encountered before.
What made Clifton’s pool the toughest of all, though, was their next two opponents, Saint John’s College and Michaelhouse, the sides who ended up battling it out in the final for the title.
In a very physical contest, they went down 24-36 to Saint John’s before coming out on the wrong side of a very tightly-contested game against the eventual champions, Michaelhouse, by a slim 35-37 margin.
That final outing against a side that won the Stayers Tournament at Kearsney College and now the Saint John’s title, was a great advertisement for the game, said Master in Charge of Basketball at Clifton, Peter Farquharson.
Clifton defeated Wynberg Boys High, an unfamiliar foe, at the Saint John’s Basketball Tournament. (Photo: Saint John’s Basketball https://www.stjohnscollege.co.za/basketball/)
“What I really liked about that game was it was a game played in a beautiful spirit. The boys all know each other, they’ve played against each other, they’re friends with each other and on the court it was a great game of basketball.”
“The concept of mutual respect in a game like basketball is definitely there. The Clifton and Michaelhouse boys have also played in teams together, so those relationships are established. While it was competitive, it was played in the right spirit.”
As for the result, Clifton’s captain Jacques Mahanga wasn’t surprised that he and his team-mates had pushed a team that is arguably the best in the country all the way.
“We left our hearts on the court. We fought very hard. We weren’t shocked. We were all in the right head space. We all wanted to win, we wanted to beat Michaelhouse. We’ve had enough of Michaelhouse,” he laughed. “We saw an opportunity to beat them, but we were a little unlucky to go down by two.”
Clifton even had two opportunities to win the clash with buzzer beaters, but those shots didn’t fall. Nonetheless, the game showed Clifton belongs among the elite, and their other performances in the pool games backed that up.
With only five league fixtures taking place outside of tournaments during the first term, the Saint John’s Tournament was an opportunity to grow for the Durban school and, said their skipper, he believes they did.
“We certainly grew from the first game to the last. Funnily enough, in our first game against Saint Alban’s, we wouldn’t have won the game if one of our juniors did not score the last basket to send the game into overtime. The juniors helped us win. It was an opportunity for the seniors to praise the juniors for their role in the team.”
He added: “We didn’t have to tell other teams how good we have become. Our performances spoke for us. We performed better than we had against other KZN schools earlier in the season. Kearsney, for example, beat us in the season. They have always finished higher than us, but they didn’t make it past the group stages.”
Photographed outside Founder’s House at Clifton College, first team basketball captain Jacques Mahanga and Master in Charge of Basketball Peter Farquharson (Photo: Brad Morgan, KZN10.com)
Mahanga, who has KZN under-19 colours in the sport, is the heart and soul of the Clifton basketball team, Peter Farquharson said: “He’s very humble. In any game, he is, by far, our top points’ scorer. But he has certainly worked hard on playing a team structure and adding to the strengths of our team. Teams change from year to year, and we have had to adapt things at times, but he has definitely been a strong team player.
“Jacques works hard, he trains hard, and he is disciplined. He has been a good leader. He’s worked closely with some of the juniors, which is really good to see.”
Mahanga’s leadership is plain to see in the manner in which he carries himself. He is confident, but respectful, open, honest, and a smile comes easily to his face.
He plays either point guard or shooting guard and his NBA heroes reflect the qualities he admires and strives to emulate: Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors, the best shooter in the game; the recently-deceased Kobe Bryant, known for his fighter’s mentality; and Le Bron James, the do-everything Los Angeles Lakers superstar who, like Jacques, rose from humble beginnings, which the Clifton skipper likens to his own story.
He attended Addington Primary School, not a traditional feeder school for Clifton, but Jacques was the recipient of the Gail Teunissen Legacy Scholarship, given annually to a boy from Addington, who is the best all-round learner.
“I was lucky to get that,” he said. “I was competing with three other candidates and they were all very good.”
When he arrived at Clifton in grade eight, he had a slight edge over many of the other boys in that he had started playing basketball at Addington. It wasn’t so much about the sport as it was about friendship, he explained at Founders House on the Clifton campus on Tuesday.
“What really pushed me to play basketball was the fact that I saw all my friends playing basketball. We all played soccer and then they left to play basketball and I was the only one left playing soccer, so I decided to move to basketball too.”
Disarmingly candid, he described himself as being “very cocky” when he moved to Clifton. He wanted to play first team basketball in grade eight and by the fourth term he had achieved that goal.
This past season, Jacques was the senior player in the team, along with only four other matric boys, and that meant he played the role of mentor to some of the younger boys, in a reversal of the roles from when he first represented the Clifton first team.
Clifton’s 28-23 victory against Wynberg Boys High gave them three wins on the trot in the Saint John’s Basketball Tournament pool stage. (Photo: Saint John’s Basketball https://www.stjohnscollege.co.za/basketball/)
When basketball was introduced at the school there was only one team per age group and games were played in the school hall. As its popularity began to grow two external courts were added. Recently three brand new courts were put up at the Riverside Sports Club, where so much of the school’s sport is played, bringing to five the number of courts it boasts and reflecting the growing popularity of the sport. That growth is happening in other schools, too, said Peter Farquharson.
Farquharson, who has been in charge of basketball at the school “for six or seven years”, said it has been an interesting journey thus far to grow the standard of play at Clifton.
He explained: “There are two things that have held Clifton basketball back. One is the size of the pool that we draw players from. The second thing is overcoming the perception that basketball is for those people who can’t play cricket, swim, or play waterpolo. I think we’re getting past that now.”
Clifton’s success in the Saint John’s Tournament was far from an overnight achievement, he added: “This year has been the culmination of a number of years of work. We’ve had nice stable structures in place in terms of coaching. It’s difficult to find coaches, because there are very few teachers who are coaches. You have to look externally for coaches. We’ve had a relatively stable structure and there are a couple of other things.
The team that performed so well in the Saint John’s Basketball Tournament before their departure for Johannesburg (Photo: Peter Farquharson)
“We’ve gone from one team per age group to four. From attending one tournament per year, we now attend five altogether. The under-14s go to Saint Andrew’s College, the under-16s were at Michaelhouse and Saint Stithian’s, the open team was at Saint John’s, and at the end of the year we’ll send the Stayers to Kearsney.”
The willingness to travel to play top teams in almost any sport anywhere in the country has been one of the prime drivers of sporting success at Clifton, helping the school to ascend at a rapid rate unlike anything seen from other schools of a comparable age.
Something else that has been of benefit to basketball at the school was the formation of Cobweb, an old boys/school boys club, which has entered a team in the Ethekweni Basketball League for the past two years. “A couple of the boys, like Jacques, play in that league. That means they’re getting exposed to the sport throughout the year. They’re playing at a tough level against men’s teams,” Farquharson said.
Mahanga admitted, though, that not all his goals had been achieved: “Last year, in the prefect’s application form, they asked everyone their goals for 2020 and my goal was to help make Clifton a top 10 team in South Africa. The only way to do that is by winning games.
“Unfortunately, this season we lost a lot of league games. In the Kearsney tournament, we came 10th, and in the Saint John’s tournament our goal was to make it to the quarter-finals. We were unfortunate to lose by three points against Michael Mount. They won the Saint John’s tournament two years ago.”
The point, though, is if you don’t attain your goal, you can still enjoy success.
“We played hard. We had the toughest pool. The two games we lost were to the finalists. We still made it out of the pool and we were unlucky not to make it into the quarters. I am sure that every coach out there is aware that Clifton basketball is rising,” Mahanga reckoned.
Like so many things at Clifton, where the idea of family is preached and lived, success comes from a holistic approach to all things. Peter Farquharson concluded: “There is an incredibly committed staff. The parental support is behind every endeavour at the school. Whether it’s the Chamber Choir or basketball, parental support is crucial, and it is there.”
Michaelhouse, Kearsney and Saint Charles remain steady powers at the top of KwaZulu-Natal schools’ basketball. Not long ago, DHS was the best in the country. Hilton College is strong, Maritzburg College is strong, Northwood is on the up, and Clifton now appears to have taken a seat at that table. The trick will be to sustain that success, but given their past record in other sports, why would one bet against them?
Day four of the Independent Schools Cricket Festival began under cloudy skies, with drizzle threatening to turn into something heavier and spoil the final day of the event. However, with a bit of venue juggling, seven T20 matches were played and at the conclusion of the day, Hilton College, Bishops and Saint Andrew’s College were left with unblemished records writes KZN10.com’s Brad Morgan.
“One always wants to achieve the best for all teams that commit to the festival in terms of game time,” Festival Director Wayne Scott commented after the last match. “We got through 19 of our 24 games for the weekend, which was fantastic.
Festival Director Wayne Scott (foreground, blue top) discusses the game as Clifton battle Saint Andrew’s College of Grahamstown.
“From a logistics perspective, to try and coordinate a festival around Durban, when you need six grounds and you don’t have fields of your own, creates its own challenges, so hats off to all my staff and all the logistics people involved.”
HILTON COLLEGE VS MICHAELHOUSE
A big traditional rivalry was scheduled for Durban North College, but a waterlogged field led to Hilton and Michaelhouse moving to College Rovers. The break and new venue proved to be no problem for Hilton who powered their way to a lopsided nine-wicket win in double-quick time.
Brett Cutting shone with the ball for Hilton, capturing 3 for 8 in his four overs, as Michaelhouse, batting first, crashed to a lowly 64 all out.
In reply, the black and white rushed to victory in just 11 overs, led by Matt Diemont. He enjoyed a consistent festival with the bat and ended it on a high with an unbeaten 39.
BISHOPS VS SAINT DAVID’S MARIST INANDA
Bishops had the most reliable top order over the course of the four days and they again came to the fore in a comfortable eight-wicket win over Saint David’s Marist Inanda on the Kingsmead Nursery ground.
Saint David’s batting aspirations were pegged back by losing wickets at regular intervals. Instead they managed an average 116 for 7 in their 20 overs.
James Fifield stood firm with 30 not out for the Gauteng school, while Storm Matthews led the Cape Town school’s attack with a good-looking return of 4 for 17 from his four overs.
Bishops then needed only 16 overs to pass the victory target of 118, getting there for the loss of just two batsmen, with Abdullah Adams contributing 37.
SAINT ANDREW’S COLLEGE VS SAINT JOHN’S COLLEGE
Saint Andrew’s College played two matches, the first against Saint John’s and the second against Clifton, which brought the Festival to a close. Like Bishops, they showed strong depth in their batting.
Playing on the Riverside Football Field first up meant short boundaries square of the wicket and the Grahamstown side took full advantage of that to put up a challenging 181 for 6, with Matt Poole’s 82 proving to be the highest score in any game on the last day. Christopher Ford was the most successful of the Saint John’s bowlers, claiming three wickets, but he was also expensive, going for 49 runs.
Saint Andrew’s College batted aggressively to post an intimidating 181 for 6. (All photos: Brad Morgan, KZN10.com)
The Johannesburgers were not up to the pressure of matching a required run rate of just over nine to the over and fell well short, finishing on 130 for 8, with Harry Grose striking 33. That left Saint Andrew’s the convincing victors by 51 runs.
CLIFTON VS SAINT JOHN’S COLLEGE
Later, on the Riverside Oval, they took on Clifton. The hosts had a very good festival, impressing in the field and with the ball especially, but they didn’t put enough runs on the board to stop the hard-hitting College boys.
Clifton’s Shrey Singh appeals successfully for LBW against Saint Andrew’s College.
Wade Vietch played a good innings to tally 50, but a total of 135 for 4 wasn’t enough to really pressure the Eastern Cape side. Clifton did well to get deep into their batting line-up but, with a couple of overs to spare, Saint Andrew’s College secured a three-wicket win.
CLIFTON VS SAINT STITHIAN’S COLLEGE
Clifton had begun the day with a well-deserved six-wicket victory over Saint Stithian’s. It was built off of a strong bowling performance, which limited Saints to only 105 for 7, with Josh Northend knocking over 3 for 13.
There was an enticing duel between bat and ball when Clifton visited the crease against Saint Stithian’s.
Opening batsman Ben McElligott then played a match-winning innings of 48 not out from 58 deliveries to see Clifton to a six-wicket win.
Assessing the host’s performances, Clifton Director of Cricket Wayne Scott said: “We were playing the best teams from around the country, which is awesome. We always want to play people from different provinces.
“The interesting thing was we had six teams from coastal regions, if we include Bishops and Saint Andrew’s Grahamstown, plus the four schools from KZN. Then we had six schools from inland – from Joburg, Pretoria and Bloemfontein.
“The primary objective for us is to have games against new schools, which we achieved.”
SAINT CHARLES COLLEGE VS SAINT ALBAN’S COLLEGE
Saint Charles, after some strong performances, came unstuck against Saint Alban’s on the Durban North College top field. Due to a muddy pitch, bowling was done entirely from the north end, so kudos to the coaches and players for making sure a game took place.
Saint Charles were out in the middle first. Despite short square boundaries, which made for inviting targets for the batsmen, they lost wickets regularly. It led to them posting 130 for 7, which was not as healthy a total as it might have seemed because of the small field.
Short square boundaries invited the Saint Charles’ batsmen to play shots…
Triston Venter struck 41 and Kwanele Nqayi made 30, but the Maritzburg side had trouble with the bowling of Cameron Walker and Luca Kirstein. Walker snapped up 3 for 16 in four overs, while Kirstein captured 3 for 10 in three.
…which backfired at times.
It was tight, but Saint Alban’s got home with eight balls to spare, reaching 135 for 6 in the penultimate over. Their victory owed much to Boago Gaoraelwe whose 67 was crucial to the positive result for the Pretoria boys.
SAINT ANDREW’S SCHOOL VS SAINT BENEDICT’S
A young Saint Andrew’s School side had battled throughout the festival with their batting and against Saint Benedict’s it was again their undoing. Batting first, the Bloemfontein team scraped together only 71 for 9 in their 20 overs. Even though conditions were a little tricky, that was never going to be enough to challenge Saint Benedict’s.
JC Young of Saint Andrew’s goes on the drive against Saint Benedict’s.
Tristan Eley made sure Bennies cruised to the win with an unbeaten 39, which gave them a comfortable eight-wicket margin of victory.
Summing up the four days of the event, Festival Director Wayne Scott said: “From my side, we had a wonderful week of cricket. Lots of new friendships were formed and lots of new bonds were forged, in terms of players playing against each other and coaches getting to know each other.
“It’s all about playing the game in the right spirit, and I think most games were played that way.
“Everyone wants to win but, for me, the awesome thing about the week was that lots of teams got to play against sides that they don’t normally play against.
Michaelhouse 64 all out (B. Cutting 3 for 8)
Hilton College 65 for 1 off 11 overs (M. Diemont 39*)
Hilton won by 9 wickets
Saint Andrew’s College 181 for 6 (M. Poole 82, C. Ford 3 for 49)
Saint John’s College 130 for 8 (H. Grose 33)
Saint Andrew’s College won by 51 runs
Clifton 135 for 4 (W. Vietch 50)
Saint Andrew’s College 137 for 7
Saint Andrew’s College won by 3 wickets
Saint David’s Marist Inanda 116 for 7 (J. Fifield 30*, S. Matthews 4 for 17)
Bishops 117 for 2 off 16 overs (A. Adams 37)
Bishops won by 8 wickets
Saint Stithian’s College 105 for 7 (J. Northend 3 for 13)
Clifton 108 for 4 (B. McElligott 48*)
Clifton won by 6 wickets
Saint Charles College 130 for 7 (T. Venter 41, K. Nqayi 30, Luca Kirstein 3 for 10, C. Walker 3 for 16)
Saint Alban’s College 135 for 6 (B. Gaoraelwe 67)
Saint Alban’s College won by 4 wickets
Saint Andrew’s School 71 for 9
Saint Benedict’s 72 for 2 (T. Eley 39*)
Saint Benedict’s won by 8 wickets
Hilton College and Clifton eked out narrow victories, while Saint Charles powered their way to an emphatic win, on day two of the Independent Schools Under-15 Cricket Festival in Durban on Thursday. The conditions were overcast and windy – no bails were used – and threatened to rain out the games, but ultimately they brought only one contest to a premature end, writes KZN10.com’s Brad Morgan.
HILTON COLLEGE VS SAINT JOHN’S COLLEGE
At the Riverside Sports Club, Hilton College put up 189 for 9 in their 50 overs against Saint John College. On a turning wicket and with a heavy outfield, it was a decent total and Hilton were confident it would be enough. They were right, but only just.
The issue for Hilton was the fact that five of the top six batsmen in their order made their way into double figures, but none really pushed on to produce a telling contribution.
Ross Boast’s 31 was their best effort, closely followed by Matt Diemont, who made 30.
Oliver Xego sent three batsmen packing at a cost of 31 runs, while Thomas Archer captured 3 for 41 and Liam Billet took 2 for 39. Props, too, to Krishay Patel, who sent down 10 overs and finished with an economical 1 for 20.
Saint John’s had every opportunity to chase down the victory target of 190, but they were undone by their running between the wickets and Hilton’s fielding, with four players departing due to run outs.
Crucially, they included the top scorer in the match, Harry Grose, who made 50 from 75 deliveries, with five fours.
The run out of Harry Grose was a crucial moment in Hilton’s hard-fought win over Saint John’s (All photos: Brad Morgan, KZN10.com)
The two Lukes, Watt and Francis, both made it into the twenties, but were unable to provide the extra impetus, so badly undermined by run outs, that the Saint John’s innings needed. In the end they came up eight runs shy of the Hilton total, finishing on 181 for 9.
CLIFTON VS SAINT DAVID’S MARIST INANDA
Runs were hard to come by at Durban North College where the host school, Clifton, and Saint David’s Marist Inanda went hammer and tongs in a tense, but fairly contested match.
Having won the toss, Clifton chose to bat, but like so many matches on the day – was it the overcast conditions? – saw their batsmen make some starts but none push on to produce a decisive innings.
James Matthis, their top scorer on day one against Saint Alban’s with 71, was once more the leading run-getter, but this time his contribution was 29, taking him to 100 runs for the Festival thus far.
The big disappointment for Clifton would be that Matthis, together with Ben McElligott, put on 46 for the first wicket. Once McElligott departed for 22, Clifton lost the remainder of their wickets for just 99 runs.
Brandon Archer did most of the damage for Saint David’s, snapping up 4 for 31 from his 10 overs. He was well supported by Sohan Desai, who bowled six overs and picked up 3 for 16.
Clifton edged out Saint David’s Marist Inanda after an intense contest in which the ball had the better of the bat.
Caleb McLaren was the glue in the Johannesburg side’s response, making 63 not out, but the support he required was missing and Saint David’s came up 10 runs shy, losing their last wicket with the total on 135.
Clifton owed a lot to spinner Shrey Singh for their victory. His five-for at a cost of 42 runs proved just too much for Saint David’s to overcome.
SAINT CHARLES COLLEGE VS SAINT ANDREW’S SCHOOL
At Collegians, Saint Charles enjoyed a convincing 104-run victory over Saint Andrew’s School. It was far from a vintage batting performance from the Pietermaritzburg side, but they had enough contributions, aided by 26 extras, to muster 217 in 38.4 overs.
Joao de Franca nudged out Matt Urquhart for the top score, making 44 with six fours, while Urquhart sent the ball across the boundary nine times in his innings of 43, which came in double-quick time from just 28 deliveries.
Ross Ritchie produced a telling knock, making 37, while Panashe Taruvinga hit 24.
Jordan van den Berg led the Saint Andrew’s bowlers with a return of 3 for 39, but was a little expensive, going at 6.5 runs per over. Ishaq Khan snapped up 2 for 12 in four, while Schalk Liebenberg was arguably the pick of the Bloemfontein school’s bowlers, capturing 2 for 31 in his 10 overs.
Saint Andrew’s then did themselves no favours when they visited the crease with both openers being run out. Just two players reached double figures as the batting side crumbled under heavy pressure from the Saint Charles’ bowlers and fielders.
Jordan Bentley was the star of the show, knocking over 3 for 13 in 10 overs, while the rest of the wickets were shared around.
The top scorer for Saint Andrew’s School against Saint Charles was middle order batsman Matthew Simon.
Matthew Simon hit 34 at close to a run a ball for Saint Andrew’s and Schalk Liebenberg occupied the crease for a long time for his 25 from 96 deliveries, but with no other meaningful support they were well beaten by Saint Charles.
MICHAELHOUSE VS SAINT BENEDICT’S
Michaelhouse faced Saint Benedict’s at Lahee Park in Pinetown, but they, unfortunately, on a day when rain threatened throughout, were the only teams to have their game rained out. There was a lot of cricket played, nonetheless.
The Balgowan boys mustered 158 in their 50 overs, thanks mostly to Michael Thornton and Nathan Hoatson. Thornton top scored with 52, while Hoatson shone with a knock of 47 runs.
Simele Maye stood out with the ball, with an economical and incisive return of 4 for 21.
The Saint Benedict’s innings then lasted 16 overs before the rain brought it to a close on 58 for 1.
BISHOPS VS SAINT ALBAN’S COLLEGE
In a high-scoring game, which bucked the trend, Bishops recorded a 39-run victory over Saint Alban’s at College Rovers, aided by an astonishing five run outs.
Batting first, after being put in, Bishops posted 289 for 8, which was highlighted by a second wicket stand of 157 between opening batsman Kashief Josephand number three Nic Allison.
Joseph was the first to depart, just nine runs shy of a century, having taken only 115 balls for his 91, with 10 fours and two sixes.
As so often happens when a big stand is broken, the second of the partners sooned joined the other back on the side of the field, with Allison falling just four runs later for 64, with five fours and one maximum.
Abdullah Adams weighed in with a rapid 36 and the middle order all reached double figures without pushing on to anything significant. Still, 289 was a decent total.
Sam Berry picked up three wickets for Saint Alban’s at a cost of 56 runs, while Luca Kirstein claimed 2 for 40 and Eldré Spies a tidy 2 for 36 from his 10 overs.
The Pretoria school’s response lasted 47.2 overs. There was some good batting, but those five run outs were too much to overcome.
Charl Barnard, the hero of their draw against Clifton on day one, was the top scorer once again, making 64 from 96 balls, with five fours, at the top of the order before being caught by Cole Crawford off of the bowling of Jack Crafford.
Stuart van der Merwe made 45 as he and Barnard put on 82 for the second wicket, while lower down the order, Druan Visagie, in at eight, took the attack to the bowlers, cracking an unbeaten 41 from just 35 balls, with five fours and a six. Unfortunately for him and for Saint Alban’s, he ran out of partners as they finished on 250 all out, 40 runs fewer than they required to win.
SAINT STITHIAN’S VS SAINT ANDREW’S COLLEGE
Saint Stithian’s, after a rough outing against Hilton on day one, performed better in their second match against Saint Andrew’s College, but were again on the wrong side of the result, going down by five wickets to the team from Grahamstown.
Richard Seletswane struck 50 for Saint Stithian’s, but good bowling from Hlonela Ntshingwa, who captured 3 for 16, and Stuart Carr, who took 3 for 35, made sure the batting side was unable to get any real momentum going. Still, they managed to make their way to 143 all out.
Saint Andrew’s College, without any one batsman going off, reeled in the Saint Stithian’s total in just 32.2 overs, led by an unbeaten 32 from Oliver Snart, for the loss of five wickets.
Hilton College 189 for 9 (R. Boast 31, M. Diemont 30, T. Archer 3 for 41, O. Xego 3 for 31)
Saint John’s College 181 for 9 (H. Grose 50)
Hilton won by eight runs
Clifton 145 all out (J. Matthis 30)
Saint David’s Marist Inanda 135 all out (C. McLaren 63*, S. Singh 5 for 42)
Clifton won by 10 runs
Saint Charles College 217 all out (De Franca 44, Urquhart 43, Ritchie 37, Van den Berg 3 for 39)
Saint Andrew’s School 113 all out (M. Simon 34, J. Bentley 3 for 13)
Saint Charles won by 104 runs
Michaelhouse 158 all out (M. Thornton 52, N. Hoatson 47, Simele 4 for 21)
Saint Benedict’s 58 for 1 off 16 overs
Game abandoned due to rain
Bishops 289 for 8 (K. Joseph 91, C. Crawford 65)
Saint Alban’s College 250 all out
Bishops won by 39 all out
Saint Stithian’s College 143 all out (R. Seletswane 50, H. Ntshingwa 3 for 16, S. Carr 3 for 35)
Saint Andrew’s College 145 for 5 (O. Snart 32*)
Saint Andrew’s won by 5 wickets
For the teams that travelled from the central areas of South Africa, the opening day of the Independent Schools Under-15 Cricket Festival must have been a bit of a smack in the face; it was very hot and very humid in Durban and the outfields were playing slowly, meaning any time spent in the middle, be it with bat or ball, would be taxing.
KZN10.com’s Brad Morgan took in some intense competition, which resulted in wins for Hilton College, Michaelhouse, and Bishops, and strong draws for Clifton, Saint Charles and Saint Andrew’s College.
The format for the day was time cricket, with 50-overs matches set to follow on Thursday and Friday, and T20s on Saturday.
(Score summaries below)
CLIFTON vs SAINT ALBAN’S
At Riverside, the host school, Clifton, squared up to Saint Alban’s College of Pretoria. In the early going, it was the visitors who enjoyed the better of the contest, led by the Kirstein twins, seamer Luca and off-spinner Liam, who captured the first four wickets to fall as Clifton lurched to 42 for 4.
Connor McKenzie and James Matthis then lent the innings some substance by moving the total along to 71 before McKenzie was bowled by Liam Kirstein for 20. Ben van der Merwe (7) didn’t last too long, but that brought Kyle Thomas to the crease and he, together with James Matthis, then set about taking control of the battle between bat and ball.
The duo combined for a very well played partnership of 104 to put Clifton in the driving seat.
Thomas brought stability and watchfulness to the crease, refusing to play any risky shots, while Matthis took on the dominant role, impressing with his willingness to take on any full ball by driving straight and true over the top. In the end, his offensive mindset cost him his wicket, stumped off the bowling of Boago Gaoraelwe for a fine 71 from 107 deliveries, with 10 fours, but not before he had played a pivotal knock.
Clifton added a further 15 runs before declaring on 200 for 8 from 64.2 overs, with the left-hander, Kyle Thomas, unbeaten on 48, which had come from 88 balls and included five fours.
Liam Kirstein led the Saint Alban’s attack, snaring 5 for 64 in 19 overs with his spin, while his brother, Luca, picked up 2 for 28 in 7.2.
Charl Barnard’s bat stood between Clifton and a convincing victory. (All photos, Brad Morgan, KZN10.com)
In reply, the Pretoria school had opener Charl Barnard (above) to thank for not being run over by the Clifton attack. He played a nuggetty knock, which last all 54 overs of the Saint Alban’s reply, to finish on an undefeated 60 from 158 balls, with eight fours.
All around him, the Saint Alban’s batsmen struggled. Luke Sass managed 14, but his was the only other score to make it beyond single figures as the Clifton spinners tied up the opposition batsmen in knots.
Clifton’s Keaton Murray clean bowled Luca Kirstein for a single.
Barnard’s battling knock was rewarded, however, when Saint Alban’s gutted it out to reached 97 for 8 by stumps. Opening bowler Keaton Murray captured 2 for 8 for Clifton from nine overs, five of which were maidens, while his new ball partner, Mitchell Tillard, claimed 1 for 7 in seven.
It was the twin spin offensive from Huzaifah Badat and Shrey Singh, though, that caused all kinds of trouble for Saint Albans. Badat snared 3 for 25 in 15 overs, while Singh finished with 2 for 16 from his 12.
In the end, however, Barnard stood between Clifton and victory.
SAINT CHARLES VS SAINT DAVID’S MARIST INANDA
Saint Charles College faced Saint David’s Marist Inanda on the Kingsmead Nursery Ground and enjoyed themselves at the crease. Spending 65 overs out in the middle, they tallied a useful 271 for 8.
Matthew Urquhart top scored with 70 and there was plenty of meaningful support for his innings from Panashe Taruvinga, who made 42, Stefan Veldsman, with 40, and Joao de Franca with 30.
Saint David’s found the going a lot tougher in their turn at bat. In just 10 fewer overs than Saint Charles required to get their 271, the Johannesburgers scratched their way to 78 for 7, which was enough for them to hold out for a draw.
De Franca showed off his all-round ability as he added a bowling return of 3 for 13 off of 15 overs to go with his 30 with the bat, while Jordan Bentley knocked over 3 for 19 in 12.
MICHAELHOUSE VS SAINT ANDREW’S SCHOOL
Michaelhouse and Saint Andrew’s School met at College Rovers in a contest dominated by the ball. Batting first, a young Saints’ team lost a couple of early wickets, but were then settled by a stubborn innings of 34 by Jordan van den Berg. He stuck around for 98 balls and sent three deliveries to the boundary before falling victim to Nathan Hoatson for 34.
Letlo Likhi put together a dour 28 not out from 149 balls, with two fours, but not much else was offered by the Bloem boys, who were dismissed for 113 in 63 overs.
Nathan Hoatson was the pick of the Michaelhouse bowlers, returning the superb figures of 20 overs, 11 maidens, 3 for 15.
Graham Wynne snapped up 2 for 9 in four and Aiden Jinnah claimed 2 for 36 as the ‘House attack set their batsman a very gettable target.
Michaelhouse were forced to sweat for their runs and for victory by Saint Andrew’s School.
At 43 for 1 in reply, the Balgowan-based side was cruising along, but they then saw three wickets fall for just eight runs. Another flurry of wickets, which saw them reduced from 65 for 4 to 80 for 7 had Michaelhouse concerned. But, for the loss of just one more wicket, they edged across the finishing line to secure a narrow win by two wickets.
At the top of the order, Kyle Walker had played a crucial knock, making 32 from 60 balls, with four fours, while Murray Baker struck 23 at a run a ball, with four boundaries. Dakalo Leketa starred for Saint Andrew’s, picking up 3 for 24 in 15 overs.
HILTON COLLEGE VS SAINT STITHIAN’S
At Crusaders, Hilton College powered their way to a convincing victory over Saint Stithian’s.
Batting first, Saints mustered 136 all out, with Masande Luthuli leading the way with an innings of 38 runs.
Nick Chantier was the pick of the Hilton bowlers, sending three batsmen packing to return figures of 3 for 25.
It simply wasn’t enough runs and Hilton were ruthless in their pursuit of the win.
Wian Liebenberg did most of the damage, weighing in with 70, while Matt Diemont hit 40 to see the boys from the Midlands to an emphatic nine-wicket victory.
BISHOPS VS SAINT JOHN’S COLLEGE
Also at Crusaders, Bishops and Saint John’s met. The Johannesburg side has been a bit up and down this season, due mostly to inconsistent batting, scoring some good wins and suffering some disappointing losses, but a total of 196 all out looked like a reasonable score. It turns out if wasn’t nearly enough to stave off the Capetonians’ charge.
Storm Matthews shone for Bishops, striking an unbeaten 83, , which was the highest individual score achieved by any batsman on the day, and Abdullah Adams lent strong support with 68, to see the Cape Town school to an impressive five-wicket win.
SAINT ANDREW’S COLLEGE VS SAINT BENEDICT’S
At Collegians, Saint Andrew’s College were the only team to top 300, putting together 301 for 6 against Saint Benedict’s. Their innings didn’t have one very big score, but there was plenty of consistency from the batsmen.
Sibusiso Mxube top scored with 62 for the Grahamstown boys, Matthew Poole struck 60 not out, Matthew Beamish contributed 50, Bertram White 50, and Sinjhun Cawse an undefeated 34.
In reply, Saint Benedict’s put up 161 for 5 as the game petered out into a tame draw. Quaid Pillay returned the top score of 41 and Declan le Roux came close to matching him, making 35.
Clifton 200 for 8 (J. Matthis 71, B. van der Merwe 48, Liam Kirstein 5 for 64, Luca Kirstein 2 for 28)
Saint Alban’s 97 for 8 (C. Barnard 60*, H. Badat 3 for 25, K. Murray 2 for 8, S. Singh 2 for 16)
Saint Charles College 271 for 8 (M. Urquhart 70, P. Taruvinga 42, S. Veldsman 40*, J. de Franca 30)
Saint David’s Marist Inanda 78 for 7 (J. de Franca 3 for 13, J. Bentley 3 for 19)
Saint Stithian’s 136 all out (M. Luthuli 38, N. Chantier 3 for 25)
Hilton College 145 for 1 (W. Liebenberg 70, M. Diemont 40)
Hilton won by 9 wickets
Saint Andrew’s School 113 all out (J. van den Berg 34, L. Likhi 28*, N. Hoatson 3 for 15, G. Wynne 2 for 9)
Michaelhouse 114 for 8 (K. Walker 32, M. Baker 23, D. Leketa 3 for 24)
Michaelhouse won by 2 wickets
Saint John’s 196 all out
Bishops 201 for 5 (S. Matthews 83*, A. Adams 68)
Bishops won by 5 wickets
Saint Andrew’s College 301 for 6 (S. Mxube 62, M. Poole 60*, M. Beamish 50, B. White 50, S. Cawse 34*)
Saint Benedict’s 161 for 5 (Q. Pillay 41, D. le Roux 35)
DHS played host to the annual Durban and District Gala on Tuesday afternoon. The event – featuring DHS, Westville, Northwood, Glenwood, Clifton and Kearsney – consisted of the 4 x 50m relay in all strokes in the under-14, under-15, under-16, under-17 and under-19 age groups and culminated in the 5 x 50m freestyle ladder relay.
Contested late in the afternoon, a decently sized crowd took in some good competition in pleasant conditions, with the powerhouse Westville team, predictably, dominating proceedings. A total of 26 events were contested with the Griffins excelling and capturing the honours in 22 of the 26 relays.
While Westville ruled the roost in the Durban and Districts Gala, DHS shone in the under-15 age group, picking up wins in three of the five relays (All photos: Brad Morgan, KZN10.com)
They impressed with their depth, not only in the various strokes, but also throughout the various age groups. Westville also swept all relays in the under-14, under-16 and under-17 age groups.
Clifton picked up a very impressive win in the under-19 freestyle relay, which, obviously, meant their time of 1:40.84 was the fastest recorded in any relay on the day. That was the only race Westville didn’t win in the senior age group.
The competition took place in ideal late afternoon conditions, with a nice crowd in attendance.
DHS were especially strong at under-15 level. In fact, they claimed three wins to Westville’s two, with the hosts giving the crowd plenty to cheer with victories in the backstroke, butterfly and medley relays, while Westville reigned supreme in the freestyle and breaststroke races.
A hallmark of the gala, which was very pleasing to witness, was the friendly nature of the competition. It echoed days gone by when winning was not all that mattered and the appreciation of challenging oneself and others was as important as the result itself.
So, well done to all the swimmers and the coaches (and moms and dads); besides the excellence of the performances, the good-natured racing stood out.
From the first event to the last, there was no doubt that Westville would claim the silverware as champions of the Durban and Districts Gala. DHS headmaster Tony Pinheiro presented the winner’s trophy to Westville captain Ian Brijlal.
1st: Westville 152 points
2nd: Clifton 107 points
3rd: DHS 90 points
4th T: Glenwood 69 points
4th T: Kearsney 69 points
6th: Northwood 57 points
The Clifton College first XI followed up last Thursday’s 4-wicket T20 win over home side Westville on Bowden’s with a 64-run victory in this past Saturday’s 50-over match.
“Clifton set the tone from the beginning,” says the Clifton coaching staff’s Oliver Cash.
All cricket photos by KZN10.com‘s BRAD MORGAN
The hard-hitting Josh Platford provided the early impetus with a typically belligerent 54 off just 33 balls that included 9 fours and 2 sixes in his hour at the crease.
Clifton had the perfect foil in fellow opener and wicketkeeper Matt Adams (64 off 120 balls with 4 fours) who was the backbone of the innings during his 3,5 hours at the crease.
“A patient innings from Matt Adams meant he was the perfect partner for the attacking and big-hitting Josh Platford,” says coach Oliver Cash, who has been with the first XI for a number of years, primarily in the strength and conditioning role, which so ably complements the cricketing knowledge of the experienced Clifton first XI coach Yashin Ebrahim.
Adams and the attack-minded Clifton skipper Nabeel Jeewa (40 32b 3×4 2×6) complemented the first-wicket partnership with another productive stand for the third wicket.
Grade 10 talent Ross Montgomery – coming in at number 5 – weighed in with a 34 off 70 balls (2 fours).
“Our experienced captain Nabeel Jeewa and young Ross Montgomery were brilliant in making sure that flow continued to lunch and beyond,” says Cash.
The 35 extras that included 21 wides and 2 no-balls (a “freebie” 23 runs that also provided the Clifton batters with 23 extra deliveries to face) did not help the Westville cause and Clifton’s innings closed on an imposing 267 for 7 in their allotted 50 overs.
“Mention must also be made of the fact that Westville all-rounder Troy Botha was absolutely brilliant in the field,” says Clifton’s Oliver Cash. “A couple more fielders like Troy makes me think that our score may have been a lot less.”
Westville employed 7 bowlers in the Clifton innings and the most significant outcomes came from Anthony Dunford (7 overs 1 maiden conceding 28 runs and taking 2 wickets) and Jared Slaney (10-0-53-2) and a tidy 10-0-28-1 from opening bowler Troy Botha. Dylan Rae and Jaden Arumugam picked up a wicket apiece.
In their reply to Clifton’s total of 267, too many misplaced airborne shots resulting in 6 catches coupled with 3 run outs did little for the Westville run chase, albeit a run chase set at a more-than challenging (on KZN pitches) 5.3 an over.
Opening batsman Kyle Hammond made a brisk start to the Westville innings with 36 off 35 (3 fours) while first-wicket Callum Hayes (30 42b 2×4) and skipper Ethan Matkovich (35 49b 2×4) also contributed handily to keep the home side within sight of winning ways.
“I thought Clifton started very poorly in the Westville innings,” says Cash. “Energy was very low and our bowlers lacked intent. Westville got on top with some aggressive batting. Unfortunately, one or two silly run outs from them meant their run rate fell off towards the middle of their innings.”
A typically pugnacious Troy Botha – coming in at 7 – innings of 57 runs off 46 balls including 6 fours and 3 sixes injected further momentum into the Westville run chase but the total of 3 run outs, including 2 towards the end, saw the home team’s innings close with the score reading 203 all out in just 39.4 overs of the 50 granted them.
“Once again it was Troy Botha who stepped up to the plate for Westville,” says Cash. “Troy had a brilliant knock and almost took the game away from us, but once we took his wicket we smelt blood in the water and with the light fading we cracked on the accelerator and closed the game out.”
It’s easy to say in hindsight of course, and purely statistical conjecture (lies, damn lies and then there are statistics, they say) but those 62 unused deliveries – had they been utilised by the batsmen in search of the remaining 65 to win (remember the 3 ill-judged run outs) it may well have brought the respective innings totals closer together.
Aside from the 3 run outs, Clifton spinners Marco Mottura (8-0-42-2) and the in-form vice-captain John Munford (8-0-25-2) were the chief wicket-takers while opening bowler Ryan Jairaj, first-change Ross Montgomery and second-change Teague Ridgway each earned a wicket.
“Given the conditions and some player health issues, I am very proud of the Clifton lads,” added Cash.
WESTVILLE V CLIFTON SCORES IN BRIEF
Thursday T20: Westville 124/5 (John Munford 3-25) Clifton 125/4 (Josh Platford 31, Romashen Pillay 30)
Clifton won by 6 wickets
Saturday 50-over: Clifton 267/7 (Matt Adams 64, Josh Platford 54, Nabeel Jeewa 40, Ross Montgomery 34) Westville 203 all out in 39.4ov (Troy Botha 5, Kyle Hammond 36, Ethan Matkovich 35, Callum Hayes 30)
Clifton won by 64 runs
Other CC v WBHS results
2nd XI: Clifton 122 lost to WBHS 124/4 by 6 wkts
3rds: Clifton 90 lost to WBHS 91/2 by 8 wkts
U16A: Clifton 114 lost to WBHS 115/3 (Kistna 47) by 7 wkts
U15A: WBHS 74 (Murray 6-13) lost to Clifton 75/5 by 5 wkts
U14A: Clifton 114 (Miller 41, Kistna 5-22) lost to WBHS 115/2 (Kistna 48) by 8 wkts
Clifton College 1st XI vice-captain John Munford made 3 vital breakthroughs in the T20 at Bowden’s yesterday while Josh Platford took full measure of too many boundary balls upfront from home side Westville, leading to a 4-wicket victory for the visitors from Morningside with 2 balls to spare.
All photos Brad Morgan
Feature image: Clifton vice-captain John Munford played a pivotal role in his side’s win on Bowden’s at Westville.
Three home-side batsmen got into the 20’s before falling victim to Munford (2) and promising grade 10 Ross Montgomery as Westville concluded their 20 overs with the total reading 124 for 5, Clifton vice-captain Munford ending with 3 for 17 from 4 probing overs.
The batting blitzkrieg that is Josh Platford (31 off 18 balls with 5 fours and 1 six, strike rate 172.2) set up Clifton’s chase and with the rest of the top 5 chipping in it appeared to be a given needing 9 runs to win and 16 deliveries still in the bank.
To their credit the spirited Westville lads whittled the Cliftonians down to the 3rd-last ball before acknowledging defeat.
Westville get a chance to turn the tables when Clifton return to Bowden’s for the 50-over match tomorrow.
* Brad and I were hoping, but eventually unable, to get the names of Westville’s notable contributors with bat and ball – as well as those in-photo. Maybe you can help us?
It was an action-packed Super Saturday 8 2 20 for two of our much-appreciated and cherished KZN10.com schools Kearsney College and Clifton College on the cricket, water polo and basketball arenas in Botha’s Hill and Riverside-by-the-Sea.
The KZN10.com man on the spot Brad Morgan had a field day with camera in hand and remarked on the passionate support and camaraderie that permeated the throngs of friendly spectators – moms, dads, siblings, grandparents, aunties and uncles – and just your regular fan, like Brad, of the KZN10 schools’ special way of celebrating a Sporting Super Saturday within the KZN10.com Family of 10.
Let’s check out Brad’s pics and see if you can identify some of the players.
Brad Morgan feature foto: Kearsney top-order batsman Dylan Hulett has been in the most prolific of form this term. A batter for all occasions, Dyl has dug his side out of deep trouble when wickets tumbled around him and has been able to kick on with his aggressive brand of batsmanship when the need arose. Keep your eye out for this talented young man.
The Kearsney College first team hosted Clifton on Saturday and the opening quarter saw the two teams feeling each other out with Kearsney doing much of the playing but failing to convert their opportunities into points.
Clifton made the most of their limited opportunities and scored whenever they shot the ball. The quarter ended with the teams deadlocked at 8-apiece.
Tracey van den Aardweg feature image: Sharpshooter Ryan Wimbush was Kearsney’s top points (18) scorer.
Kearsney began to find some rhythm on offence during the 2nd quarter and opened up a 4-point lead – going into the halftime break 21-17 ahead.
Kearsney broke open the game during the 3rd quarter and played some very good basketball, looking like they would finish off their opponents in amassing a 14-point lead.
However, the 4th quarter fizzled out with both teams making poor decisions on offence and not making their baskets.
But Kearsney had done enough to come out winners by a 13-point margin with the final scoreline reading Kearsney 59 and Clifton 46.
For Kearsney, the top points scorers against Clifton were Ryan Wimbush with 19 points, followed by Matt Campbell (17 points), Xander Kapsimalis, Siyabonga Mpontshane & Ben Field on 6 points apiece.
For Clifton, Jacques Mahanga netted 20 points.
Yesterday, the Kearsney first team went down by 60 points to 50 at Westville.
All in all, it was a top day for Kearsney basketball versus visitors Clifton with 9 wins from 9 starts.
OTHER KEARSNEY vs CLIFTON RESULTS
2nds: Kearsney 26 Clifton 22
3rds: Kearsney 47 Clifton 14
U16A: Kearsney 54 Clifton 19
U16B: Kearsney 29 Clifton 19
U15A: Kearsney 70 Clifton 8
U15B: Kearsney 56 Clifton 6
U14A: Kearsney 33 Clifton 18
U14B: Kearsney 20 Clifton 6
In a much-anticipated clash, the Kearsney College first team played host to water polo powerhouses Clifton College on Saturday.
Clifton, fresh from a tournament in Grahamstown, settled quickly into their stride.
Kearsney created some good scoring chances in the first half, but were ultimately undone by solid defence and the wrong options being taken a few too many times.
Brad Morgan feature photo: IT’S THERE FOR THE TAKING!
The clinical Clifton side punished each Kearsney mistake to take the score to a commanding 7-1 at the halftime break.
Kearsney College came out strong in the 3rd chukka, showing composure and heart to claw back into the game and were trailing by 4 goals at 4-8 with a chukka to play.
With all-out attack and risk-taking the imperative in attempting to haul in the 4-goal deficit in that last chukka, it was a bridge to far for the home team as Clifton comfortably contained the threat in conceding 1 goal while adding 4 of their own to finish the markedly stronger team in this encounter at the final scoreline of 12-5.
On the plus side for Kearsney, many lessons were learnt at the hands of this quality Clifton outfit.
All in all it was a successful day for Clifton water polo.
2nds: Clifton 10 Kearsney 2
3rds: Clifton 10 Kearsney 3
4ths: Clifton 15 Kearsney 3
5ths: Clifton 10 Kearsney 4
U15A: Clifton 6 Kearsney 1
U15B: Clifton 10 Kearsney 8
U14A: Clifton 12 Kearsney 0