The KZN Inland CSA Coca-Cola Schools T20 Challenge playoffs get into gear with the first two quarter-final matches at 9am at Hilton College this morning.
Two of the four qualifiers come up against two of the four seeded teams in this morning’s quarter-finals with the last two quarter-finals kicking off at 1pm today.
Tomorrow sees the semi-finals at 9am and the final at 1pm.
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This morning, Maritzburg College first XI tackle qualifiers Alexandra High School first XI at 9am on Weightman-Smith ground while St Charles College first XI face qualifiers Pongola HUB at the same time on the Jack Hart-Davis Oval.
The 1pm quarter-finals today see Michaelhouse first XI meeting St Dominic’s of Newcastle on Weightman-Smith and Hilton College first XI versus Treverton College on Hart-Davis.
In tomorrow, Wednesday’s, 9am semi-finals (unless a qualifier springs a major surprise) it is scheduled to be Maritzburg College vs Michaelhouse (on Weightman-Smith) and St Charles vs Hilton (Hart-Davis).
As to who will reach the final it’s anyone’s guess, although Hilton would be title favourites to most who follow schoolboy cricket.
The Coastal champions will take on the KZN Inland champs in the Dolphins franchise final at the PMB Oval. The final is scheduled for 27 February.
This may change if sides like Hilton College, who are scheduled to play in the annual Independent Schools Cricket Festival hosted by St Albans College in Pretoria from 26 February to 1 March, qualify for the Dolphins final.
The winners of the Dolphins final qualify to compete for the national title against the other franchise winners.
Last year, first-time Dolphins franchise winners St Charles College were runners-up at the nationals after losing to St Stithians College in the final at Tuks.
Inland winners The Saints beat Coastal winners Westville in the 2019 Dolphins franchise final last year.
To my knowledge, the Dolphins champions have never won the national final, although I think Maritzburg College – and certainly Hilton College (at least twice) – have been finalists in the past.