It’s the much-anticipated Saints vs Red Black & White first XI Twenty20 derby 4pm at the Varsity Oval today and the question on my lips is: Will it be another 97-96 Epic??
The KZN Inland Big 4 Quadrangular – or T20 Big Bash presented by PMB Varsity Cricket Club – is into its second round this week and the two sides that emerged victorious from Round 1 are going head-to-head.
Jono Cook feature image: Maritzburg College’s talented grade 11 batsman Ross Klusener has the proven BMT to score runs when it matters most.
Last time out St Charles edged Michaelhouse by 10 runs while Maritzburg College comfortably dealt with a disappointing Hilton College.
Back to the 97-96 Match.
After the long-awaited SCC v MC 50-over match was cancelled without a ball being bowled due to the inclement weather in the first term, a T20 friendly was hastily arranged for the next mutually accepted gap the following week – and what a classic it turned out to be.
Saints were bundled out for a modest 97 and Maritzburg College were cruising to victory at the back-end of the match before some magic with the ball and out in the field by the celebrated Zim duo of SCC captain and 2019 SA Schools T20 Player of the Year Wes Madhevere and his super-talented countryman Clive Madande pulled the home side’s fortunes out of the fire and spurred them to the narrowest of one-run, last-ball-of-the-match victories.
Going into this afternoon’s 4pm Big Bash the Maritzburg College lads had spent some quality time out in the middle during the weekend’s Fasken Cricket Festival hosted by St David’s Marist Inanda in Johannesburg.
But the two sets of two-day double innings matches ain’t quite T20 so it’ll be interesting to see how quickly the men in the red-black-and-white-striped first XI caps adapt to the demands of the truncated form of the game.
Saints enjoyed a comfortable win in a low-scoring 50-over encounter with visitors Northwood on Saturday and are therefore probably more finely-tuned for today’s muscle-up.
That said, a T20 local derby is anyone’s game so it’ll probably boil down to who of 2019 Coca-Cola Schools T20 National Franchise Finals silver medallists St Charles College or the gutsy well-balanced Maritzburg College squad want victory the most.
We will know for sure in just a few hours’ time.
The food and cooldrinks/coffee/cappuccino catering is good at the Varsity Oval (in the Peter Booysen Sports Park off Golf Road in Scottsville) while the cricket is sure to deliver.
Winning the toss and opting to bat could also be a game-breaker as the team batting second has to negotiate the in-between time when the setting sun and the floodlights compete for the batters’ attention.
See you there.
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