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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

SCORE SUMMARIES

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)
Match drawn

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)
Match drawn

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)
Match drawn

 

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