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.
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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.
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“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.
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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.”
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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