Northwood looking good

The Knights (first XI) played Clifton Wednesday afternoon (yesterday) in the KZN Coastal 100-ball competition at Clifton’s Riverside Sports Club ground and won by 5 wickets.

The Northwood School first XI under the captaincy of Adam Chislett had recorded an emphatic 111-run win in the 50-over match with Clifton School first XI on the Smith Oval in Durban North last Saturday.

The stage was set on the Saturday by a punishing James Nielsen at the top-of-the-innings’ Power Play as he raced to his half-century off just 30 deliveries.

Nielsen went on to make 83 off 94 balls and together with number 3 Evan Fouche (75 off 104) the Northwood pair added a match-defining 140 for the second wicket.

The Knights’ middle-order batsmen weighed in with handy contributions and the home side were able to set Clifton a challenging target when the innings closed at 232 for 6 in the allotted 50 overs.

The Knights of Northwood skipper Chislett then led by example in getting two early wickets and it was an uphill struggle from thereon for the Clifton batting line-up.

Liam Peverett’s four for 33 in 10 overs was the cherry on the top for Northwood, to go with Chislett’s final match analysis of three for 26 as Clifton were bowled out for 121.

Northwood first XI will be looking to maintain their winning momentum when they host Kearsney on the Robin Smith Oval from 9am on Saturday.

As is the case with the St Charles College first XI, who went to the Rondebosch festival, the Northwood first XI appear to have benefited immensely in fitting in a festival ahead of the start of the school year and the first-term domestic season.

The Knights were at the Grey High School festival, which took place from January 6 to 10 in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth, colloquially known as “PE”) and first up was a wake-up perhaps as the host school won the T20 match by 10 wickets.

Northwood Knights’ scored 159 for 5 in their 120 balls but it turned out to be too little in terms of extending the Grey PE batting line-up, the 2021 North/South competition T20 champions cruising home without the loss of a single wicket and 18 balls to spare.

The Knights then won their remaining 5 matches at the festival across different formats. A 131-run loss at Michaelhouse on the first Saturday of the school term halted the Knight’s winning ways but the blip was rectified 4 days later by a 52-run win at Glenwood in the 100-Ball competition followed by the 2 comfortable wins over near-neighbours Clifton.

Coach Khalipha Cele and director of cricket Mornantau Hayward, who also have the experience of Vaughn van Jaarsveld with his coaching the Northwood Bears (second XI) appear to have a good set-up on the go in the 22 cricket sides at this fine school situated in Adelaide Tambo Drive, Durban North.

One of the Northwood coaches I have got to know over the years is Mike Wolstenholme, who is looking after the third XI. If I know Mike, he is a caring coach who puts the team and the players first. Much experience has been gained over his years in cricket. Mike has also played a major role in KZN schools’ umpiring circles.

Northwood director of sport Sean Baker’s comments on the trip to Michaelhouse on January 22: “Northwood travelled to Michaelhouse for their first fixture for 2022. Michaelhouse is traditionally a tough away fixture and true to form, the House boys did not make it easy.

“In the basketball, it was Michaelhouse who dominated but not without a fight. Most of the matches were a few points in it, the game of the day for Northwood belonged to the U15E who had a closely- fought battle, dug deep and edged the MHS team 9-8.

“In the cricket there were equally exciting and closely contested matches across the age groups. The Northwood U15 age group won all their matches, the U15C team winning by 1 run. In the U14A match, Michaelhouse were in complete control until a superb piece of boundary fielding from Jamie Wimble to force a run out at a crucial moment swung momentum to the Squires who then went on to successfully defend their 159-run total by a 7-run margin.

“Michaelhouse won the junior water polo section but the day belonged to Mr Richter’s 1st team who against arguably one of the better KZN teams around, pulled off a 5-4 victory. Congratulations to the Knights water polo side. The second team also played well with Morne Earle bagging 5 goals in their 10-3 victory.

“Thank you to Michaelhouse for their hospitality and great sportsmanship throughout the day across all three sporting codes.”

Best wishes from to the Northwood boys in the upcoming matches – and that sentiment applies to all.

After Kearsney this weekend, Northwood’s block school fixtures for the rest of the term are as follows: away to Westville (Feb 12), away to DHS (Feb 19), home to Glenwood (Feb 26) and away to Maritzburg College (Mar 5).

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