A busy weekend for KZN cricketers

It was a busy cricketing weekend for many as the 2014/15 season commenced with a bang for many sides from various age groups and organisations within KwaZulu-Natal.

The start of the Sunfoil Cup Provincial 3-day competition saw both KwaZulu Natal and KZN Inland in action from Thursday to Saturday while Westville Boys’ High School represented the province at the national finals of the Coca-Cola Schools T20 Challenge in Pretoria and a host of local schools 1st teams commenced their participation in the 55th edition of the Oppenheimer Michaelmas Week in Pietermaritzburg.

Playing at the Sunfoil Dolphins’ headquarters Sahara Stadium Kingsmead, the KwaZulu-Natal provincial side fought through a day of testing batting conditions and rain interruptions on Thursday before eventually falling for 128 on the second morning courtesy of a hard-fought 80 by wicket-keeper batsman Daniel Sincuba.

In Western Province’s first innings effort, right arm quick Craig Kirsten got his provincial career off to a golden start when he returned figures of 4/62 in his first outing at this level before the men from the Cape declared their innings closed on 230/7.

A far stronger showing by the home side’s batsmen in the second innings saw the match end in a draw after Divan van Wyk (38), Mishkal Ramsaroop (100*) and Sincuba (55) saw their side to 208/2 in their second innings.

Meanwhile in Kimberley, KZN Inland’s side claimed a 47 run win over Griqualand West after Kyle Nipper shone with both bat and ball.

Batting first, KZN Inland reached 257 all out compliments of Shane Burger’s 83 and Ruan Pretorius’ 43 before Griquas reply was closed on 305 all out thanks in the main to Nipper’s 5/58.

With the top order having failed in Inland’s second hit, Nipper (75) then combined with Suhail Rasack (75) to set Griquas a target of 203 for victory. Cyril Mthimkhulu (3/18) and Nipper (3/42) had other ideas though as they played significant roles in bowling Gruiquas out for 155 to hand Inland the win.

The whites were swapped for coloured clothing on Sunday as KZN and Western Province did battle in the CSA Provincial 50 over Challenge while Inland and Griquas met in a CSA Provincial Twenty20 clash.

Cameron Delport.

Batting first, WP set KZN 254 for victory with Brandon Scullard picking up 3/37 with the ball for the hosts. Having only just arrived back from the Sunfoil Dolphins’ Oppo Champions League T20 campaign in India a few days prior, Cameron Delport then bludgeoned his way to 126 which saw KZN clinch a five wicket win.

Inland were unfortunately unable to repeat their victorious efforts of the 3-day clash in their T20 match after they were bowled out for 111 despite Imraan Khan’s (44) efforts at the top of the order. Griquas won the contest by 5 wickets in the end.

In Pretoria Westville Boys’ High suffered a disappointing three days when they failed to achieve a victory in any of their five Coca-Cola Schools T20 Challenge national finals encounters, their third consecutive appearance at the finals.

Despite opening bat Alex Whitelaw notching up a whopping 210 runs in the five games, including a magnificent 108 against Kingswood, the men from just outside Durban went down to St Stithians (Johannesburg), Grey College (Bloemfontein), Waterkloof (Pretoria), Wynberg Boys’ High (Cape Town) and Kingswood (Port Elizabeth).

Maritzburg College once again play host to one of the country’s premier schools cricket festivals and the first two days of action produced some top class match-ups.

KZN schools DHS, Glenwood, Kearsney, Northwood, Michaelhouse and St Charles joined College in at the renowned festival this year while KZN Development is also part of the action in 2014.

After three days of 50 over bouts, the curtain comes down on the festival on Tuesday with a round of action-aplenty T20 matches.

With many of the region’s cricketers having celebrated Eid this past weekend, only one club cricket match took place where Verulam narrowly edged out Amanzimtoti by just 8 runs in their Castle Challenge League Stream 1 encounter.

KwaZulu-Natal 128 all out (Sincuba 80) & 208/2 (Ramsaroop 100*, Sincuba 55, van Wyk 38)
Western Province 230/7 decl. (Kirsten 4/62)
Match Drawn

KZN Inland 257 all out (Burger 83, Pretorius 43) & 250 all out (S.Razack 75, Nipper 75)
Griquas 305 all out (Nipper 5/58) & 155 all out (Mthimkhulu 3/18, Nipper 3/42)
KZN Inland won by 47 runs

Western Province 253/8 (Scullard 3/37)
KwaZulu-Natal 256/5 (Delport 126)
KwaZulu-Natal won by 5 wickets

KZN Inland 111 all out
Griquas 112/5
Griquas won by 5 wickets