In anticipation of the forthcoming season, Boland Landbou and Parel Vallei met in a friendly three-day match over the weekend. After back-to-back-to-back days of exciting action, with the advantage regularly shifting from one side to the other, Boland Landbou mastered the ageing pitch well on the final day to claim an impressive 137-run victory.
While the two teams usually meet in February, it was decided to organise a match very late in the 2023 season to give the boys an extra day of playing time, which would allow the coaches an opportunity to assess their squads before the new school year’s fixtures for both teams begin at the annual Paarl Boys’ High Cricket Festival on the 11th of January.
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On day one, Parel Vallei put the hosts under early pressure, limiting Boland Landbou to just 86/7 as the skilful Sibulele Makaleni captured 3/33, including the wickets of both opening batsmen.
Makaleni is in the Boland squad for the 2023 Coca-Cola Khaya Majola Week, which takes place from the 16th to the 20th of this month in Makhanda. In 2021, he was named in the u17 Boland Rural team, and he has also earned his regional colours in hockey.
Kobus Conradie steadied the ship for the hosts at the tail end of their innings, adding 40 runs to his team’s total and weathering 73 deliveries to take the sting out of the visitors’ attack before Landbou’s innings was ended with their total on 148.
In response, Parel Vallei batted patiently, led by a dogged effort from Christopher Hughes. He set the tone, facing 234 deliveries to finish as the top scorer for the visitors before falling victim to Boland Landbou’s Francois Prins for 49.
Prins continued his fine form with the ball in Parel Vallei’s second innings, securing the final wicket to finish with figures of 2/15 and 2/6. His selection for the Boland u16 team positions him as an exciting prospect for the future.
Despite Parel Vallei’s hard graft, Boland Landbou’s bowlers – including Prins, Marius du Plessis, and Lyle Lewis – did just enough to give their team a narrow first innings advantage after bowling out the visitors for 145. At one stage, on 120/4, Parel Vallei looked destined for a much higher total.
The Boland Landbou top order found some momentum in their second innings, with their captain, Stefan Conradie, redeeming himself after being sent packing for a duck on the first day by playing fluently for an exhilarating 45 off 63 balls. He will be in action alongside Makaleni at the Khaya Majola Week.
Rynhard van der Schyff and Marius du Plessis also made telling contributions to help the hosts to a respectable second innings total of 215.
Boland Landbou’s bowlers dominated on the final day, making good use of the weathered pitch. Gunther Schmidt, who took 1/22 in the first innings, spearheaded their attack with 2/15 the second time around, dismissing both of Parel Vallei’s opening batsmen.
Lyle Lewis, who took four wickets over the three days, played a crucial role in restricting Parel Vallei to just 81 all out as Boland Landbou secured a convincing 137-run win after a hard-fought three-day battle.
Despite his side’s defeat, Parel Vallei’s Josua Smit finished the weekend with the most impressive bowling figures. He kept the hosts in check in their first innings, picking up 2/23 before following up with 3/31 in their second innings.
While the match was organised with an intention to use it as preparation for the coming season, after the successful trial, plans are in place to play a return fixture in Somerset West next year.
Boland Landbou first innings 148 (Kobus Conradie 40, Rynhard van der Schyff 29, Marius du Plessis 21; Sibulele Makaleni 3/33, Josua Smit 2/23, Henry Jones 2/42); Parel Vallei first innings 145 (Christopher Hughes 49, Migael van Schaik 28, Sevi Barlow 27; Francois Prins 2/15, Marius du Plessis 2/21, Lyle Lewis 2/29); Boland Landbou second innings 215 (Stefan Conradie 45, Rynhard van der Schyff 41, Marius du Plessis 33, Francois Prins 21; Josua Smit 3/31, Jameel Ismail 2/11, Henry Jones 2/43); Parel Vallei second innings 81 (Luka Meets 25, Josua Smit 21; Francois Prins 2/6, Gunther Schmidt 2/15, Lyle Lewis 2/18). Boland Landbou won by 137 runs.