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Gritty fightback lifts Clifton to stirring win over Northwood

By Brad Morgan , in Cricket | Featured Cricket | News , at 2024-03-02 Tags: ,

The Northwood School and Clifton College 1st XIs produced a thrilling match in their last cricket outings of the first term, with the visitors scoring a hard-fought three-wicket win on the Robin Smith Oval on Saturday after a spirited performance by their middle order batsmen.

In fact, both sides were well served by their middle order batsmen, who showed the top order a thing or two in the limited overs clash.

The Knights batted first, after winning the toss, but that decision didn’t pay off. Clifton enjoyed early success and had Alistair Duncan, Ross McGlashan and Nqobani Mokoena back in the hut before Northwood had reached 30. Soon afterwards, they were joined by Harlee Jagga.

Mfana Shange and Thayin Kuppan stopped the bleeding for a while, but Shange was then caught by Lawson Dinsdale off the bowling of Zach Williamson for 18, leaving Northwood unsteady on 61/5. Kuppan followed for 20, with the total on 77, after being bowled by Shiraz Perumal.

It looked as if the Knights could be skittled for a low score, but Mason Storm and Connor Leclezio had other ideas. They changed the complexion of the hosts’ innings, putting on 77 for the seventh wicket before Storm was caught off the bowling of Gabriel Vermeulen for 51. It had taken him only 59 balls and he had struck six fours.

Leclezio kept going, but he saw Andrew Deeb depart for five, with the total on 167. Six runs later, Leclezio’s fine innings came to an end. He was bowled by Tim Saulez for 51 from 54 deliveries, which included four sixes and two fours.

Jordan Matthews and Isaac Phiri then boosted Northwood to 193 all out after 49.4 overs, with a useful last wicket stand.

Clifton’s bowlers shared the wickets around. Callum Watson bowled well with the new ball and went on to finish with 2/25 from his 10 overs, which included three maidens. Shahzaad Perumal, meanwhile, bowled five maidens, as he bagged 1/17 from 10.

Zach Williamson picked up 2/27, Gabriel Vermeulen 2/30, and Tim Saulez 2/43. Shiraz Perumal claimed 1/27 in seven.

A victory target of 194 on the Robin Smith Oval is no gimme, but Clifton made a steady start to their run chase, with Muhammed Asmall and Cohen Naidoo sharing an opening stand of 44.

Asmall was, then, caught and bowled by Jordan Matthews for 21, which had featured three fours. His opening partner, Naidoo, saw Clifton past fifty, before he was trapped in front by Matthews for 26, which also included three fours.

When Rivan Moodley followed on the same total, the momentum began to tilt in favour of the Knights, and it very much belonged to them when Clifton skipper Shahzaad Perumal was run out for eight, with the score on 62.

Tim Saulez didn’t stay long. He made 11 before he was caught by Mason Storm off of Connor Leclezio, leaving Clifton in a spot of bother on 76/5, still 118 runs shy of the victory target, with only the lower half of the batting order to come.

Northwood had Clifton back-peddling, but Zach Williamson and Lawson Dinsdale stopped the Knights in their tracks by launching a well-judged counterattack. Combining forces, they wrenched the game away from the home side.

Together, they put on 104 for the sixth wicket before Dinsdale was run out by Harlee Jagga and Mfana Shange, but by then victory was within touching distance, with Clifton on 180/6.

Dinsdale’s 56-ball stay produced 46 runs, with six of those deliveries being dispatched to the boundary for four.

Crucially, for Clifton, Zach Williamson was still at the crease and on top of the Northwood bowling. However, with just seven runs needed, SA u19 all-rounder Nqobani Mokoena bowled Williamson for 52. He had occupied the crease for 83 balls and struck five fours.

Byron Ward and Callum Watson didn’t panic. With eight balls to spare, they saw Clifton across the line to a stirring three-wicket victory.

Jordan Matthews gave Clifton trouble, returning the excellent figures of 2/22 from his 10 overs, which included three maidens. Nqobani Mokoena was tidy, picking up 2/29 in 10.

However, the 17 overs that Zach Williamson and Lawson Dinsdale spent together was the difference in the contest. They not only kept the Northwood bowlers at bay, but they also scored at over six runs an over, which led to a confidence-inspiring victory for Shahzaad Perumal and his team.

Scores

Northwood School 193/10 (Mason Storm 51, Connor Leclezio 51, Thayin Kuppan 20; Callum Watson 2/24, Zach Williamson 2/27, Gabriel Vermeulen 2/31, Tim Saulez 2/43); Clifton College 194/7 (Zach Williamson 52, Lawson Dinsdale 46, Cohen Naidoo 26, Muhammed Asmall 21; Jordan Matthews 2/22, Nqobani Mokoena 2/29) Clifton College won by 3 wickets.

error: Sorry ol' chap, those shenanigans are not permissible.