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Hilton down Michaelhouse in PinkDrive showdown

By Brad Morgan , in Cricket | News , at 2023-11-11

Michaelhouse was delightfully decked out in dashes of pink for the annual PinkDrive end-of-season clash against their old rivals, Hilton College, in basketball, water polo and cricket. The Roy Gathorne Oval, especially, was attractively decorated with pink in support of the cancer-fighting non-profit organisation.

SuperSport Schools also came to the party, pulling in some top commentators, including Brett Proctor and Jon Kent, to offer insight into the contest out in the middle.

The outfield was heavy, which made boundaries hard to come by, so the modest run-scoring should probably be viewed with some leniency.

After Ross Boast won the toss, he decided that Hilton should bat first. They were made to graft hard by a disciplined Michaelhouse bowling attack. Run scoring was not easy, but the first seven players in the order managed to make it into double-figures.

The only thing that brought them to a proper halt was a pause in play at 11:11 to remember those who had given their lives in service of South Africa on Remembrance Day.

Ivan Lockem was the key performer for the visitors, top scoring with 69 runs from 91 balls, which included five boundaries, some of which he manufactured with his trademark inside-out drives over cover, thus taking the heavy field out of the reckoning.

Captain Ross Boast contributed a brave 37 from 39 deliveries, smashing one six. He struggled in the heat and felt unwell. Later, in a big setback for the visitors, he managed only three overs as their main strike bowler before having to leave the field and take a lie-down.

Left-arm spinner Cameron Strudwick bowled magnificently for Michaelhouse, sending down 10 overs, five of which were maidens, and picking up 2 for 13, with his victims being both openers, Ben Hockly and Charles Swart, for 13 and 21 respectively.

The seamers, Michael Thornton and Ross Moller lent good support, with Thornton capturing 2 for 38 in nine, and Moller returning 2 for 36 in seven.

Hilton managed to bat out their 50 overs, just, finishing on 204 for 9.

Michaelhouse enjoyed a good start to their reply, with the opening pair of Seb Hofmeyr and Ethan Muir putting on 57 for the first wicket before Hofmeyr fell to Murray Loughor-Clark, bowled for 27.

Dylan Hewlett weighed in with 10 before he, too, was bowled, with the leg-spinner, Nic Chantler, doing the trick to reduce House to 78 for 2 in the 20th over.

Then, two balls later, Hilton made a massive breakthrough, with Michaelhouse’s outstanding captain Murray Baker, the most consistent top order batsman in KZN during the fourth term, caught by Jared Kitto off of Chantler for a duck. His dismissal changed the complexion of the match.

Nic Chantler removed three Michaelhouse batsmen and captured the prized wicket of Murray Baker to set Hilton on the path to victory.
Nic Chantler removed three Michaelhouse batsmen and captured the prized wicket of Murray Baker to set Hilton on the path to victory.

Seven runs later, opening batsman Ethan Muir, followed Baker back to the pavilion after falling LBW to Murray Loughor-Clark for a well-played 43 from 65 balls, three of which were sent to the boundary.

Luke Payne and Murray Hall-Jones then did some good repair work, sharing a stand of 37 before Payne was out for 12 after pulling a long-hop from Charles Swart straight to Ivan Lockem at mid-wicket. Swart, though, wasn’t done, and he did a superb job as the seventh bowler utilised by Hilton on the day.

When Hall-Jones was bowled by Liyema Nela for 32 in the 35th over, with the total on 136, Hilton were clearly in the ascendancy. From there, the end came quickly.

It was accelerated by a spectacular catch, taken by Ben Hockly off the bowling of Swart. Cameron Strudwick attempted to turn a ball to the leg. It looped up and looked as if it had enough on it to elude Hockly at short mid-wicket. Hockly, though, leapt high into the air, timing his jump perfectly, and snatched the ball out of the sky, at full stretch, with his right hand. That stunning bit of fielding reduced Michaelhouse to 137 for 7.

Two runs later, they were eight wickets down when the usually reliable and stubborn Nathan Hoatson was bowled by Nela for five.

Michael Thornton resisted with 11 from 11, but Tom Mitchell became another victim of the Hockly and Swart combination as Michaelhouse were bowled out for 159 after 40 overs, leaving Hilton the winners by 45 runs.

Swart starred with 3 for 26 in seven, while Chantler also sent three men packing, giving up 33 runs from his eight overs. Nela and Loughor-Clark bagged a brace each from the six overs they both bowled, with Nela’s costing 26 runs and Loughor-Clark’s 22.

It was, in the end, a convincing victory, but it was hard-fought throughout. Ivan Lockem’s top score in the match of 69 proved crucial, while Charles Swart’s three-wicket haul was a somewhat surprising but extremely telling contribution with the ball.

Summarised scorecard

Hilton College 204/9 (Ivan Lockem 69, Ross Boast 37, Cameron Strudwick 2/13, Ross Moller 2/36, Michael Thorton 2/38); Michaelhouse 159/10 (Ethan Muir 43, Murray Hall-Jones 32, Seb Hofmeyr 27, Charles Swart 3/26, Nic Chantler 3/33, Murray Loughor-Clark 2/22, Liyema Nela 2/26)

Hilton College won by 45 runs.

 

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