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Kearsney hold off Falcon, end iHlobo Festival unbeaten

By Brad Morgan , in Cricket | Featured Cricket | News , at 2024-01-11 Tags: , , , ,

Heavy overnight rain, leading to flooded and muddy fields, meant only two matches could be played on the final day of the iHlobo Festival in Botha’s Hill. The hosts, Kearsney College, took on Falcon College, from Matabeleland, while Durban High School tackled St John’s College, from Harare.

Kearsney College vs Falcon College

On the AH Smith Oval, Kearsney were led by their 2024 captain, Ross Coetzee, for the first time. He had previously been in action alongside 2023 skipper, Hayden Bishop, at the CSA Cubs Week, where both players did well for a Coastal Conquerors team that underperformed.

It didn’t take long for Coetzee to make his presence felt. Batting at three, he top-scored with 71 from only 50 deliveries, sending four balls over the boundary and another two into the picket fence.

Jack O’Donovan was also destructive, smashing four sixes and a single four in his unbeaten 53 from 41 balls.

Together, the pair shared a 114-run partnership for the fourth wicket and after 20 overs Kearsney had tallied 158 for 5.

Benjamin Williams performed well for Falcon, capturing 2 for 20 from his four overs, while Taurai Zimunthu picked up 2 for 28 in three.

In reply, Falcon made an excellent start to their run chase, with Brandon Ndiweni and Reed Merick combining in a stand of exactly 100 for the first wicket. They played with controlled aggression, although the introduction of the Kearsney spinners saw their run rate drop a little.

Falcon College opening batsman Brandon Ndiweni cuts Sandiswa Yeni on his way to the Zimbabwean school's top score of 56.
Falcon College opening batsman Brandon Ndiweni cuts Sandiswa Yeni on his way to the Zimbabwean school’s top score of 56.

Merick was the first to depart, out for 39 from 44 balls, with three fours and a six. Ndiweni followed 10 runs later for a well-played run-a-ball 56, which included four fours and two sixes.

Zach Gover struck two maximums in his quickfire 17 from 10 balls but, in the end, Falcon came up 12 runs short. It was, however, an encouraging performance from the Zimbabweans, who had endured a challenging festival. The victory meant Kearsney retained their unbeaten record.

Jack O’Donovan snared 3 for 15 in two for the winners, while Murray Weyer took 2 for 22 in two, and captain Coetzee, although he went wicketless, staunched the flow of runs, returning figures of 0 for 14 in three.

Durban High School vs St John’s College

In the only other match, Durban High School set St John’s College a challenging run chase after posting 173 for 4 at a rate of 8.65 runs per over.

The DHS openers, Omar Ismael and Ethan Cooper, were dismissed cheaply, but Bhavesh Naicker and Josh van Biljon then got stuck into the Rams’ bowlers, putting on 95 runs in 12.1 overs.

Van Biljon was the first to depart, falling for 44 from 35 deliveries, with four fours and one six, with the total on 120.

Nineteen runs later, Naicker was caught by John-Mark Benadie off the bowling of Khulekani Nduku for 72 from only 56 balls, with six fours and three sixes.

Rivash Naicker provided the DHS innings with a late boost, launching two deliveries over the boundary in an undefeated knock of 21 off of 12 balls.

A solid display of attacking batting and good running between the wickets, saw DHS to their highest T20 score of the iHlobo Festival.
A solid display of attacking batting and good running between the wickets saw DHS to their highest T20 score of the iHlobo Festival.

Khulekani Nduku was expensive but picked up 2 for 44 in his three overs. Meanwhile Michael and Kian Blignaut bowled tidily, with Michael returning figures of 0 for 15 from four, while Kian finished with 0 for 20 from his four.

St John’s made a bright start at the crease, exceeding the required run rate for the first three overs, but they then lost three wickets for the addition of only 11 runs, slipping from 27 without loss to 38 for 3.

Luke Wright, as he did throughout the festival, provided some fireworks, blasting two fours and two sixes as he sprinted to 25 from 11 balls before being caught by Ismael Omar off the bowling of Ethan Cooper.

John-Mark Benadie batted well for 42 from 30 deliveries, striking three fours and three sixes, but the Rams’ lower order failed to fire.

Their fifth wicket went down on 91 and 50 runs later the last wicket fell as St John’s were bowled out for 141 after 18 overs, leaving DHS the comfortable winners by 32 runs.

Jared Havermann snared 3 for 26 in three for the Horseflies, while Sfundo Mthembu knocked over 2 for 22 in four. Lazlo Jooste contributed 2 for 27 in four, and Ethan Cooper took 2 for 30 in three as a young DHS side, playing without some of its leading players, finished on a high note.

Summarised Scores

Kearsney College 158/5 (Ross Coetzee 71, Jack O’Donovan 53*, Benjamin Williams 2/20, Taurai Zimunhu 2/28); Falcon College 146/6 (Brandon Ndiweni 56, Reed Merick 39, Jack O’Donovan 3/15, Murray Weyer 2/22) Kearsney won by 12 runs.

Durban High School 173/4 (Bhavesh Naicker 72, Josh van Biljon 44, Rivash Naicker 21, Khulekani Nduku 2/44); St John’s College 141/10 (John-Mark Benadie 42, Luke Wright 25, Jared Havermann 3/26, Sfundo Mthembu 2/22, Lazlo Jooste 2/27, Ethan Cooper 2/30) DHS won by 32 runs.

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