Following the SA20 Auction earlier this week, where the 17-year-old Lhuan-dre Pretorious was roped in by the Paarl Royals, the exciting youngster was in action for St Stithian’s College on Saturday at UKZN on opening day of the Oppenheimer Michaelhouse Week.
With expectations for the youngster to perform through the roof following the auction, he duly delivered a match-winning 69 against Westville Boys’ High, to show why Royals’ coach Mandla Mashimbyi and the entire Royals franchise had shown faith in his talent.
Thebe Gazide (20 runs) also chipped in for the Joburg-based school as they made light work of a below-par total of 108 by the KZN side.
Much is expected of the Saints’ 1st XI, up against some of KZN’s best over the course of the Michaelmas Week, but they’re far from a one-man outfit and loaded with talent.
Their line-up also includes fast bowler Kwena Maphaka, another Paarl Royals’ selection, and SA u19 batter Richard Seletswane.
Bowling first against Westville, Ethan Jacobs was the pick of the Saint Stithian’s bowlers, returning the outstanding figures of 4/10, while Joshua Meyer followed suit with a telling spell of 2/11, as Saints bundled out Westville Boys High for a mediocre 108.
Aryan Gopalan (49 with the bat and 2/19 with the ball) fought a lone battle for the Griffin, but he was unable to find enough support for Westville to mount a serious challenge to the Johannesburgers.
The emphatic nature of the Saint Stithian’s win laid down a marker which, no doubt, captured the attention of the other teams participating in the Michaelmas Week.
Their next two fixtures include outings against sides that recorded one-sided victories on day one – Hilton College and Glenwood – so it will be interesting to see just how the two KZN schools handle the in-your-face gauntlet thrown down by the classy Saints’ outfit.
Westville Boys High School 108/10 (Aryan Gapalan 49, Ethan Jacobs 4/10, Joshua Meyer 2/11); St Stithians College 113/2 (Lhuan-dre Pretorius 69, Thebe Gazide 20, Aryan Gopalan 2/19). St Stithians College won by eight wickets.