Grey College and Diamantveld opened up proceedings at the inaugural Diamantveld T20 Cricket Festival under the lights on the Diamond Oval in Kimberley on Friday.
The visitors from Bloemfontein got off to a flying start through their stalwart opener, Juan Viljoen, but the hosts’ spin bowlers did well to contain Grey later on and give their batsmen a realistic target. Grey’s bowling attack was able to cause enough problems for the Diamonds to prevent them from gaining momentum and Grey won the opening match of the weekend by 53 runs.
Viljoen looks to be an extremely exciting T20 prospect for Grey Bloem.
He gave the crowd something to get excited about from the off, scoring 45 from only 22 deliveries, setting the pace with seven boundaries in total with four fours and three sixes.
Viljoen then matched this performance later with the ball in hand, taking two wickets as a bowler and combining well with his captain and wicketkeeper, Hayden Tolmay, for a runout.
His performance in the opening game earned him the man-of-the-match award and he is definitely one to keep an eye on throughout the rest of the weekend.
Darion Rabie also had a solid four overs for the winning team, taking two wickets and conceding a mere 15 runs.
Luhan de la Rey and Nathan Baird bowled very well to contain the visiting batsmen after the initial burst by Grey.
It was a ball by De la Rey that finally dismissed Grey’s talisman, Viljoen, when he couldn’t get a solid connection and Aiden Jacobs took the catch to deny him his half-century.
Though the hosts never really looked on pace to catch the visitors’ total, they played well to see out the 20 overs with Kaiden van Wyk leading their attack with an innings of 27.
This would have been the first time many of these boys got the opportunity to play on the oval, which will stay with them as a cherished memory in the future when some of them will be returning as professionals. Apart from giving the players an opportunity to experience playing in the stadium at night in front of a large crowd, this tournament is also part of Northern Cape Cricket and Diamantveld’s initiative to develop the talent in the area and get the boys playing against some of the strongest teams in the country.
Grey College 150/7 (Juan Viljoen 45, Ruben Maree 31, Samu Lephoto 23, Zack Hattingh 21; Danie van der Merwe 2/39, Kaiden van Wyk 2/44); Diamantveld 97/7 (Kaiden van Wyk 27; Darion Rabie 2/15, Juan Viljoen 2/17). Grey College won by 53 runs.
The rest of the fixtures:
Kimberley Diamond Oval: 08:00 – Noord-Kaap HUB vs Potchefstroom Volkskool; 11:30 – Diamantveld vs Carlton van Heerden; 15:00 – St Andrews vs Potchefstroom Volkskool; 19:00 – Paarl Boys’ High vs Noord-Kaap.
Country Club B: 08:00 – Paarl Boys’ High vs Kalahari; 11:30 – St Andrews vs Noord-Kaap HUB; 15:00 – Grey College vs Carlton van Heerden.
Kimberley Diamond Oval: 08:00 – Noord-Kaap vs Kalahari.
Diamantveld: 08:00 – Diamantveld vs Grey College; 11:30 – Paarl Boys’ High vs Kalahari; 15:00 – Diamantveld vs Carlton van Heerden.
Kimberley Boys’ High: 08:00 – St Andrews vs Potchefstroom Volkskool; 11:30 – Pothefstroom Volkskool vs Noord-Kaap HUB; 15:00 – Paarl Boys’ High vs Noord-Kaap.
Diamantveld: 08:00 – St Andrews vs Noord-Kaap HUB.
Kimberley Boys’ High: 08:00 – Grey College vs Carlton van Heerden.
Keely-Park: 08:00 – Noord-Kaap vs Kalahari.