The final played between Hilton College representing Kwa-Zulu Natal Inlands and Kearsney College representing Kwa-Zulu Natal Coastal was hosted at the picturesque Pietermaritzburg Oval on the 20th February 2020. There was all to play for in this match with the winner going on to represent the Dolphins in the finals.
Kearsney won the toss and elected to bowl first opting to chase down a total rather than setting a score. Hilton got off to a rocky start losing both openers Slade van Staden and C. Pistorius early on to the bowling of Matthew McCurry and Joshua Stocks respectively.
Hilton’s number three Nicholas Hatton got stuck in and looked at rebuilding the innings and ended with more than a run-a-ball 28 runs from 23 balls. He put together a 41-run partnership with Colby Dryer before he was dismissed by means of a run-out by fielder Jean-Luc Talbot, which sparked a mini-collapse in the middle order.
With the score sitting on 50/3, Hilton lost five wickets for 16 runs and in the space of a few overs. Two run-outs proved crucial for Kearsney as it reduced the chance of Hilton picking up the scoring rate.
Asande Nyawose bowled neatly in the middle overs where he ended up with figures of 2/10 from two overs and maintained the pressure built by openers Matthew McMurray 2/9 from 2.1 overs and Joshua Stocks 2/12 from 4 overs.
Matthew Boast was the last man out for Hilton and his patient knock of 24 from 32 balls ensured that the men from the Midlands had something to bowl at as they ended their innings on 102 all out from 19.3 overs.
Kearsney College got off to the worst possible start losing opener Jared Uys early off the bowling of Boast. Fellow opener Talbot dug in deep to carry his bat in order to hold up an end as he anchored the innings with a patient 27 from 26 balls which included two boundaries and one maximum.
He rotated the strike well through-out his innings giving the destructive pair from the regional finals, Dylan Hullet 22 runs from 31 balls and Cade Carmichael 37 runs from 33 balls. Both batsmen played within themselves to guarantee their side a spot in the final. The game went down to the final over as boundaries were not easy to come by.
Kearsney ended up chasing down the total in the final over of the match sending them into the National Tournament to be held in Pretoria in the beginning of March. They won the match by 5 wickets ending on a 103/5 from 19.1 overs.
PHOTO: Martin Ashworth
Hilton College 102 from 19.1 overs (Nicholas Hatton 28 (23b), Matthew Boast 24 (32b), Matthew McMurray 2/9, Joshua Stocks 2/12); Kearsney College 103/5 from 19.3 overs ( Cade Carmichael 37 (33b), Jean-Luc Talbot 27* (26b), Olwethu Kweyama 2/9). Kearsney College win by 5 wickets.