Waterkloof was crowned champions of the CSA T20 Schools Challenge for the second time in the competition’s history after defeating SACS of Cape Town by 15 runs in the final at the Tuks Oval in Pretoria.
SACS entered the final as the only undefeated team during the finals weekend after Klofies suffered a 38-run defeat against Kearsney College in their final cross-pool match of the competition.
The defeat in the final ended a 24-match unbeaten run in T20-cricket by SACS. The team from Cape Town put up a massive fight after Klofies set them a mammoth target of 187 for victory.
Klofies’ allrounder Hardus Coetzer (77*) played a major role with the bat in hand as he faced only 54 deliveries in his innings. Coetzer struck eight fours and a six as he helped his team to 186/6.
Opening batsman, SW Kemp (45), didn’t fail once with the bat during the competition. Kemp was also well-deservedly named Player and Batsman of the Tournament for his efforts. He scored 233 runs in his side’s six matches at an average of 38.8 per innings.
Kemp also picked up six wickets at an average of 18 runs per victim during the tournament. Richardt Ackermann was the pick of Waterkloof’s bowlers in the final with impressive figures of 4/17. He also added an invaluable 28 runs in the final with his willow.
Ackermann who stands a lanky 2.04m in his socks caused batsmen trouble throughout the tournament with the extra bounce he generates. His seven wickets at an average of 8.3 runs per victim tells it all.
The award of Bowler of the Tournament went to SACS’s spin bowler Oscar Welsh. He managed to get rid of 17 batsmen during the tournament at an unbelievable average 6.6 runs per batsman.
SACS’s captain, Daniel Smith (50), and his opening partner, Matthew Klusener (5), got their side of to a flying start before the latter was caught by Kemp off Ackermann’s bowling. Smith and Kai Curren (44) then partnered for a 78-run second wicket partnership.
This partnership put SACS right back in the game, but a excellent run-out by Zander Maree as the batsmen turned for a second run probably swung the momentum back into Waterkloof’s favour. Smith reached his fifty with the first run, but was back in the changeroom before he could lift his bat for the milestone.
SACS needed 17 runs of the final over and were still in with a slight chance with their score on 170/7. Coetzer (2/26) however ended their hopes early as he rearranged the stumps of Kaden Solomons (32) and Thomas Newby (0) with his second and third delivery of the over.
Waterkloof’s first national title came back in 2011 with JP Kok being the main destroyer as the defeated Noord-Kaap in Kimberley thanks to a six from the final delivery of the final in Stellenbosch.
Waterkloof 186/6 (Hardus Coetzer 77*, SW Kemp 45, Richardt Ackermann 28; Oscar Welsh 3/24); SACS 171/9 (Daniel Smith 50, Kai Curren 44, Kaden Solomons 32; Richardt Ackermann 4/17, Hardus Coetzer 2/26). Waterkloof won by 15 runs.
Cross Pool Matches
St Stithians College 151/5 (Jodi de Sousa 38, Liam Mostert 37, Billy van Zyl 24*, Liam McCarthy 23*; Lagon Person 1/15); Graeme College 127 (Garwin Dampies 33, Aphiwe Mnyanda 21; Liam Mostert 2/6, Thomas Winter 2/16). St Stithians College won by 24 runs.
Queen’s High 125/7 (Nhanhla Ntleko 39, Andile Ngobeni 27, Simo Potelwa 21; John Lovemore 2/14); Grey High School 123/7 (Nicholas Keevy 50, James Hofmeyr 30; Noncanda Sivuyile 2/16, Lucky Ntleko 2/22, Nkanyiso Mkhize 2/30). Queen’s High won by two runs.
Kearsney College 150/8 (Cade Carmichael 37, Joshua Stocks 23; Hernus Marais 2/13); Waterkloof 112/9 (SW Kemp 29; Matthew McMurray 3/16, Joshua Stocks 2/12, Rubin Rheeder 2/23). Kearsney College won by 38 runs.
St Andrews (Bloemfontein) 107/9 (Reeza Alexander 28; Michael Levitt 2/12, Oscar Welsh 2/18, Matthew Klusener 2/18); SACS 109/6 (Daniel Smith 38; Richard Barnes 2/17). SACS won by four wickets.