1st XI Cricketers - Back to Back Johnny Waite Champions
The business end of the prestigious 2020 Gauteng Schools cricket championship, namely the Johnny Waite Knock Out Competition got underway this past weekend on 15-16 February 2020 at the University of the Witwatersrand' stunning Walter Milton Ovals.
The semi-final match against St John’s College was played at the Walter Milton A Oval in glorious sunshine and warm conditions. St Stithians won the toss and batted first with the super talented Reuben du Toit getting St Stithians off to a flyer as he put the St John’s College bowlers to the sword. Jodi De Sousa, who has had a wonderful season, batted very sensibly rotating the strike whilst punishing the bad balls to ensure the run rate kept ticking along nicely. St Stithians ended on 166/8 with the main contributions coming from Reuben du Toit who scored 59 and Jodi De Sousa with a solid 39. A fantastic bowling performance with the new ball from Ngenyasha Zvinoera put the St John’s College batting line up under severe pressure right from the start, a strategy both he and St Stithians have employed to good effect in some of their league matches this season. Ngenyasha ended with 4/20 in his four overs which was outstanding and lay the platform for St Stithians bowling out St John’s College for 134 runs thus winning by 32 runs. This was a confident and clinical victory for the St Stithians first team, who would now contest their second consecutive final.
In the other semi-final King Edward VII School beat Jeppe by 22 runs. This meant St Stithians would face King Edward VII School in the final. St Stithians won the toss and decided to bat first. Reuben du Toit, as is now becoming the norm, once again held the St Stithians innings together scoring a quality 45 en route to St Stithians mustering a total of 135. King Edward VII School bowled with great discipline and managed to dry up the St Stithians run chase in the middle with some quality spin bowling by our long standing rivals. Defending a fairly modest total St Stithians put together an epic effort in the field, stopping singles inside the ring and cutting out most two's on offer to boundary fielders. Backing up a great fielding effort was a superb performance with the ball by all the St Stithians bowlers. Ngenyasha Zvinoera once again led from the front bowling with great pace and accuracy, ending with figures of 2/18. The continuous pressure by bowlers backed up by incredibly passionate fielders was too much for King Edward VII School who, despite a good effort, could only manage 124/7 in 20 overs.
St Stithians thus retained the title of Johnny Waite winners and extend their golden run to six titles in the past eight years. We are proud of our boys, who have put in huge effort this past season and have grown and matured into the special side they have become. A great deal of credit must also go to the team coaches, Philip Koen and Charles Coventry who are consummate professionals and have moulded this team beautifully over the past few months. The Director of Cricket, Wim Jansen, was ecstatic with the team’s performance especially with their displaying nerves of steel in the final. It was a good weekend for St Stithians cricket with multiple tests being passed. The rest of the St Stithians cricket teams, U15, U16 and 2nd teams all contest their respective semi-finals on 19 February.
The St Stithians first team will now play in the Franchise Final versus their North West counterparts on 25 February 2020 at Senwespark in in Potchefstroom.