Boys' Prep UK Cricket Tour
St Stithians Boys’ Prep UK Cricket Tour 2018.
On Monday 30 July 14 excited Boys’ Prep boys and 3 masters departed from OR Tambo Airport for Heathrow Airport in London. Many months of meetings, fundraising activities, practices and warm-up matches had preceded our departure.
Our first day in London included a tour of Lord’s Cricket Ground, some shopping at Lillywhites and exploring Trafalgar Square, Whitehall and the House of Parliament. Our second day in London was another busy day. A stadium tour of The Emirates Stadium (home to Arsenal Football Club) and the compulsory visit to Hamleys – the world famous toy store, as well visiting Buckingham Palace and St James’ Park.
On Thursday 2 August we travelled down to Wales, to play our first match versus the Wales cricket team. Our bowlers battled to find their lines and lengths and 111 runs by “The Little Welshman” gave them a credible 212-6 in 40 overs. Our innings didn’t start well, but when Jake Schraader and Taine Tanner-Ellis came together at 26-3, they steadied the innings and delivered a 101 run partnership. Taine eventually lost his wicket on 34, but Jake managed to score his first century on tour – 110 not out. Saints win by 6 wickets. Our second game was also played in Newport. Our bowlers were in top form, and restricted Wales to 111-8 in 40 overs. Daniel Calver and Daniel Karlsson opened the batting and the only wicket we lost was Dan Calver for 36. Nicholas Karlsson joined his brother and together they chased the Welsh score down, Dan ending on 50 not out. Saints win by 9 wickets. The evening was spent at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff, where we were all excited to see Craig Meschede (St Stithians BP old boy) win the game and get Man of the Match for Glamorgan.
We coached to Taunton in Somerset and checked in at King’s College, where we were participating in a 5 day Counties Festival against some very tough competition. Our first match was against Gloucestershire. We restricted them to 232-9, which we felt was a below par score for 50 overs. Their bowling, however, was top class. In our attempt to chase down their score in the last 5 overs we were bowled out 17 runs short. A valiant effort and an excellent knock by Nick Karlsson who made 92.
Our second game was against Devon. We bowled and fielded exceptionally well, Devon all out for 172. We comfortably chased their score down, with Jake Schraader making 84 not out and Jonathan Wilson making 54 not out. A comfortable 8 wicket win.
Our third game was against the table topping Lancashire. We were ecstatic when we bowled them out for 183, their lowest total of the week. Our batsmen, however, went into their shells and we were unable to build partnerships of significance, eventually being bowled out for 151, a disappointing result.
Our fourth game was against Hampshire. Again some excellent bowling and fielding – and Hampshire were restricted to 169. Dan Calver made an excellent 74 and we eventually finished on 173-6, a very good 4 wicket win.
Our last game was on the famed King’s College Pitch 1 against the ‘home’ team – Somerset. We decided on all-out attack when batting, and declared on 240 after 30 overs. Jake Schraader scored 118 and Jacques du Preez 56. The Somerset batsmen provided little resistance and they are bowled out for 98, a huge 143 run victory.
It was one of the most exciting and tightly contested Festivals that St Stithians has participated in - the final tally: Lancashire 69 points, Gloucestershire 68 points, St Stithians 66 points.
We transitioned down to Cornwall and the tour would not have been complete without a visit to the village of Stythian, birthplace of Albert Charles Collins, one of the founders of St Stithians College. We explored the village, the graveyard, photobombed by a groom, and were entertained at the Village “Fayre”.
Heavy overnight rain washed out our match at St Just Cricket Club, but our Cornish hosts scrambled to find a dry pitch and a 10:00 start became a 14:00 start, 45 overs were reduced to 30 and we ended up playing at Hayle Cricket Club. The pitch was wet, slow and sticky and we finished on 117-6. The Cornish u13’s started rapidly and after 11 overs were 59-1. However, showing true Saints character, we maintained pressure and restricted their batsmen so that they required 8 runs in the last over, with 1 wicket in hand. They only managed to score 4 runs, a narrow hard fought victory by Saints.
Our final match on tour was against the Cornwall u/12 side, who will be coming to St Stithians in February 2019 as u/13’s, at the beautiful Truro Cricket Club. Conditions were not great for batting, cold & windy, with a light rain sweeping across the ground. Daniel Calver and Jake Schraader batted extremely well, both passing 50, giving us a formidable 238. We immediately applied pressure, and when our wicket-keeper Dan Karlsson, took the ball (we knew he could bowl, they didn’t.....), the end was in sight! He snapped up 4 quick wickets and in a flash the game was done – Cornwall all out for 138, a resounding victory for St Stithians.
We are extremely proud of the cricket that St Stithians played, continuing the tradition of being excellent tourists. Our final tally was 9 played, 7 won. Our boys were wonderful ambassadors for their families, school and country! Well done boys – you continued to Inspire Excellence.