Boys' Prep shine at Prep Schools Cricket Festival
On Thursday 21 February the day started very early for 12 Boys’ Prep First Team cricketers and 3 staff members, as well as the Head of School, Mr Fredericks. We had to be at OR Tambo for a 06:20 flight to Port Elizabeth, with a transit to Grahamstown, to participate in the Prep Schools Cricket Festival being hosted by Kingswood College. After arriving in PE, the clear rumbling of stomachs told us that a breakfast at the nearest Wimpy was required.
We then squeezed into a Kingswood College Quantum and made our way to Grahamstown. After checking in our boarding house and meeting our team chaperone, Alex, it was time for a net session with Mr Tlhabanyane, Mr Olivier and Mr Isaacs.
Friday the 22nd dawned with overcast skies, and hot and humid. After the official Festival photograph, we made our way to the playing field, where our first match was against Western Province Preparatory School (affectionately known as Wet Pups) from Cape Town. The format was a ‘time format’, also known as ‘captain’s declaration’. Saints won the toss and elected to bowl. At the tea interval it seemed to be the incorrect decision as Wet Pups were 100-1, however the Saints boys kicked into action and bowled them out for 163. An excellent bowling performance by Peter Watt who bagged 5 wickets. The game seemed to be wrapped up when Saints were 100-2, but a middle order collapse caused some consternation and at 158-9 the game could have been lost, but a confident Matthew Savage hit a 6 to win the game, by 1 wicket, for Saints.
Saturday 23 February proved to be the most remarkable day of cricket. The format: 50 overs, versus Merchiston Preparatory School from Pietermaritzburg. They traditionally have proven to be tough opponents. What proved to be tough, though, was bowling to the Saints batsman. After an excellent start between Peter Watt and Gabriel Hore, Richard Seletswane strode to the crease. In quick time, he raised his bat for his 50, then the 100. He was hitting the Merchies bowlers for 4 and 6 at will, with some of the cleanest hitting I have ever seen.
In no time he raised his bat for 200 not out, and at the end of the 50 overs had managed to achieve an individual score of 257 not out – the highest score ever by a St Stithians Prep batsman. The team score was a massive 386-8, an excellent performance by all of our batsmen. This score really deflated the opposition and they provided scant resistance, being bowled out for 80, in no small part - another 5 wicket haul from Peter Watt.
On Sunday we were scheduled to play Cordwalles Preparatory School, also from Pietermaritzburg. The format: T20. They won the toss and elected to bat. After 20 overs Cordies were 89 for 6. Saints went into bat, and Richard continued his fine form scoring 66 not out, Saints winning the match by 7 wickets.
We then travelled back to Port Elizabeth, with only 5 boys braving the icy waters at Hobie Beach. We caught the last flight home from Port Elizabeth, collapsing exhausted into our beds at home. All in all, an excellent performance by the St Stithians Boys Prep cricketers, who once again proved to be excellent ambassadors and sportsmen.