By Dries Badenhorst – De Villiers Graaff High School hosted the inaugural Graff Six a Side Challenge this past Friday. The format was eleven players per team, playing six overs. Six bowlers were used and only six batsmen could bowl.
The boys from Curro High School played against Overberg High School’s A and B team, as well as against De Villiers Graaff’s A and B teams, during the round robin matches. They only lost against De Villiers Graaff A during this phase.
After this defeat they went into the final as the under dogs. Up to that point De Villiers Graaff were unbeaten in 2016. With players whom have represented Boland and Western Province, it was clear that Curro would have to be at the top of their game to compete in the final.
A final is however not the same as any round robin match. Pressure is a strange thing. In such a game the team that holds its nerve the best and that can execute the basics correctly, normally has a bit of an edge.
Curro won the toss and elected to bat first. The bowlers hade to redeem themselves after bowling indifferently during the round robin match, when De Villiers Graaff scored a mammoth 106 runs in their six overs. It has to be said that it was not only bad bowling during that match that resulted in the high score. De Villiers Graaff’s batsmen batted superbly and capitalized on each and every loose delivery.
But redemption in the final came when the boys from Durbanville applied the pressure right from the start – with disciplined bowling and a sublime fielding effort. The bowlers clamped down on extras (only 1 wide) and consistently bowled good lines and lengths. They also managed to take wickets with regularity. The pressure meant that De Villiers Graaff had to play expansive shots and this led to an inability for their innings to build momentum. At the end of their innings they only managed to post a target of 45.
Braydon Wilson was the best bowler for Curro, with 1 wicket for only 3 runs in his over. He was well supported by AJ Henn (0/3), Joshua Dennis (0/4), Dean Rautenbach (0/8), Khutsi Shabangu (0/8) and Dylan Kotze (0/9). The final over was a super over, so Khutsi’s 8 runs had to be doubled.
A cricket match is however not won in one innings. With limited visibility and knowing that they are chasing a low score, there was room for failure. Chasing a low score often leads to over confidence, a recipe for disaster.
De Villiers Graaff however, as was the case with their batting, failed to deal with the pressure. Eight Wides meant that they gifted Curro 32 runs. Twelve of these were in the 1st over. From a batting perspective, AJ Henn and Joshua Dennis calmly paced the innings. They played low risk cricket and eventually scored the winning runs from the final delivery of the 5th over.
Khutsi Shabangu won the prizes for the best bowler and the best fielder of the tournament.
Gesina Loubser, Headmaster of De Villiers Graaff, described the tournament as a huge success. “This tournament is a building block in De Villiers Graaff’s development plan for cricket. With just more than 300 learners, we can already boast with the best golfing team in South Africa. Our focus has now shifted to cricket as well. We will be hosting a tournament in February for the u/19’s and will then aim to grow the u/15 tournament later next year.”
“This tournament could however not have been a success without the teams that supported us, the parents that rolled up their sleeves to help with the organisation and our boys who played quality cricket. I am proud of them.”
I would like to compliment De Villiers Graaff on a fantastic tournament. As an official we were spoiled rotten. It is definitely a tournament that I would like to attend again.
Well done Curro boys!!!!