Cricket – u/14: JP Benadie and Marnus clinch humdinger for Durbanville High School

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By Dries Badenhorst
– Durbanville High School hosted Curro Durbanville’s u/14 Cricket Team for their midweek league game on Wednesday. I can only describe the game as an epic encounter between these two neighbours.  The match was balanced on a fine knife’s edge, right until the final delivery, when Durbies prevented Curro from scoring the winning runs. In the end, Durbanville deservedly won by 3 runs.

Durbanville won the toss and decided to bat 1st. AJ Henn struck in his second over to remove Reghard for only 4 runs. Reghard was caught by Dean Rautenbach at Mid On. Stephan and Stef looked comfortable as they steadied the ship against some good bowling. Curro did well to build pressure, by keeping the run rate low.

From a batting perspective, the pair remained patient until the pressure forced Stephan (13) to accelerate the run rate. Unfortunately he also failed to clear Mid On and was also caught by Dean Rautenbach. Tiaan Visagie was the bowler on this occasion.

Stef was joined by William in the 9th over when the score was 34 runs. On a pitch favouring the batsmen, a run rate of 3,8 runs was never going to be enough. The two batsmen were well aware of that and launched an assault on the bowlers in a fantastic 3rd wicket partnership of 97 runs. They batted at 9.7 runs per over as they boosted the overall run rate to 7 runs per over. William was well rewarded with an unbeaten 52 runs. His innings included three massive sixes and 6 fours. Unfortunately Stef, whom was the backbone of the innings, was bowled by Ross Massyn in the 19th over for 37 runs. In the end, Durbanville set Curro a target of 146 runs to win the match.

Durbanville struck early when Stephan bowled Braydon Wilson in the second over. Dean Rautenbach joined AJ Henn at the crease. These two batted sensibly in a 44 run partnership, at more or less the required run rate. As was the case with Stephan (Durbanville), AJ decided to speed up the scoring rate to his own detriment, when Dylan dismissed him for 21 runs.

Liam Muller joined Dean in the middle. These two batted really well as they cruised to a 70 run partnership. At the start of the 19th over, Curro needed 25 runs of 18 balls to win the match. With the batsmen well set, and scoring at will, 8.3 runs per over was never going to be a problem.

To get back into the match, Durbanville simply had to take a wicket. After 2 runs from his 1st two balls, Marnus kept his nerve and bowled Liam (27) with a slower ball. The rest of his over was however expensive, giving Curro a target of 12 runs off the last 12 balls.

With Dean still at the crease, JP Benadie (Durbanville’s 8th bowler), had a massive task to bowl Durbanville to victory. The talented sportsmen, with his very competitive personality and never give up attitude, took the ball with his normal self-belief. With his 1st ball he blew the game right open when he bowled Dean (53) with a slower ball. Two balls later he also removed Elona, who did not trouble the scorers.

His over produced only 3 runs, giving Marnus 9 runs to defend in the last over.  He did so magnificently, setting Curro a target of 4 runs for victory or run 3 runs for a draw from the final delivery.  This ball however produced his 2nd wicket as he got a charging Tiaan Visagie stumped.

The one team was elated and the other extremely disappointed. But that is just what makes cricket the beautiful game that it is. It was an epic encounter where one team was left pondering on the small things that caused them the defeat and the other reflecting on those small things they did right to cross the line.

In all, it was one of the best games of cricket that I’ve watched from a spectator excitement point of view. I think both teams would have learnt that they still need to improve their fielding if they would like to be competitive in future matches. Their bowling was also not consistent enough. In general the bowlers bowled too short and they also bowled more wides that what you’d expect from high school teams. But the batting boxes can be ticked.

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