• Dream weekend for All-Star Team

    The Coca-Cola All-Star team completed a ‘dream’ weekend with a hard-fought win against a CSA Hub team in a curtain-raiser to the 2019 Schools T20 Challenge National Finals in Pretoria.

    On Thursday, 12 players from seven different schools from around the country had an opportunity to meet and engage with each other for the very first time while embracing their true passion for cricket and establishing new friendships.

    The players came from Westville High School, Hoër Volkskool Potchefstroom, Old Bunting Secondary School, Langenhoven Gimnasium, SACS, Northern Cape High School and Cambridge Academy to be part of a Coca-Cola All-Star team, who were coached and mentored by Proteas Legend Paul Harris.

    After three extensive training sessions – and having closely watched the other franchise teams play during the Schools T20 Challenge National Finals – the team finally had an opportunity to bring their game and shine on Sunday. Cricket South Africa fielded a strong team which included players such as Obakeng Maila (who played in the Khaya Majola Week in December 2018) to pose a serious challenge to the team.

    The All-Star team won the toss and sent the CSA Hub team in to bat first, and the decision proved to be a good one when Anda Dilima took a wicket in the first over.From there on the CSA Hub team was on the back foot throughout the match. Five of the All-Star team took wickets, but Zuan Swart ended up with the best figures with his return of 2-16. The CSA Hub ended up with 119-8 in their 20 overs.

    Jannie Classens (right)

    The All-Star team started their run chase meekly, losing Wali Voyoni and Jedhli Van Briesies both to Tshepiso Makau with the score on four, but they did not panic and continued to chase down the modest total. The big difference between the two teams came when Jannie Claassens came in to bat and smashed 30 runs off 13 balls, including four sixes. His peer from Hoër Volkskool Potchefstroom, Timothy Malan, marshalled the team to win by four wickets.

    ‘I had a phenomenal experience. I had a chance to play and test myself against some of the best schoolboy cricketers in the country. I also made a number of new friends which I will keep contact with. Hopefully, I will get to play against the lads in the very near future,’ said All-Star team player and Cambridge Academy cricketer Wali Voyoni.

    ‘Congratulations to all the participants of the 2019 Schools T20 Challenge National Finals. It was great to see how all the players gave their all this weekend,’ said Puso Makume, Coca-Cola sponsorship manager. ‘A special congratulations to the All-Star team for winning their game against the CSA Hub team. We look forward to next year’s breed to come out of Schools T20 Challenge and hope to see them on even bigger cricketing stages.’

    ‘Coca-Cola has initiated a good idea by enabling boys that were unfortunate to not make the Coca-Cola Schools T20 National Finals.’ said Paul Harris. ‘The boys played on some of the best fields in the country and trained in the Powerade High-Performance Centre, which is a top cricket facility where the Proteas themselves train from time to time. I wish the boys a great journey ahead and hope they continue to make their dreams come true, on and off the crease.’

    The Schools T20 Challenge took place from 15-17 March 2019 at the University of Pretoria’s High-Performance Centre in Pretoria.

    Coca-Cola All-Star Team
    Francios Fourie – Westville High School (Dolphins)
    Wynand Steynberg – Westville High School (Dolphins)
    Jedhli van Briesies – Langenhoven Gimnasium (Cobras)
    Anda Dilima – SACS (Cobras)
    Wali Vuyoni – Cambridge Academy (Titans)
    Zuan Swart – Cambridge Academy (Titans)
    Austin Brooker – Northern Cape High School (Knights)
    Naziel Adams – Northern Cape High School (Knights)
    Jannie Claassens – Hoër Volkskool Potchefstroom (Lions)
    Timothy Malan – Hoër Volkskool Potchefstroom (Lions)
    Afikile Mahlungu – Old Bunting Secondary School (Warriors)
    Lukho Nomphandana – Old Bunting Secondary School (Warriors)

    Photo: Supplied

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