Garnett Tarr will be disappointed if the Free State U19 team does not make it into the main game of the Coca-Cola Khaya Majola Week in Cape Town in December, writes THEO GARRUN.
Tarr will be captaining the side and he bases his confidence on the fact that this year’s team is essentially the same one that played last year – there are nine of them back – and that last year’s U19 side, playing as the Knights, won the CSA Cubs Week tournament.
Added to that, his school team (St Andrew’s of Bloemfontein) won the Coca-Cola Schools T20 title in March. They have only lost three times this year – to Hilton, Bishops and Paul Roos Gym. Tarr in particular had a great year with the bat for the school, making seven centuries and averaging over 70, while teammate Gerald Coetzee was one of the standout players in the SA U19 team.
‘We have a lot of players who are in good form and we have been doing well in our pre-tournament warm-up matches,’ he said, referring to warm-ups that included two rain-affected clashes with the Central Gauteng Lions last weekend. The first match, a time cricket game, ended in a draw after lightning stopped play early.
‘They batted for a long time and got a big score, but it was a flat wicket and I don’t think they would have bowled us out,’ said Tarr.
Free State won the second game, a T20 clash on the Sunday, on the Duckworth-Lewis method. They were well ahead of par on 96-2 when the thunderstorm arrived, thanks mainly to Tarr, who smashed 40 off 30 balls to get his team’s innings started.
He’s undecided about next year, except to say that he will be playing in the Free State Academy.
‘I’ve been accepted at Free State University and I might be studying, but I’m not sure yet. I’m hoping to play a few first-class games and to get into the senior structure.’
Before that there’s the Coke Week and he is looking forward to leading his province and will be hoping for SA Schools and SA U19 recognition.
‘Nothing’s certain, though, and if it doesn’t happen it’s not the end of the world.’
St Andrew’s and Grey College dominate the Free State selections for Khaya Majola Week: St Andrew’s have five representatives and Grey four in the 13-man squad.
Free State U19 team
Garnett Tarr (St Andrew’s)
Tshepo Leshoro (Grey College)
CP Klijnhans (Grey College)
Calvin Flanagan (St Andrew’s)
Ruan Cronje (St Andrew’s)
Tsediso Kheswa (Grey College)
Gerald Coetzee (St Andrew’s)
Brian Kershaw (Grey College)
Thabsio Lekhoana (Bodibeng)
Thandikile Plank (DR Reginald Cingo)
Delano Williams (Jim Fouche)
Mode Maqunqu (HTS Louis Botha)
Pheko Moletsane (St Andrew’s).
Time cricket match
Lions 269-8 (Cameron Shekelton 203, Mudira Chanakira 44, Bryce Parsons 38, Linda Ndlovu 36; Ruan Cronje 4-26)
Free State 45-1 (Garnett Tarr 18 not out)
Lions 126-7 (Bryce Parsons 62, Linda Ndlovu 26; Brian Kershaw 3-7)
Free State 96-2 (Garnett Tarr 40, CP Klijnhans 32 not out)
Free State won by 8 wickets (D-L method)
Photo: Theo Garrun