The Gauteng schools cricket season gets into full swing this weekend, with the first round of summer multisport fixtures between the boys’ schools set for battle.
The summer sports season has, for the past few years, been organised so that boys’ schools play basketball, water polo and cricket fixtures against a single opponent on the same day. On that basis, KES play Jeppe, Affies meet Pretoria Boys’ High, St John’s take on St Benedict’s and St David’s meet Parktown this Saturday.
Not everyone plays basketball and water polo, of course, so St Stithians will play Randburg Hoërskool, Noordheuwel play the Gauteng Development side and Helpmekaar play CBC Boksburg.
The KES vs Jeppe clash gets top billing on Saturday, and KES look like they are going to be the side to beat in these parts this season. They won all four games at the Michaelmas Festival during the holidays and they have two of their first team players – Bryce Parsons and Obakeng Maila – in the Central Gauteng Lions U19 team that was announced last weekend and a further three – Heinrigh Pieterse, Mickey Copeland and Jason Bracher in the U17 side.
All five will be back at school next year and will form the core of a team that is going to be hard to beat.
Jeppe also have two players in the Lions U19 side – Linda Ndlovu and Kgaudise Molefe. Molefe starred for the Central Gauteng Lions in the Africa T20 tournament before the season started, but he hurt his back at the trials and will miss the first part of the season.
Jeppe lost to Hilton at the Michaelmas Festival and to Westville in a T20 game. They have had a good warm-up period, however, which included wins over two New Zealand touring teams. The second of those was during the week, a seven-wicket win over Palmerston North.
St David’s Marist have the most players in the U19 provincial side with three – Jacob Miltz, Jarred Jardine and Wesley van der Spuy – along with St Stithians (Johan Mulder, Cameron Shekleton and Mudiwa Chanakira) but all those players are in matric and will not feature for their schools in this half of the season.
They should nevertheless both be too strong for their opponents this weekend: Randburg in the case of Saints and Parktown in the case of St David’s.
Palmerston North 111 (Shaheel Khan 3-28, Zack Sibanda 3-18)
Jeppe 112-3 (Mohamed Ahmad 48 not out, Breidyn Schaper 41)
Jeppe won by seven wickets
Photo: Theo Garrun