A superb all-round performance from Aphiwe Mnyanda wasn’t enough in the end as Grey High School overcame the Motherwell Standard Bank Regional Performance Centre (RPC) by four wickets in a thrilling Momentum Friendship Games clash in Port Elizabeth on Friday.
Defending a low score of 86-7, Mnyanda followed his undefeated 22 off 13 deliveries with outstanding bowling figures of three wickets for eight runs before Grey PE’s Casey Keevy (20) and Lloyd Melville (17) starred with the bat to help their side over the line.
The T20 showdown represents an important initiative by partners Cricket South Africa (CSA) and Momentum, where CSA’s RPCs compete against traditional cricket schools. It is an opportunity for teams that would not normally play against each other to integrate and learn from one another while encouraging unity and camaraderie.
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After losing the toss and being asked to bat first, Motherwell RPC struggled to find their rhythm at the crease, with good bowling from Grey PE restricting the run rate to leave the visitors on 32-2 after the opening 10 overs.
When Mnyanda walked in with his side reeling on 52-4, the youngster quickly settled in, helping to increase the run flow by dispatching two fours and a six to top-score and lead his side to a competitive total off their allotted overs.
Thanks to some great fielding from the hosts, the crowd gathered at Grey High School witnessed three run-outs in the first innings, while Ebrahim Patel (2-13) walked away as the best bowler for the hosts.
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Chasing 87 for victory, the Grey PE Colts side began their reply on the front foot as they raced to 19 for no loss after three overs, before Mnyanda bowled Daniel Du Toit (6) in the fourth over.
Melville and Keevy calmed things down for the home side before Mnyanda returned to the attack to strike two crucial blows in one over; removing Melville and then the new man, Mihle Matanise, for a duck.
The fifth-wicket partnership between Keevy and Patel (15) proved to be decisive, with the pair combining to score 27 runs to take their side to within 13 runs of the win. Despite Olwakhe Goqoza’s (2-6) two quick wickets in the 18th over, it was a little too late as captain Daniel Ristow (13 not out) smashed three boundaries to seal the result for his school.
The next fixture in the Momentum Friendship Games series moves to Chatsworth, Durban, where the Chatsworth RPC is set to test their wits against a Kearsney College side.
Photo: Cricket South Africa (Facebook)