• BAT WINNER: My high school tie – Richard Burger

    Richard Burger from Rondebosch Boys’ High School in Cape Town is the winner of the Kratos Pink bat (supplied by SM Cricket) for the story he submitted in response to our reader competition in the Oct-Dec 2018 issue of SA Cricket magazine.

    MY HIGH SCHOOL TIE

    It was a Thursday afternoon and the final match of the season. Derby day, against Bishops – a match one cannot lose. Bowling first on a wicket that was tired after a successful season, we restricted the visitors to 120 in their 20 overs.

    The chase in front of us was not as straightforward as we thought it would be.

    My opening partner and I got off to a slow start against their new-ball spinners. After the first two overs, my partner started to shift gears and went out. My next partner and I rotated the strike and he shortly lost his wicket to a seamer, who removed four of our batsmen for 12 runs.

    Together with my falling partners, we scraped up many ones and twos to get to where we needed 31 off the final three overs with three wickets in hand – a do-able task.

    Bishops displayed the most amazing death bowling you will ever see at fifth-team level, bowling two overs of Kyle Abbot-like yorkers hugging that wide line, ‘Mr Ump!?’.

    We managed to score only seven runs in those two overs and needed 24 to win off the final over. This task seemed impossible … but I was up for the challenge.

    Jodie hacked a four and a single, bringing me on strike needing 19 to win off four balls. My strength was hitting straight and I had to make the bowler bowl in my areas. I took the gamble and walked down the pitch and hit a six over long-on. The result of the next ball was an action replay of the previous one (for all those who missed it).

    Needing seven off two I thought the bowler knew my tactic, so I stayed deep in my crease and missed … seven needed off one ball. I waited for the bowler to deliver and double-stepped, not getting all of it. At this moment, long-on and I had our hearts in our throats. The mistimed ball sailed over his head and six was signalled by the umpire.

    My teammates ran on to celebrate one of the greatest moments of my life with me. We did not win, but we certainly did not lose on derby day … and that was done in dramatic style. – Richard Burger

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    Simon Lewis