As part of our eight-team preview ahead of this weekend’s Coca-Cola Schools T20 Challenge, we take a look at Centurion High School’s chances.
History in the Tournament
This is the first time that the school has made the Coca-Cola T20 Schools National Finals. The best that they have achieved, is to make the semi-finals of the Northerns tournament, but have never progressed further.
Road to the National Finals
This year they beat Pretoria Boys High in the Northerns quarter finals, then they went on to beat Affies by 5 wickets in the Northerns Semi Final, and finally beat Waterkloof in the Northerns final by 30 runs.
Once they had won the Northerns part of the tournament, they had to play the winners from Mpumalanga and Limpopo. First they beat Pietersburg Hoërskool by nine wickets where they chased down 108 in 10 overs, before playing Nelspruit where they beat them by 36 runs. Centurion scored 188 against Nelspruit, which was one of the highest scores of the tournament.
The player to look out for, is Francois van Heerden. Van Heerden has played in the CSA U17 week for two years in a row and last year he scored two centuries in the tournament. This is his fourth season in the first team. He has scored 5 000 runs in 154 matches for the team. Last year alone he scored 2 398. In the previous five matches to qualify for the Coca-Cola T20 Schools Challenge finals he has scored three half centuries. He scored 74 vs Pietersburg Hoërskool, 68 vs Waterkloof and 54 vs Pretoria Boys High. In an earlier match he scored 97 vs Rustenberg
Prospects for the Coca-Cola T20 Schools Challenge National Finals
Normally Centurion is not considered one of the more powerful cricket schools in the country but you have to look at how well they have done against the Pretoria powerhouses to see that they will be more than a handful.
‘Our team relies more on a team effort than the performance of one player. We are lucky that we have five seamers and three spinners in our teams, so even if one of our bowlers is having a bad day there are more than enough other bowlers to cover for him. Francois, our captain, is also our wicketkeeper and opening batsman so he has opened up the batting order so we could add an extra bowler,’ said Johan Cloete, the first team coach.
Centurion’s Proteas Players