Five new reader stories range from taking a hat-trick and scoring tons of centuries, to a schoolboy match to rival the Proteas’ famous 434 ODI.
CRICKET CAN BE VERY NERVE-WRACKING
It was a very hot and humid day in Durban. It was my last match of the season and I was very nervous. The team we were playing were called Chelsea Primary School. Our team was Northlands, so it was going to be a tough match for us, but our team are always up for a fight!
Chelsea decided to bat first when they won the toss. We were bowling a few extras and they were getting on top of the bad balls when they could. Chelsea were scoring runs very quickly and we were under massive pressure. We got the first wicket and then they were dropping like flies through the middle overs!
Chelsea’s No 11 batsman then scored 77 runs and they happily reached 375-9 off their fifty overs. Northlands went in to bat and I was batting No 11 for our side. Our opening pair put 50 on the board, which is a great partnership, so we were going at a great rate. Every ball that was bad was smashed to the boundary. Unfortunately, our middle-order batsmen lost their wickets with really silly shots.
I was in at No 11 and I was ready to fight. We needed six runs off the last over and I was on strike! Guess what… I missed the first five balls… and then I top-edged the last ball and it went for 6!
My team was super proud of me! That is just teamwork!
– Connor Leclezio (11, submitted by his mom)
FIGHTING TO THE LAST BALL
It was a Saturday afternoon… the cricket Inter-schools match was on between Paarl Gymnasium and Paarl Boys High and I was playing for Paarl Gymnasium’s U14 team.
Batting first on a tired, flat wicket, we tumbled to 26-4 in five overs. I managed to get a little partnership going with my batting partner before I got a leading edge and was dismissed cheaply for a modest score. We once again tumbled and ended up with a total of 103 runs after 20 overs.
We never thought of losing this important derby so we stayed focused. Opening the bowling I got hit a little and they were looking steady… until a brilliant run-out saw them lose a bit of momentum, and after 19 overs they were 100-7. Our captain tossed the ball to me: it was now or never. I ran in… and bowled the ball straight to square leg!
I turned to go back to the start of my run-up, telling myself to stay calm and get the job done. I then actually managed three consecutive dot balls from the next few deliveries, bowling to their star batsman. I pitched the following one too short… and he hit it extremely hard, yet very flat. It was either six or out… but the fielder took a brilliant catch which sent our entire team jumping for joy.
I had to remind my teammates that the match wasn’t over yet and that it would be crucial to stay calm until the last ball was delivered. Once again I ran in… I pitched it straight on middle and saw his middle stump ripped out of the ground!
Two runs needed from one ball and I was on a hat-trick… so I decided to set a trap for the incoming batsman. Running in for all I was worth I pitched the Indwe ball on a full length just outside off stump, but not before shaping it through the air in a beguiling arc that drew the batsman forward as he looked to punch it down the ground. He was caught dead plumb leg before wicket… and the umpire raised his finger!
Hat-trick… and that day belonged to Paarl Gymnasium!
PS – This is also a message I would like to send to the Proteas for the World Cup coming ahead: Stay calm under all circumstances because it is the key to winning matches!
– Herman Minnaar
LIVING HIS CRICKETING DREAM
David Simon has been playing cricket since the age of 7. He is a pupil of Bastion Primary school in the Western Cape and was captain of his team since U7 until now (U13) in his grade seven year.
He made the WP U13 cricket team debut while still U12… and he was also vice-captain of the team that was unbeaten in the national Momentum U13 cricket tournament held in Joburg last year in December (2018).
He was also announced as the best all-rounder at the tournament, having received two Man of the Match awards for his two half-centuries and three wickets per game.
In the last season, his strike rate has risen to 139% with a new bat he was given by two coaches who believed in his talent as a cricketer.
He scored six consecutive centuries this season for his club and school:
– 111 off 98 balls
– 100 not out off 68 balls
– 140 off 78 balls
– 150 not out off 77 balls
– 173 not out off 68 balls
– 152 not out off 80 balls
He has also scored 39 half-centuries, and with the ball he already has three fivers under his belt. He simply lives, dreams eats and sleeps cricket!
– Simone Simon (on behalf of her son, David)
THE EVOLUTION OF A YOUNG CRICKETER
I started playing mini-cricket as a young lad and when I turned 10 I started playing big cricket, but I didn’t really have any chances to perform while playing for the A team that year, so I dropped myself to the B team where I was given the opportunity to prove my ability.
Then I decided to join Durbanville Cricket Club and my game developed a lot faster. I even hit a quick 35 for Durbanville at the age of 10. I played Night Bash and we won the final and I scored a fifty. When I turned 11 I decided to rejoin my school team and I scored a century off just 52 balls.
I joined the first team at the age of 13 and became a middle-order batsman, batting at five in the order and either opening the bowling or coming on first change.
At the end of that season, my top score was 152 not out off 107 balls against Durbanville Cricket Club… the same club who had developed me as a player!
– Xander Vos
PASSIONATE ABOUT CRICKET
During the ‘war’ of the 1999 Cricket World Cup semi-final, South Africa learned a big lesson when competing versus Australia.
With a target of 214 runs, there were three balls left and one run was needed for victory. Allan Donald and Lance Klusener were batting. They did not effectively communicate with each other, and as a result Donald was run out.
For years after that nightmare of a match, many citizens of South Africa were mad at Donald and Klusener. Hearts were broken and happiness faded.
Former president Nelson Mandela said: ‘When people are determined, they can overcome anything.’
After the 1999 CWC Semi-final, South Africa was in a state of shock, but instead of celebrating, the country was in grief. Like the South African national anthem says: ‘and united we shall stand’, South Africa could be determined, not blaming each other when making mistakes, rather we should stand united and enjoy South African cricket.
Although this match was years ago, my brother and I LOVE cricket and we learned some lessons out of this match. He, my nine-year-old brother, dreams of becoming the best all-rounder in South African cricket history. He is still young, and he has many life lessons to be learnt, but we as a family keep on encouraging him… all the way.
– Dané Dorfling