Johannesburg’s St Stithians College join St Charles College and Hoërskool Waterkloof as schools who have qualified for the Schools T20 Challenge in Pretoria on 15-17 March, writes THEO GARRUN.
They beat Potchefstroom Volkskool in the Lions franchise final at Wits University on Wednesday afternoon to secure their spot at the national finals weekend. St Charles are the Dolphins representatives and Waterkloof go through as the Titans champions.
Potch batted first on Wednesday and posted a useful-looking 166-8 in their 20 overs. Thomas Winte (3-26) and Sebastian de Oliviera (3-23) did the damage with the ball for St Stithians.
Saints lost an early wicket, but Liam Mostert (62 not out) and Jodi de Sousa (102 not out) took the game by the scruff of the neck and reached the target with two overs to spare.
De Sousa was devastating. He needed just 58 balls to reach his hundred and hit eight fours and seven sixes. He found himself on 96 when the scores were level at the beginning of the 19th over and duly smashed the ball out of the ground to win the game and reach three figures.
St Stithians have been the most successful school in the nine-year history of the competition. This will be their fifth appearance at the national finals, and they have won the title three times.
The last three franchise finals all take place this week. The Cobras final is in George and it will feature SACS, Langenhoven Gim and Paarl Gim. St Andrew’s College and Hudson Park will fight it out for the Warriors title, while in Bloemfontein St Andrew’s School and Hoërskool Noordkaap meet in the Knights franchise final.
The two CSA focus schools that will play in the national finals have been identified through their own qualification process. Johannesburg’s Queens High School is the inland focus school and Hudson Park of East London is the coastal focus school.
Hudson Park’s additional qualification for the main competition means that the Warriors final is a formality, as both schools are going to the nationals. Win or lose, St Andrew’s will be the Warriors reps, while Hudson Park will compete as the coastal focus school.
Potchefstroom Volkskool 166-8 (Timothy Malan 34, Jaco Viljoen 38; Thomas Winte 3-26, Sebastian de Oliviera 3-23).
St Stithians 172-1 (Liam Mostert 62 not out, Jodi de Sousa 102 not out).
St Stithians won by 9 wickets
Photos: Theo Garrun