Sixteen-year-old Blu Belluigi, from Kingsway High School in Amazimtoti, hit 248 not out in a 50-over match against Reddam House Umhlanga.
Belluigi has been playing 1st XI cricket for Kingsway High School for the last three seasons. Prior to this match, his highest score was 95 not out in November 2016 in a match against St Benedict School in Pinetown.
On 4 February 2017, Blu faced the first and last ball of a 50-over innings played against Reddam Umhlanga College. During his mammoth four-hour innings, in 34 degree heat with sweltering humidity, Blu amassed 248 not out in his team’s score of 435-5, thereby smashing the school record of 198 by a huge margin.
The innings was characterised by patience, immense concentration and fluent stroke play such as has probably never been witnessed in Amanzimtoti (and perhaps the whole region). Even the spectators and parents of the opposition were egging Blu on when he neared his double century, and full credit must also go to the players from Reddam Umhlanga who warmly congratulated him as he reached each milestone. Blu stroked 28 fours and 11 sixes (three off the last four balls he faced) and was cheered by his teammates and spectators as he left the field.
In late 2015, Kingsway High School specifically targeted cricket as a sport in which the school wanted to excel. Qualified coaches were hired, the practice facilities vastly improved and the pitches given full expert attention during summer and winter. A private academy was introduced at the school and special attention was paid to primary school cricketers, with bursaries offered to the more proficient.
Blu attributes his success totally to the support of his team and supporting staff as well as the significant improvements done by the school.