With just two weeks to go to the all-important National Finals of the Coca-Cola Schools T20 Challenge, we take a look at how things are progressing in the different regions.
The 2016 National Finals of the Coca-Cola Schools T20 Challenge will take place in Potchefstroom from 18-20 March.
Having won the Boland region, Paarl Gymnasium then defeated SWD champs Oakhill to set up a final against Wynberg Boys’ High who had represented the Cobras in the 2014 National Finals. Wynberg claimed the Western Province title after downing Bishops by 52 runs in the final courtesy of a superb all-round display from Umar Anthony (60 & 3-22). The Cobras final saw Gym post 127-8 before skittling Wynberg for just 83 to book a spot in the National Finals.
2016 Champs – Paarl Gymnasium
2015 Champs – Paarl Boys’ High
Defending champions Hilton, who lost the final of the 2015 Nationals by just two runs to Menlopark, made it all the way to the Dolphins final once again after winning the KZN-Inland section. They met Kearsney College in the final after the Botha’s Hill team beat Clifton College by 93 runs in an emphatic KZN Coastal final at Sahara Kingsmead Stadium. The final was a low scoring affair with Kearsney being dismissed for 88, before restricting Hilton to 77-9 in their 20 overs to grab the Dolphins title.
2016 Champs – Kearsney College
2015 Champs – Hilton College
The perennial powerhouse that is Grey College claimed the Free State title with a nine-wicket win over old rivals St Andrew’s School. This afforded them the opportunity to defend their 2015 Knights title against Northern Cape regional winners, Hoërskool Noord-Kaap, which the Bloemfontein men won by eight wickets to book a spot in the National Finals once again.
2016 Champs – Grey College
2015 Champs – Grey College
Last year saw Hoër Volkskool Potchefstroom stun all and sundry by beating a much-fancied KES team in the Lions final. The Volkies acquitted themselves well in the National Finals by competing well in all their matches, which included a win over Grey College. 2016 saw the Volkies reach the final once again as the North West champs after wins over the likes of Potch Gym, Lichtenburg and Klerksdorp High. However, the fairytale was not to be as they came unstuck by 37 runs in the Lions Final at the Wanderers against a strong St Stithians unit. Saints had earned the right to play the Lions final courtesy of their Gauteng regional title that came after a win over KES in the Johnny Waite Knockout final. Saints will be looking to emulate the feat of the 2014 1st XI who won the National Finals of the Coke Schools T20 Challenge in Pretoria.
2016 Champs – St Stithians College
2015 Champs – Hoër Volkskool Potchefstroom
Menlopark, the 2015 National Champions of the Coca-Cola Schools T20 Challenge, will not have an opportunity to defend their title in 2016. The Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool (Affies) won the Northerns title before defeating Limpopo champions, Pietersburg High, by five wickets and then beating Mpumalanga winners, Middelburg High, by six wickets. The win over Middelburg ensured that AB de Villiers’ alma mater will head to the National Finals in Potchefstroom as the Titans representatives.
2016 Champs – Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool (Affies)
2015 Champs – Menlopark Hoërskool
Hudson Park won the Algie Cup for the 10th time in 13 years when they beat Dale College in the final by 20 runs. This win gave them the Border title of the Coke Schools T20 Challenge, setting up a final against the Eastern Province champions. St Andrew’s College, the Warriors defending champions, got knocked out in the Eastern Province final, losing by eight wickets to Grey High. Solid performances from the EP Coke Week duo of Matthew Breetzke and Lutho Sipamla ensured the Grey men advanced to the Warriors final against Hudson Park. The men from Port Elizabeth had too much firepower for their East London counterparts in the final with Grey winning the match by 91 runs on the back of another Breetzke 50. It will be Grey High’s first appearance at the National Finals since 2012.
2016 Champs – Grey High School
2015 Champs – St Andrew’s College
Compiled by Warwick Austin