Somerset College sent off their four matriculating first team cricket players on a high note on Saturday after beating HTS Drostdy in an action-packed, high-scoring end-of-year fixture.
Captain Nicholas Rieth and his teammates’ Dion Claassens – who earned his 100th first team cap in his final game – Thando Prusent and Christopher Varie depart the school in Somerset West at the end of the year.
Batting first, Chad Ayford set Somerset College on its way with a fine 83 at nearly a run per ball, and his fellow opener Owethu Moyi, with 37, did his bit by taking the sting out of the initial bowling onslaught.
Tyrone Rieth, who will pick up the baton and assume the captain’s role next year in the place of his older brother, showed off his leadership with a mature innings, which added a further 81 to his side’s total.
When Callum Hughes joined the younger Rieth at the crease, he punished the HTS Drostdy bowling, scoring 66 runs from 53 deliveries. Between the two of them, they clobbered 17 boundaries, including six maximums, to help Somerset College to an imposing 320/5 after 50 overs.
The Rieths are one of three sets of siblings playing for Somerset College’s first team this year. Christopher Varie’s younger brother, Troy, is also in the squad, alongside Alexia and Massimo Kontopirakis.
Undaunted by the big challenge facing them, or by the fact that Johann Rauch removed two of their top-order batsmen in a single over, early on, HTS Drostdy settled in and mounted a spectacular run chase.
Stefan van der Merwe batted masterfully to bring up his century before he was run out by Hughes, while Bryan Cochrane bolstered Drostdy’s score with a solid 78.
Unfortunately for the visitors, though, Somerset College were able to keep them in check and when the 50-over mark was reached, they were still 65 runs shy. Nonetheless, they had put in a good shift with the bat.
With another win in the bag, Somerset College will bid farewell to their four matriculants, who have played a big role in the school’s cricketing success.
Nicholas Rieth, at the helm as captain since 2021, was more than just a leader. In his 89 appearances for the first team, he was an all-rounder par excellence, amassing 2 382 runs, taking 35 wickets, and effecting 80 fielding dismissals.
The centurion, Claassens, boasted a huge 180 wickets in the 805 overs he sent down for the 1st XI.
Christopher Varie, a steadfast presence with 83 caps to his name, finished with an impressive record of 81 wickets from 568 overs.
Then, there’s Thando Prusent, a player who has not only graced the Somerset College team but has also proudly donned the Boland colours at the Coca-Cola Khaya Majola U19 Week for consecutive years. His tally of 1 552 runs and 49 wickets for the school speaks volumes of his exceptional talent and dedication.
As the four stars bid adieu to their alma mater, they undoubtedly leave a gaping hole in the squad. However, a silver lining exists in the emergence of exciting young talents, eagerly waiting to step into their shoes and carry the school’s proud cricketing tradition forward.
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Somerset College 320/5 (Chad Ayford 83, Tyrone Rieth 81, Callum Hughes 66, Owethu Moyi 37, Jonathan Firth 24, Extras 22; Reghardt du Plessis 2/42, Adriaan Krynauw 2/49); HTS Drostdy 255/8 (Stefan van der Merwe 100, Bryan Cochrane 78, H Nortje 24*, Extras 24; Johann Rauch 2/18, David de Klerk 2/21). Somerset College won by 65 runs.