The Waterkloof batsmen closed out their week on a high, putting on a batting masterclass against Westville in their last fixture of the Oppenheimer Michaelmas Cricket week on Tuesday, to claim a thumping nine-wicket victory.
The Klofie batsmen seemed to have discovered new life after the previous day’s listless performance. Wian Ruthven was ruthless on anything off-target, blasting 85 from only 55 balls at a strike rate of just over 166.
The last day saw all the teams battling it out in the T20 format of the game. Klofies won the toss and elected to bowl first, looking to put the early morning pitch demons shown throughout the week to good use.
Westville, however, got off to a scintillating start thanks to Chad van Breda (33, 36b) and Aryan Gopalan (32, 17b), who laid down the law, sending the ball to all parts of the ground as they cruised their way through the powerplay.
Having started smoothly, Westville found themself in a commanding position to make their way to a highly competitive total.
However, yet another outstanding bowling display from Franco Cronje, who claimed 3/16, pulled it back nicely for the men from Pretoria. Cronje’s spell was backed up by Marcus Bakker, who claimed two scalps of his own for only 24 runs. This meant that Westville could reach only 134/7 in their 20 overs, which was a fair few short of where they would’ve liked to be.
With Ruthven’s onslaught, Marcus Bakker was able to comfortably play the anchor role in support as he contributed a solid 21 at the top of the order. Ruthven’s big hitting also allowed Divan Behrens (28, 25b*) to play freely from his very first ball as he assisted in guiding his team to a well-deserved victory.
The Affies’ spin attack proved to be invaluable once again as they laid the platform for a comfortable seven-wicket victory over a strong Kearsney College side.
The visitors from up North won the toss and, like their fellow Pretorians, decided to bowl first. Kearsney started off confidently, scoring at just shy of eight runs to the over on a pitch that was slightly damp in the early going. The top order all managed good starts but failed to convert them into big scores.
The three-pronged spin attack from Affies had a decisive say. They combined well to get breakthroughs at opportune times to pile the pressure on the Kearsney batting line-up. This laid the platform for the Affies’ seamers to close out the innings.
Petrus Rautenbach was once again the standout for the visitors, claiming 3/27 in his four overs. He found excellent support from Nicolai Bester, who impressed with 3/12 from just three overs, as Affies restricted Kearsney to a below-par total of 137 all out.
The Affies’ batsmen didn’t hang around in their run chase. Proving why they are one of the more dangerous T20 sides in the country, they overhauled the Kearsney total with 4.4 overs to spare, with only three wickets down.
Opener Jorich van Schalkwyk led from the top, continuing his good form with the willow to top score with 45. Janco Purchase (28, 16b*) and Divan de Villiers (23, 15b) both contributed quickfire cameos to back up van Schalkwyk’s innings and guide their team to a full house of victories for the week.
Westville Boys’ High 134/7 (Chad van Breda 33, Aryan Gopalan 32; Franco Cronje 3/16, Marcus Bakker 2/24); Waterkloof 137/1 (Wian Ruthven 85*, Divan Behrens 28*, Marcus Bakker 21; James Dent 1/29). Waterkloof won by nine wickets.
Kearsney College 137/10 (Jack O’Donovan 41; Petrus Rautenbach 3/27, Nicolai Bester 3/12, Divan de Villiers 3/26); Affies 142/3 (Jorich van Schalkwyk 45*, Janco Purchase 28*, Divan de Villiers 23, Ruben Groenewald 21; Dylan Wiggett 1/30). Affies won by seven wickets.