Along with the honour of being crowned inaugural Varsity Cricket champs, Tuks will also go on to represent South Africa at the Red Bull Campus Cricket World Final in India later this year.
Maties won the toss and elected to bat. The Stellenbosch 11 got off to a great start when Jean Marais and Jean Bredenkamp took the attack to the bowlers. The Maties attack was stymied, however, when Corbin Bosch stepped up to bowl out Bredenkamp’s middle stump, leaving Maties on 25/1. Marais continued to threaten the bowlers and, with the help of David Bedingham, hit the team’s half ton mark at the end of the eighth over. The partnership only lasted to 31 runs before former SA u/19 skipper Aiden Markram took a one handed catch to dismiss Bedingham and left Maties on 57/2 after 9.2 overs.
Ruben Classen then took the wicket of Marais, who was out with just 33 runs, in the 11th over. In the 12th over Dewald Botha became the next victim to an incredible bowling display by Jacques Snyman, leaving Maties on 67/4. Maties lost three more wickets toward the end of the innings and posted 125/7 in their 20 overs.
Tuks went in for their innings and were quickly stunned when in-form batsman Aiden Markram lost his wicket to Justin Dill in the first over. The poor batting display continued as Murray Coetzee lost his wicket, leaving Tuks on 13/2 in just 2.4 overs. A mix up between Gerry Pike and Jacques Snyman led to Tuks losing another wicket as Snyman was run out to leave Tuks at just 18/3. Pike was then joined by Johan Wessels and the two managed to steady the ship by taking Tuks to 37/3 in six overs, requiring 89 runs from 84 balls in order to win. The two continued and eventually brought up the team’s half ton in 7.2 overs. Neil Botha of Maties broke the partnership in the ninth over to end the 36 run partnership.
Pike continued the rescue effort and brought up his own half century off of 35 balls. Tuks called for a Power Plus Over and managed to add a further 26 runs. Pike’s wicket eventually fell to Neil Botha in the 15th over, but that didn’t matter as Tuks came out Varsity Cup Cricket champions thanks to their five wicket victory. Heinrich Klaasen, the Tuks captain, rounded out the Tuks victory with his 37 not out.
The inaugural tournament can be deemed a great success and Francois Pienaar, founder of Varsity Sports, was impressed with the way the competition unfolded.
“This tournament has been a long time coming. We have covered all the other sporting codes, so it was only a matter of time. I’m really happy with the way this week has unfolded,” Pienaar said.
Photo: Mario van de Wall © Wessel Oosthuizen