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Tuesday, 01 March 2016 14:37

Cricket: Kearsney Clinch T20 Final

Match Report: Hilton vs Kearsney in T20 Final- Hilton College won the toss and put Kearsney in to bat on a good batting surface prepared for the T20 Final held at the Maritzburg Oval last night (Monday). Kearsney came out firing, but lost regular wickets with their gung-ho approach, losing the first wicket on the fourth ball of the innings.

It is a relatively undisturbed top 10 in this week’s Powerade Top 60 Rankings although for the first time in the season Affies break into the ten elite teams with a strong finish to their season.

This Week’s Cricket Results from around the country:

Waterkloof make steady inroads up the U15 Rankings this week however the unexpected loss to Menlopark would have hurt as they set their sights on finishing even higher up the table.

As the 2015/16 season moves into its final chapter we are looking at a fairly stable Top 10 in this week’s Powerade Top 60 Rankings.

This Week’s Cricket Results from around the country:

Friday, 19 February 2016 10:00

U14 Cricket: The First U14 Rankings for 2016

Still early days for the U14’s as they find their feet in the world of high school cricket and with the results submitted so far we have Pretoria Boys High as the leading team on the U14 Cricket Rankings for this week.

KES remain the front runners this week in the U15 Cricket Rankings after enjoying some good wins over Gauteng opposition.

St Stithians continue their purple patch with a couple of wins last week to cement their place at the top of the Powerade Rankings for yet another week.

This Week’s Cricket Results from around the country:

A good week of results by Affies sees the Pretoria team move within touching distance of the top ten in this week’s First XI Powerade Top 60 Rankings.

A crackerjack weekend of school cricket across the country with plenty of great results, big scores and lots of wickets.

Tuesday, 02 February 2016 20:42

U15 Cricket: The First U15 Rankings of 2016

Yes it is still very early days for the U15 teams with many of the teams having only played a couple of matches but by popular demand here is the Powerade U15 Rankings for this week.

Grey College lost some valuable footing on the table when they got comprehensibly beaten twice by Pretoria Boys High to slip down the rankings on this week’s Powerade Top 55.

Monday, 01 February 2016 11:34

Cricket: Kearsney Clinch T20 Final

 Kearsney College beat Clifton by 93 runs in an emphatic T20 Coastal Final at Sahara Kingsmead Stadium of Friday 29 January.

Another cricket packed weekend with several of the big names in action which promises to deliver some tight results.

The Pinelands batsmen must have licked their lips when the Somerset College left-arm spinner, Franco Carstens marked out his run-up to begin his spell.

Pretoria Boys High put on another master class performance during the past week as they despatched St. Davids Inanda comfortably and in so doing move closer to overtaking Grey College for the number two slot on the Powerade First XI Rankings for this week.

Sunday, 24 January 2016 20:12

Cricket: This Week's Results: 22/01/2016

Cricket result from around the country:

A crushing victory by St. Stithians over Grey College cements their place at the top of the Powerade First XI Rankings for this week.

Sunday, 17 January 2016 21:05

Cricket: This Week's Results: 17/01/2016

KES enjoyed a comfortable win against Waterkloof over the weekend as they reduced Klofies to a paltry 109 all out and it looks as if Waterkloof who enjoyed several seasons at the top of the tree may struggle in 2016.

Some great results by Pretoria Boys High helps them to make a strong move up the rankings where we still find St. Stithians commanding the top spot in the first Powerade First XI Rankings of 2016.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016 19:28

Cricket: Results for the Week: 11/01/2016

An explosion of school cricket from around the country kicked off 2016 with many of South Africa’s traditional powerhouses in action.

I watched with an uneasy mix of appreciation and dread. St Stithians first XI captain Ricardo Vasconcelos played a studied innings under considerable pressure to lay a match-winning foundation for his team. I sensed that this opening batsman was the real deal.

“I’ve always loved opening the batting, I feel like I thrive on that pressure, for me there’s no better feeling than being able to put my team into a position that can allow us to be in the driver’s seat to win the game,” was Ricardo’s response to my leading question.

Clearly I am not the only one who sees Ricardo in the same light – and perhaps even more significant, it’s not all been golden-boy moments: It started in the relatively modest surrounds of the Gauteng U15B team – and blossomed without blemish thereafter.

Gauteng U17A for two years, SA U17 and most recently Gauteng U19 for the upcoming Coke Week. St Stithians had no doubts. Ricardo played Saints first team for four years.

A Saints lad to the core, the Vasconcelos brand has steadily taken off since its launch in Grade 0. “I think it was about Grade 3 when I started to develop a real love for the game. For me it’s the time spent with friends that separates cricket from other sports; you can’t stand next to someone for hours a day – day in and day out - and not become good mates.”

His most memorable innings? The answer reveals an appreciation for more than the simple computations of aggregate runs and averages.

“Probably the 76 not out for Gauteng U17 against Western Province, chasing a low score yet losing regular wickets. We ended up winning by two wickets, three balls to spare. Hitting the winning runs, that was pretty cool.”

Ricardo’s highest score (at the time of writing) was 150 not out against Trinity. “The first time I reached 150 was a pretty memorable occasion.”

The skipper recalls one match with particular fondness. “We beat Waterkloof in the Coke T20 final. It meant we were measured as the best team in the country at that time.”

As to Saints’ 2015, it’s apparent that this captain is not easily pleased. “It wasn’t a bad year, we got to the final of the Johnny Waite tournament, but it wasn’t as good as last year.”

Vasconcelos is quick to mention fellow Saints in the Gauteng team. A tidy crop they are: Brandon Glover (bowler), Wiaan Mulder (all-rounder) and Wandile Makwetu (batsmen).

School cricket weeks are great, we all know that, so I wasn’t surprised at the Vasoncelos response to this ask: Oppenheimer Michaelmas Cricket Week, hosted annually by Maritzburg College in the first week of October … Good stuff?Yes, it is so enjoyable. Michaelmas is the highlight of our calendar, because of all the history surrounding it and the fact that so many prominent past cricketers and current professionals have played in that same week.”

That wonderful compliment makes it easier for me, a College Old Boy, to come to terms with the tender memory of Ricardo’s masterfully compiled 90 on our hallowed Goldstones turf that set up Saints’ well-earned victory. (For reference, dear reader, please revert to paragraph one).

So what are the opener’s goals at Coke Week? “I want to be in the top three leading run-scorers to give myself the best opportunity to make the SA U19 side.” Vision uncluttered, straight to the point.

The Vasoncelos ambition is clear, unencumbered by those twin evils – unwarranted arrogance and ill-placed modesty: “I want to go professional and hopefully play for the Proteas one day.”

The man who counts St Andrews Bloemfontein as the SA school team he most enjoys playing against, also has much admiration for the cricket played by that Cape Town institution,Rondebosch, and first stop for Vasconcelos next year is Stellenbosch University.

And once again the vision is flawless in its clarity. “I hope to play for Boland next year.” Working his way into the Western Province Academy follows. The Cobras next.

Honest within himself, Vasconcelos ticks another box on the player-with-character list. “I have not had the best season, but I still managed to score 1 432 runs at an average of 52 with seven fifties and three hundreds.” That unbeaten 150 among them.

His opinion of the Gauteng line-up for Coke Week? “We have an extremely strong side this year, 10 players in our squad were invited to the SA U19 camp.”

Admirable technique is the trademark, enabling substantial time in the middle, but Vasoncelos knows when it’s time to launch: “I think that I am probably a more technically correct batsmen who tries to be attacking when I get the chance. I enjoy 50-over matches because it gives me enough time to build an innings and get a substantial score.”

So who has been the biggest influence on the burgeoning cricket career, and life, of Ricardo Vasconcelos?The answer gives another clue to this young man’s solid foundation, his bright future: “Probably my dad, he has always encouraged me to pursue cricket and has always supported me throughout my career.”

As to the nitty gritty of honing the art and craft, challenging and nurturing Ricardo’s raw talent, two coaches stand out. “Bongani Ndaba and Jimmy Cook have helped me immensely with my game and have been with me for many years,” says the modest, well-spoken Saints man.

The Ricardo Vasconcelos temperament when the pitch is doing plenty and the bowlers are right on top? The answer to this question is the one I like the most.

“I enjoy it when the bowlers think they’re on top. It brings out the best in me, makes me more determined to do well.”

Ricardo Vasconcelos is one to watch. And I am definitely not the first, nor the last, to notice that.

After yet another highly successful Coca-Cola Khaya Majola Week the cream has risen to the top and the selectors have made some tough calls to produce a SA Schools and SA Colts squad for 2015.