Captain Callum Mckeown top-scored for Kearsney College as they clinched the enthralling Momentum Friendship Games match against the Chatsworth Standard Bank Regional Performance Centre (RPC) at the Chatsworth Oval in Durban on Wednesday. The low-scoring affair went to the final over before the visitors claimed an 8-run win.
Mckeown played a controlled innings of 43 off 42 deliveries (3x4s) with the bat to help his side recover from a shaky start before going on to post 101/6 after the allotted 20 overs. After winning the toss and electing to set the score, the under-15 A school side had a stuttering start to the contest, with both openers Josh Owen (0) and Josh Woolven (1) falling with just four runs on the board. Mckeown and Matthew Bergsett (9) combined to steady the ship for the away side, notching up a 32-run stand for the third wicket before Bonga Shezi (1/17) struck to leave them 36/3 in the eighth over. Despite losing his partner, the College skipper continued the battle at the crease, recording three boundaries as he played the role of the aggressor in a 42-run partnership with Bryce Wiggett (17). The former was finally dismissed, with Vumani Magwaza (1/19) taking a smart caught and bowled to remove the dangerous McKoen just seven runs short of a half-century. Following the dismissal of their captain, Kearsney College added a further 19 runs to end on the triple-figure score for the loss of six wickets. Mohammed Shaik (1/3) and captain, Kamaran Naraidu (1/17) were the other wicket-takers for the home side. In reply, the Chatsworth RPC got off to a slow start. The hosts could only score 15 runs in the opening five overs before Joshua Page was skittled for four in the sixth over. Fellow opening batsman, Ryan Naicker partnered with Ndumiso Xolo (8) at the crease, as the pair took their side to 41/1 before disaster struck. The host team lost four wickets in four consecutive overs, with Xolo, Naraidu (1), Naicker (27), and Sandile Zulu (0) all sent back to the dugout at the expense of just six runs thanks to three run outs and a wicket from Wiggett (1/13). Faced with an uphill battle on 47/5 after 15 overs, requiring 55 runs to win, the Chatsworth outfit had to dig in to secure a result. Braydon Naidoo and Asanda Khanyile fought hard to add 20 runs to the score before the latter was bowled by Lethu Gwarube (2/9) for nine.
Mihir Behari (15) joined Naidoo out in the middle and got off the mark with a lovely drive to the boundary before adding another one three balls later. His efforts to up the run rate were short-lived, though, with Jayce van Eeden (2/16) claiming his wicket. Heading into the final over, the home side required 17 runs for the win but despite conceding nine off it, Van Eeden kept his nerve to remove Naidoo for 16 and helped restrict Chatsworth to 93/8 in their 20 overs to take his team to victory. The next match of the Momentum Friendship Games series takes place in Cape Town on Tuesday, 29 January between the Tygerberg RPC and Rondebosch Boys High.