St Stithians’ Richard Seletsane and Ayush Ramnaran both finished shy just of impressive half-centuries during their side’s 58-run triumph over the Standard Bank Dobsonville Regional Performance Centre (RPC) in the latest Momentum Friendship Games encounter in Soweto on Thursday. Seletsane top-scored with a masterful 49 off 44 balls (4 fours, 1 six), while Ramnaran smashed a destructive 25-ball 45 to propel Saints to 162/6 before a disciplined bowling display restricted Dobsonville to 104/4 after their 20 overs at the Braam Fischerville Oval. The Friendship Games represent a vision shared by partners, Momentum and CSA, where budding, under-resourced cricketers who are part of Cricket South Africa’s RPC and Hub structures take on traditional cricketing schools. This initiative is aimed at bridging the gap between communities, encouraging the values of true sportsmanship and providing an increased number of quality matches and exposure for the RPC and Hub players.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, the Johannesburg-based school lost an early wicket but a crucial 66-run partnership between Seletsane and Ramnaran helped solidify the innings and set a concrete foundation. Ramnaran blasted five fours and two sixes before the second-wicket stand was broken by Muneeb Manuel (1/27), while his partner battled on in another fruitful stand with Thebe Gazide (28), falling one run short of his fifty, to leave St Stithians on 132/3. Hamza Khanjea claimed the scalp of Seletsane on either side of removing Josh Wyngaard (7) and Nic Karlsson (8) to finish with three for 32 as the home side applied the pressure later in the innings, carrying out two run outs to limit their opponents.
In their response with the bat, Dobsonville were pinned down at the crease with St Stithians’ key bowlers displaying superb control with the cherry as they limited the hosts to 23 runs in the opening powerplay. With the pressure to score runs increasing, the visitors began making inroads despite Amogeleng Tau (34) and Katlego Bidli’s (39*) efforts in pursuit of the target but it was not to be in the end as the batters ran out of deliveries, still 57-runs behind Saints’ score.
Karlsson (1/15), Wyngaard (1/21), Lungelo Gumede (1/12) and Tiago Kostov (1/24) shared the four second-inning wickets that fell as they guided their side to victory. The result restored the schools’ dominance in this year’s Friendship Games following Tygerberg RPC’s commanding four-wicket win over Rondebosch Boys’ High.