WYNAND’S CRICKET ACADEMY recently took 3 of their teams on various tours around South Africa during the July school holidays.
Members of our local Cricket Academy consist of players from various Primary and High Schools in the SWD region and these boys do not often get the opportunity to tour with their schools.
MERENSKY HIGH CRICKET WEEK – TZANEEN (27 June – 5 July 2015)
The 1st team (High School players) boarded the plane and headed for the 19th edition of the Merensky High School Cricket Week in Tzaneen. For some this was the first time on a plane and visiting Limpopo Province. We were divided into the Junior section which consisted of U/15 and U/16 players from the top schools in Limpopo and Gauteng. The WCA players experienced some very difficult batting conditions with the high altitude and humidity but they learnt from different scenarios during the matches while dealing with these pitches with slow and low bounce and spinners turning the balls square. They took on the challenge and executed their skills taught during coaching sessions and also displayed some outstanding fielding. The WCA 1st team played in the unofficial final on Day 5 but unfortunately lost the encounter and ended up in 2nd place out of the 10 touring teams. At the awards function on the last evening, a traditional ‘Dream Team’ is selected out of all the schools players for the week with outstanding batting and bowling figures. We are proud to say that 3 of our WCA members were selected for this team. They were Neil Bekker, Martin Bekker and Migael Vermeulen. Neil Bekker was also rewarded for his hard work and awarded ‘Junior Batsman of the week’ out of all 10 schools.
Neil had a week of cricket he won’t forget soon. Not only did he get these accolades but in a total of 5 innings, he scored a total of 288 runs, 2 not outs, an average of 96.00, one half century and 2 centuries with a best score of 111 not out. Migael Vermeulen used his Willow impressively as well by scoring a total of 182 runs in 4 innings with an average of 60.66 with one century and a best score of 121. Other batters who were successful with the bat were Martin Bekker scoring 137 runs and Tristan Reid who scored 112 runs and only being dismissed once out of 4 innings and one half century. With the ball, the tough conditions and strong batting opponents didn’t allow for wickets to come easily. Kenneth Peters was tied with Martin Bekker as the leading wicket taker for WCA with 6 wickets each. Martin got a 5 wicket haul which included a hatrick in one bowling innings to give him bowling figures of 5 wickets for 6 runs in 3 overs only. Three other bowlers were only one wicket behind the leading wicket takers by getting 5 wickets for the week and they were Matt Bolttler, Odin le Roux and Neil Bekker.
We finished the week off with a day trip into the Kruger National Park, another incredible experience that some had never had the opportunity to experience and enjoy.
POTCH TOUR vs HV ACADEMY (7-12 July 2015)
While the WCA 1st team enjoyed warmer weather, the 2nd and 3rd team packed their warm clothing and boarded the plane as well and headed to Potchefstroom to play cricket in cold, dry conditions and to test their skills against various players from the town in three different formats for a week.
Both teams consist of Primary School learners from ages 9 – 13 years.
The 2nd team had a very hard week with extremely difficult batting conditions, however, again these players used their skills from coaching sessions and adapted to the conditions, working hard for runs and wickets to achieve short term goals. With the bat, runs were rare and as a team, a score of 90 runs was a winning total. The leading run scorer for WCA was Mihle Dingiswayo who accumulated a total of 121 runs from his 4 innings with an average of 40.33 and best score of 49. Michael Papenfus was breathing down Mihle’s neck for the leading run scorer and scored a total of 109 runs in 6 innings with an average of 21.80 and best score of 45 runs. If there was a ‘patience’ batting award in tough conditions, only one name pops up and that is Francois Ackerman. In his 5 innings, he managed to score 76 runs from 208 balls at the top of the innings. His team mates batted around him and Francois remained solid as a rock in the Outeniqua Mountains. With the ball, the WCA bowlers executed their skills to adapt to the conditions and used them to full advantage. Jacques Carolus was the leading wicket taker for the week by dismissing 10 batters with best bowling figures of 3 wickets for 4 runs, a bowling average of 6.00 and a strike rate of 10.20. Following in his foot steps was Michael Papenfus who bagged 9 wickets for the week with best bowling figures of 3 wickets for 5 runs, a bowling average of 8.77 and strike rate of 16.00. They were well supported by the other bowlers in the Team – Armand Bosch 5 wickets, Scott Blackwell and Marcus Kleynhans both with 4 wickets each.
For the WCA 3rd team, Arthur Muller was the leading run scorer under more friendlier conditions and he managed to get a total of 156 runs in his 6 innings with an average of 31.20 and best score of 46 runs. Justin Burrows was in second place and scored 130 runs in his 6 innings with a average of 21.66 and best score of 44 runs. Two other players who use their Willows just as well were Joshua Weideman who scored 93 runs and Granton Strydom who scored 81 runs for the week with a best score of 40 not out. With the ball, Justin Burrows displayed his skills as well by claiming the most wickets for the week – 8 in total with best bowling figures of 3 wickets for 8 runs, a bowling average of 7.87 and a strike rate of 12.00. Arthur Muller was second with 6 wickets and a bowling average of 8.16.
The boys finished the week off with a fun filled morning at Gold Reef City.
Thank you to Coaches Wynand Jnr and Snr for providing the boys with these great opportunities, to the Parents for their support and allowing their children to participate and go along on Tours such as these and to Nadine Bolttler (Tour Manager) for organising and co-ordinating the Tours.