St Stithians wins fourth national schools T20 title, EC teams win two out of 10 matches
St Stithians College extended their record of being the most successful team at the Coca-Cola Schools T20 national finals when they sealed their fourth title, beating St Charles College in the 2019 final at Tuks University on Sunday afternoon.
St Stithians came into the tournament having won the competition in 2016 and 2017, before missing out last year, and continued as they went through the weekend unbeaten to lift their third trophy in four years and fourth overall.
In the final, the Lions reps came up against first time finalists St Charles, who themselves were representing the Dolphins for the first time at the nationals.
St Charles had won all their games up until Sunday morning, where they slipped up against 2018 winners St Andrew's School representing the Knights, who were already out of the running, and despite the loss St Charles had already done enough to make the final.
In the final St Stithians batted first and were on target for a big score before St Charles pulled it back in the last few overs, limiting them to 123/7 at the end of their 20 overs.
Travis Ladner was the main contributor with the bat, scoring 41, while Sebastian de Oliviera (35) and top run scorer at the tournament Cameron Rowe (20) also chipped in.
The St Charles bowling effort was then led by captain Wesley Madhevere with 2/19 and he was backed up by Keegan Crawford's 2/28.
The St Charles chase then never really got off the ground as only opener Nathan Lunderstedt (20) and Madhevere (12) reached double figures with them all out for 70 to succumb to a 53 run defeat.
The St Stithians bowling effort was led by the superb Liam McCarthy, 4/14, while Tristan Brooks, 2/17, and captain Matthew Lieberman, 2/18, backed him up well.
Despite the loss in the final St Charles were able to celebrate Clive Madande, who was named bowler of the tournament and Madhevere who was justly rewarded as player of the tournament for scoring 154 runs and taking 10 wickets, while Rowe claimed the batting award for scoring 234 runs.
Coca-Cola Africa Sponsorship manager Puso Makume chatted to the press ahead of the final and was elated with what he had seen at the tournament up until that point.
“The three days have been fantastic, we have seen some amazing talent here and just building up to today it has really been phenomenal, the teams have done a great job in setting up this amazing tournament thus far,” said Makume.
“I am happy with the level of competition over the tournament, we have been working with Paul Harris to select our All Star team and the level and quality of the players there was amazing.
“The final is going to be a very interesting game. I actually can't wait to see that one, and again it is just that whole rotation, seeing new players, seeing a new game of play to bring a new element of competition to the game, so that's a good one for us.”
Makume was also very impressed with the players that were on show over the weekend and admitted that many of them were destined for big things.
“The players themselves have impressed me, the dedication they have shown, their resilience, some of these boys come from far and they have come here to play their hearts out,” explained Makume.
“I have heard one or two rumours, which I will not say right now, that some of these kids have been identified for the world cup actually, so I definitely see that happening.
“And that is one of the main reasons we do this, we want to further these kids’ careers and try get them as high as they can in the sport.”
Eastern Cape sides Hudson Park High School, representing the Coastal Focus Schools, and St Andrew's College, representing the Warriors, also took part in the competition with Hudson unfortunately losing all five of their games while St Andrew's emerged victorious in their final two after losing their opening three...