“𝘋𝘰 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘮𝘺 𝘧𝘢𝘷𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘦 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘨𝘢𝘮𝘦 𝘪𝘴? 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘰𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘵𝘰 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘺.” – Mike Singletary
More than a year after Covid-19 brought schools cricket to a halt, Union’s cricketers were excited to be able to take to the field again in two matches this past weekend – the first, against the Graaff-Reinet Cricket Club on Friday evening, 5 March, the second against the Brain Bands Invitation Team on Saturday morning, 6 March.
𝗧𝟮𝟬 𝘃𝘀 𝗚𝗿𝗮𝗮𝗳𝗳-𝗥𝗲𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘁 𝗖𝗖
Friday evening’s encounter against the Graaff-Reinet CC saw Union’s 1st XI take to the field at the Botanics Sports Grounds for a T20 match.
Graaff-Reinet CC won the toss and elected to bat first.
The Union boys took to the field with a positive energy, but was put under pressure right from the very first ball by the Club’s batsmen, who managed to conclude their innings with a total of 158 for 6. Union’s best bowler was Hlaki Skepe (3 for 27 in 4 overs).
Early damage to Union’s batting line-up caused by excellent swing bowling from the Club’s bowlers, saw the team in early trouble at 3 for 2. Chasing a total of 158 then became an insurmountable challenge, as wickets continued to fall. Union’s batsmen were bowled out for 72 runs. Dylan Kriel top-scored for Union with 14 runs, followed by Rogan Odendaal (12) and Josh Calitz (12).
𝟰𝟬 𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝘃𝘀 𝗕𝗿𝗶𝗮𝗻 𝗕𝗮𝗻𝗱𝘀
On Saturday, 6 March, Union played against the Brian Bands Invitation Team at Union High School’s Minnaar Field.
The Union team was determined to improve on their performance from the previous evening and, with Union’s pitches starved of cricket, Union chose to bat first when they won the toss to take full advantage of a really good track.
Patience at the crease saw Union’s top order create a good platform, setting themselves up for a competitive total. Union managed to score 172 for 5 in their allotted 40 overs. Batsmen Jarrod Naude (38), Josh Calitz (31), James Pringle (20), MJ Newton (19) and James Pienaar (16) were the main contributors.
The Union team then took to the field with new-found confidence, striking early in the first over with a brilliantly executed delivery by Lihle Mxhunyelwa to disturb the woodwork, leaving the visitors at 0 for 1.
Shortly thereafter, Lihle struck again twice, and the Brian Bands team found themselves 3 wickets down with only 10 runs on the board.
Union continued to apply steady pressure through excellent bowling and fielding, holding onto 5 catches to dismiss the opposing team for 86.
Union’s best bowlers were Laythan Carelse (4 for 24), Lihle Mxhunyelwa (3 for 15) and James Pienaar (2 for 18).
The Union team must be commended on a brilliant team effort.