The Graeme College First Team Cricket side kept their hundred percent record in tact at the Cape Youth Cricket Festival over the weekend of 28-30 September. The group has remained unbeaten over the last three years, although they made things very difficult for themselves in difficult conditions this year.
On day one, Mark Amm, the first team captain, was the difference between the sides, as their opponents, Pinelands, bowled brilliantly on a very soft pitch. Graeme could only manage 88 all out, but that was largely due to Amm who scored 46 not out. The Graeme side battled the elements for 53 overs to get that total, so knew there was a chance of defending the it. Although the bowling was not perfect on the day, the Graeme side did find a way to win. Sihle Mginywa got Graeme off to the perfect start in the field. He ended with 3 for 11 in 10 overs. Lakhanya Sam was equally impressive, taking 3 for 14. Graeme won a very low scoring and exciting match by 12 runs, after bowling Pinelands out for 76. It was a tough start the the festival, but maybe exactly what the team needed.
Day two was a limited over contest against Bergvliet. Graeme were asked to bat, and struggled initially on another soft track. A platform was built though, which allowed players an opportunity to express themselves later. Jeremy Beyleveld (42) and Siphesihle Madlongolwana (49 not out) held most of the innings together, which allowed the likes of Liam Agnew to blast his way to 35 not out, enabling Graeme to get to an impressive total of 244/ 7 after their 50 overs. The new ball attack was superb in defence of the target. Siphesihle Madlongolwana (3 for 22) and Sihle Mginywa (2 for 19) pegged Bergvliet back from the start. Lakhanya Sam picked up 2 for 12 as Graeme bowled Bergvliet out for 113, winning by 131 runs.
The last day started with a T20 against Milnerton. Again, a slow and soft pitch made batting difficult. Graeme were very happy to reach their goal of 120, although lost 9 wickets on the way there. Bavu Manyakanyaka (30), Chris Gleaves (24) and Amm (20) were the top scorers. With a decent score to defend, it was up to the bowlers to perform. Yet again, they were superb. Sihle Mginywa (4 for 17) was outstanding and well backed up by Siphesihle Madlongolwana (2 for 14). Graeme restricted Milnerton to 90 all out, winning by 30 runs.
The last fixture was the afternoon game at the picturesque Westerford field. Westerford won the toss and chose to bat on, which seemed, a better batting pitch. They struggled to get the vastly experienced bowling attack away, and ended on 75/ 6 after their 20 overs. Amm taking 3 for 10, doing the most damage. In reply, Gleaves scored a quickfire 31 as Graeme reached the target in the 12th over, three wickets down. It was a good 7 wicket victory to end the festival, and to continue the team’s unbeaten record at the festival.