The young 2019 Graeme First Team cricket side got off to a great start at the 2019 Grahamstown Schools’ Festival. Their first encounter was against Hellenic Academy from Harare.
Despite Hellenic seeming to take charge initially, Lakhanya Sam led the bowling attack superbly well for Graeme, and built good pressure up front. It was Mihlali Kobese (2 for 6 in 5 overs), who made the initial breakthrough though. From there it was the Graeme spinners who dominated. Aaron Richardson picked up his best bowling figures for the first team in a superb spell, finishing with 4 for 37. Hellenic ended with 103 all out.
In reply, Seth Faltain (25) combined brilliantly with Aaron Richardson in an opening stand of 52. Richardson went on to take his team home in a flawless knock of 52 not out. Graeme won by 8 wickets.
Graeme then took on Somerset College on day two. Somerset won a crucial toss in the most bowler friendly conditions possible. Somerset won comfortably after only needing to chase 76 for victory. The Graeme bowlers fought well, but simply didn’t have enough runs on the board to defend.
Day three was completely different. Graeme decided to bat first against Cambridge in much friendlier conditions, and batted superbly. Aaron Richardson (23) put on an opening stand of 62 with young Morne Kohl, which set a solid platform for Graeme. Kohl was superb and showed some very exciting potential for the future. He was eventually out after scoring a superb 76. He combined with Garwin Dampies (63), who batted with great maturity. Dampies lost his wicket after lunch as Graeme pressed ahead before their declaration. Graeme declared on 244/ 6 after 65 overs.
Nobody could have foreseen what happened next. Siphesihle Madlongolwana had just returned from the u19 Coke Week, and the Cubs week where he performed superbly well. In a destructive spell, Lakhanya Sam (3 for 15) and Madlongolwana blew away the Cambridge batting line up. Madlongolwana was simply devastating picking up phenomenal and simply unbelievable figures of 7 for 7 in 6 overs. Cambridge were bowled out for 26, giving Graeme an emphatic 218 run win.