A young Graeme 1st XI were up against it against a strong Kingswood team on Saturday 26 January, at Graeme’s Somerset field. Graeme won the toss and elected to bowl in very overcast conditions; the threat of rain was a concern though with the possibility of the ball getting wet. The match had been reduced slightly due to the weather conditions, reducing the match to approximately 100 overs in the day.
The Kingswood opening pair of Mihali Jamda (24) and Cameron Lombaard (18) batted with good discipline as they put on 32 runs for the first wicket in bowler friendly conditions. Although drizzle hampered the bowlers, Graeme stuck to their guns and gave nothing away. Liam O’Sullivan (48) showed great intent and put the bowlers under pressure for the first time.
Graeme captain, Lakhanya Sam rotated his bowlers effectively, and never let Kingswood get much momentum. Sam (3/28) was outstanding on the day. His new ball partner, Siphesihle Madlongolwana was equally impressive, claiming 3/33. Raven Bush also chipped in with wickets claiming 2/34.
There were some handy contributions from Adrian Wright (47) and Matthew Pritchard (23) down the order for the visiting side. They declared on 201 for 9 after 56 overs. That left Graeme a chase of 4.7 runs per over in 43 overs.
Kingswood struck two early blows against the young Graeme batting line up with Josh von Holdt in impressive form, picking up 4/44. Garwin Dampies steadied the ship for Graeme, along with Lubabalo Tshongweni. A flurry of wickets after tea left Graeme in an awkward position, but Riaan Labuschagne (27*) managed to close the match out for Graeme, earning a deserved and hard fought draw. Graeme ended on 93/6 at the close of play.
The Graeme U15 A side showed the same tenacity under pressure in their battle with Kingswood. Batting first, Graeme were in trouble at 110/8. Liselihle Maphekula was superb, scoring 46, but it was Lagon Oerson who carried on and batted phenomenally. Oerson managed to get Kamva Mancoko to bat with him for more than 90 minutes and scored a crucial 14 not out in the process. Oerson then managed to score an incredible 107, which enabled his team to declare on 211 for 9. In reply, Kingswood struggled to cope with the spin of Viwe Gana (5/35) and Connor Pieterse (4/39). Kingswood were bowled out for 107, handing Graeme a 107 run victory.
Kingswood outgunned their hosts in the U14 A, Seconds and Thirds matches, effectively taking the day of fixtures. Graeme U14 A scored 95 all out in reply to Kingswood’s 176, losing by 81 runs. The Thirds match was very one sided. In reply to Kingswood’s 266, Graeme could only manage 68, losing by 198 runs. The Graeme Seconds could only manage 83, which Kingswood comfortably passed to win by 7 wickets.