St Stithians overcome Paarl Gymnasium in double win to claim Coca-Cola T20 Schools Challenge championship

Winners of the Coca-Cola Schools T20 National Finals at Senwes Park  St Stithians (Gallo)

Winners of the Coca-Cola Schools T20 National Finals at Senwes Park St Stithians (Gallo)

Wiaan Mulder and Wandile Makwetu shared a 138-run, second-wicket partnership to set up an eight-run victory for St Stithians over Paarl Gymnasium in the final of the Coca-Cola T20 Schools Challenge at Senwes Park Stadium in Potchefstroom on Sunday. They take the R110, 000 cash prize, claiming a second championship win for their school (the first was won in 2014 in Pretoria).

After beating Paarl by 13 runs in the last round-robin match of the tournament this morning, St Stithians posted 152/3 at the end of their 20 overs after they were put in to bat first. Mulder played another captain’s innings, hitting 82 runs from 60 deliveries, with Makwetu adding 61 from 55 to set up a tough score for the opposition.

The match-winning partnership began after Makwetu’s opening partner, Joshua Richards was dismissed without scoring by Gareth Wolmarans (2/29) in the third delivery of the innings. The 18 over long partnership included 13 fours and four sixes before Wolmarans struck a second time to get rid of Makwetu in the 19th with St Stithians on 142/2. Mulder lost his wicket with just one delivery left of the innings, falling victim to Pieter Borcherds (1/29), but his brother JP Mulder got the side two more runs to reach 152 in the end.

The Paarl batting reply saw an early wicket fall when the Saints’ skipper removed Wolmarans for a duck in the first over. André Hanekom hit an impressive 75 runs from 57 balls to give his side hope of a victory, but no one else turned up with the bat to assist him. The second highest runs came from Wiaan van Niekerk, who managed 19 at a run a ball before his dismissal.

The difference between the sides was the wickets that were taken at regular intervals to keep the asking rate high. Justin Watson, Curtis Campher and Wiaan Mulder took two wickets each to restrict Paarl to 144/8 in the end.

CSA Blue Chip Initiative

To add more joy to St Stithians College, they along with Grey High School (PE), met the required score on the Cricket South Africa Quality Performance Index to reach Blue Chip status and have been awarded a further respective R55, 000 and R33, 000 in prize money.

Coca-Cola T20 Schools Challenge awards:

Man of the Match: Wiaan Mulder
Hero of the Day: Joshua Richards
Player of the Tournament: Wiaan Mulder

Morning match results

Affies 138/10 after 20 overs v/s Grey College 125/9 after 20 overs at NWU-Pukke Oval
Affies won by 13 runs

Kearsney 147/7 after 20 overs v/s Grey High 138/8 after 14.4 overs at NWU-Ibbies Oval
Affies won by 2 wickets

St Stithians 122/9 after 20 overs v/s Grey High 138/8 after 20 overs at Senwes Park
St Stithians won 9 wickets