The 2016/17 KFC Mini-Cricket Kids vs Proteas Tour came to an exciting end after the kids overcame the Proteas for the second consecutive week to claim a 2-2 series result. The Proteas travelled to the famous Khaya Majola oval in Mthatha to take on the KFC Mini-Cricket kids from Zamaxolo Junior Secondary School in the Tour decider. The Proteas took a 2-1 series lead into the game but were weary of the on-form kids after their emphatic victory in Durban. The kids put on yet another stellar display, claiming victory with more than an over to spare to level up the series and to end the Tour honours even.
Stellar fielding, vocal supporters and line and length bowling from Zamaxolo JSS was the theme of the first innings as the Proteas found runs hard to come by. Wickets were lost to run outs at regular intervals as the kids heaped the pressure on their opponents. Captain on the day, batsman Temba Bavuma, along with Eastern Cape local boy, Jon-Jon Smuts, did their best to keep the runs ticking over. In the end the Proteas were able to set the kids a target of 38 to win.
The opening overs of the second innings once again proved a tight affair with the kids finding the likes of Eddie Leie hard to get away. A rare miss-field from Reeza Hendricks and a big over off Bavuma’s bowling however gave the kids a sniff at victory. From then onward they dominated and a massive over off of Jon-Jon Smuts saw them home with 8 balls to spare.
KFC Mini-Cricket all-star coach and former Protea, Mfunkeo Ngam, who has remained unbeaten in the 4 year history of the Tour, was immensely proud of his young team. “The Proteas last won in 2013/14 so to have now gone 3 tours without a series loss is a phenomenal achievement. There was pressure on our team today to come up with a result and the kids certainly delivered. They went up against some of the stars of world cricket this season so they should be hugely proud of their performance, not only today but over the entire Tour. KFC Mini-Cricket continues to go from strength to strength and I can’t wait to have another crack at the Proteas in the 2017/18 season” said Ngam.
The player of the match performance by Zamaxolo’s Anele Nunu was testament to the kids’ brilliant showing. The highlight of his unbeaten 15 runs was a brilliant reverse sweep over the wicketkeeper’s head which proved the defining moment and set his team on the path to victory.
Proteas captain on the day, Temba Bavuma, was pleased with his team’s performance over the season and equally impressed by the level of talent witnessed in this season’s KFC Mini-Cricket Kids vs Proteas Tour. “We have been on a good run of form recently and although we couldn’t deliver today, we are pleased to have shared the spoils with the KFC Mini-Cricket Kids. The kids have been tough opponents over the years and this year was no different. They put up a real fight and I’m sure KFC will be thrilled at the level of talent emerging. This is always one of the most exciting events on the Proteas calendar and we are already looking forward to the 2017/18 tour,” he said.
The Proteas won the inaugural KFC Mini-Cricket Kids vs Proteas Tour in 2013/14. The 2014/15 Tour, was won by the kids with the 2015/16 Tour ending in a 2-2 draw. With this season ending 2-2, both teams will be eager to continue their great form when the Tour returns for a 5th edition later in 2017.
Mike Middleton, Chief Marketing Officer for KFC South Africa concluded, “Congratulations to both teams on one of the best ever KFC Mini-Cricket Kids vs Proteas Tours. We travelled the length and breadth of South Africa playing four exciting games. We gave aspiring young cricketers the once in a lifetime opportunity to get active and take on their heroes, and we witnessed some amazing displays from the current and future stars of South African cricket. We can’t wait to do it again in 2017/18, it will once again be even bigger and better and I’m sure the KFC Mini-Cricket kids will once again be a formidable challenge for the Proteas.”
KFC Mini-Cricket is played by over 114,000 kids who are coached by nearly 9000 volunteer coaches.
To get your child involved in KFC Mini-Cricket or to volunteer as a coach visit www.kfcminicricket.co.za