Rondebosch and St Alban’s advance to the Coca-Cola Schools T20 Challenge National Finals

Ryan Hulme of St Albans during Provincial tournament of the 2018 Coca-Cola Schools T20 Challenge match between St Albans and Marais Viljoen at Irene Villagers Cricket Club on February 25, 2018 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)

Ryan Hulme of St Albans during Provincial tournament of the 2018 Coca-Cola Schools T20 Challenge match between St Albans and Marais Viljoen at Irene Villagers Cricket Club on February 25, 2018 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)

Cape Town-based Rondebosch Boys High and St Alban’s College from Pretoria have qualified to represent the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras and the Multiply Titans at the Coca-Cola Schools T20 Challenge National Finals in March.

Rondebosch took on Outeniqua High School and Paul Roos Gymnasium in the Cobras Coca-Cola Schools T20 Challenge Franchise Finals at their home ground on Saturday, 23 January 2018.

Outeniqua and Paul Roos were no match for a well-drilled Rondebosch team that had standout performances by Reese Scheepers with the ball, Justin Broad and Quinton Oordt with the bat, and their wicketkeeper, Ethan Nates, who made 3 stumpings and and was involved in 2 run outs as well

St Alban’s College were crowned the Titans franchise champions after beating Marais Viljoen High School.

Marais Viljoen won the toss and decided to bat first. The opening partnership of Neil Bothma (33 off 13 balls) and Liam Murphy (30 off 16 balls) got them off to a fast start. At one stage they had 62 runs off 5 overs. St Albans did not let the fast start get to them and started taking wickets at regular intervals. Marais Viljoen only managed to add another 74 runs in the next 15 overs to post 136/7.

Like Marais Viljoen, St Albans openers got them off to a good start and chased down 137 to win in 15.4 overs for the loss of only 3 wickets.

During the two franchise finals, four players were selected to be part of the Coca-Cola T20 All-Star Team to take on the Cricket South Africa Development team at the national finals. This new addition to the Coca-Cola Schools T20 Challenge is aimed at spreading the talent search net wider and will see a team of cricket experts attend all franchise finals in search of outstanding players in the teams that do not qualify for the national finals.

Outeniqua all-rounder Matthew Thorn and Paul Roos batsman Rudi Klaasen were selected during the Cobras Franchise Finals. Thorn’s performance with bat and ball and Klaasen’s batting display throughout the day impressed the Coca-Cola T20 All-Star selectors, earning them a spot in the team.

“I have mixed emotions today, on the one hand I am very happy that I was picked for the All-Star team but on the other hand I would have loved it if my school had qualified for the National Finals. It is now up to me to represent my school in a curtain-raiser at the Coca-Cola Schools T20 Challenge Finals," said Thorn.

During the Titans Franchise Finals, Neil Bothma and Khaya Nyamathe from Marais Viljoen were selected for the Coca-Cola T20 All-Star team.

"It is a real honour to be picked to play in the Coca-Cola T20 All-Star team. I am disappointed that we lost today but I am happy that cricket won the day," said Nyamathe.

Neil Bothma, Khaya Nyamathe, Matthew Thorn and Rudi Klaasen join Mason Zacharea, Reeza Alexander, Matthew Montgomery and Simon Holmes in the Coca-Cola T20 All-Star team.

To engage with the tournament online, search #WhereHeroesAreMade on Twitter or visit @CocaCola_ZA and @OfficialCSA