An unbeaten season for Wits Cricket Club secures a historic first place victory in the Gauteng Premier League 50-over format.

On Sunday, April 2, Wits Cricket Club played in the last game of the season and beat Kagiso Cricket Club by eight wickets. The Wits side were first on the Enza league table and needed a win to maintain their position.

Wits Cricket Club celebrate after restricting Kagiso Cricket Club to 181 runs on Sunday, April 2, 2023 at Wits main campus.
Photo: Kimberley Kersten

After forfeiting the toss, Kagiso were sent in to bat first. They got off to a good start in the power play with the first few wickets, but shortly after Wits were able to pull that lead back. With Mohammad Manack’s fantastic spell of five wickets for 21 in 10 overs, Wits restricted Kagiso to a subpar 181 runs.

Ndumiso Mvelase, Kagiso Cricket Club’s vice-captain said that the game was competitive but enjoyable, he said: “We knew that we were playing against the champs and ultimately we came out on the wrong side.”

When Wits took to batting, they were met with the fall of the skipper (Deeran Baba) in the opening overs. But Billy Van Zyl 65* (106) and Manack 81 (78) steadied the ship with a match winning partnership. Lions player, Conner Esterhuisen, struck the final blow with an explosive 25 not out, propelling Wits to 182/2 with 17 overs to spare.

This win marked the second trophy for the team this season after winning the USSA B division in December 2022, which saw them qualify for Varsity Cup and promoted them to the USSA A division.

Spectator Willem Van Zyl said: “The coaches have a lot of experience, they really know what they’re doing.” The new head coach, previous Lions player Nono Pongolo, who took up the post at the start of the year, looks forward to building upon the season’s success by preparing for Varsity Cup in the winter.

Speaking to the season that was, Captain of the Wits Cricket club, Deeran Baba, said: “The boys have worked hard behind the scenes to put out results every weekend and success has come our way. There is definitely more to come.”

FEATURED IMAGE: Wits batsman, Mohammad Manack, hits a ball against Kagiso Cricket Club on Sunday April 2, 2023 at Wits. Photo: Kimberley Kersten