Croxley Wits Cricket Club lost by two wickets in their league match against Randburg Cricket Club last Sunday.
The teams were evenly matched but Randburg managed to limit Wits’ total to 184.
Randburg coach, Kurt Human said his team’s performance went according to plan. “We wanted to come in here and try and restrict them … what we wanted was to bowl first and get four wickets down earlier on,” he said.
Tiro Madiseng, Randburg captain added, “Patience was the key for us. We’re hoping to get as close as possible to the top because they bit us the first time.”
Wits captain Nono Pongolo said their batting was not what they had hoped it would be, “we let ourselves down with the bat, losing soft wickets”.
The second half of the match saw Wits bowling soft balls giving Randburg the chance to score easy runs.
“Thanks to the bowlers we got a decent score that gave us a fighting chance. We fought well, but they wanted it more in the end,”
After a short break Randburg lost 4 wickets in quick succession, slowing their pace.
Even though Wits managed to push a little more, the team was a little too late when Randburg finished the game with a total of 191-8.
“We had a couple of half chances we did not hold on to, if we held on to those two or three chances we could have had three to five wickets down by now,” said player-coach Neil Levenson said.
“Thanks to the bowlers we got a decent score that gave us a fighting chance. We fought well, but they (Randburg) wanted it more in the end,” Pongolo said.
Even though Randburg managed to score 13 more points in the league for winning the game, Wits still remains in second place.
Wits still has two more games to play until the Gauteng Premier league is over.
WICKET DOWN: All-rounder Imeraan Fredricks leaves the field after only batting a few runs. Photo: Lutho Mtongana
Wits University is hoping to walk away with a comprehensive win against Randburg Cricket Club this Sunday in a time format game at home.
Croxley Wits Cricket is currently second on the Gauteng Premier league table with Old Parktonian Cricket Club in top spot. Randburg is currently in 6th place.
Wits will be relying on their bowling and fielding strength and hoping to improve on their batting performance in this weekend’s game.
Player-coach Neil Levenson, a former Randburg head coach, says he knows that Randburg has a good bowling unit with experienced players but says their batting is weak and he hopes his team will capitalise on this.
The plan is to “put them under pressure by leading with a good score”, Levenson said.
Wits batsman Nono Pongolo said they want to “carry on batting well. “Posting big scores so that we can have a chance of bowling them twice.”
But, Pongolo said, Wits lacks a strong batting partnership as they are still a young team. He believes though that if they carry on batting well, combined with their strong bowling unit, Wits will be “difficult to beat”.
Levenson added that he had a good relationship with Randburg players and when he was with them cricket was different, “it was about developing their players … They are an experienced team now.”
Last Sunday the team played their strongest opposition in Dobsonville Cricket Club and drew the match after running out of time.
The premier league is played in a time format with two innings a day and 60 overs. In the first innings there are 10 wickets and the second, five. Wits cricket have three games left.
Wits has played 7 games since the league started, won three, lost two and drew 2. They have three games in hand before the league finishes at the end of March.
THE PRESSURE: Nono Pongolo, captain for first team cricket after his dismissal. Photo: Lutho Mtongana
The Croxley Wits Cricket Club beat out the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) yesterday in a time-limited format that lasted 9 hours.
Both teams were expected to bat twice but Wits only took to the pitch once after bowling out VUT in both innings.
While Wits emerged victorious their win was not easy with VUT putting up a strong bowling performance. The Wits wickets tumbled after they lost their batting partnership of player-coach Neil Levenson and JC Maritz. VUT put pressure on Wits on the first innings but Wits managed to win the innings with just one wicket. In the second innings Wits bowled out VUT on 48, winning to the match by 112.
“VUT is struggling a bit, it has lost quite a few players because a lot [of players] moved to another university so it’s been quite tough for them”, Levenson said.
VUT coach Orkie Engelbrecht said his team’s biggest competitor in the league is Wits and he knew this was not going to be an easy game for them.
“The highlight of the game is the discipline in bowling on both sides … Wits is doing very well with the catchers”, Engelbrecht told Wits Vuvuzela.
Nono Pongolo, first team captain for Wits, said they had the best bowling team in the league even though their batting still needed some work.
“Our batting is still coming together because we’re still quite a youngish team. There are 18 and 19-year-old players in our team … So there’s a lot of learning but also we’re trying to win the game so it’s not easy,” he added.
Wits will face Dobsonville, their toughest competitor in the league, in two week’s time.
Croxley Wits Cricket Club have played five games since the league started, winning three with six more games to play.