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.
HECTIC HEADER: During soccer practice at Diggs fields on Tuesday, Wits team captain Tebogo Digoamaje said he is confident in his team’s performance for their upcoming semi-final match against Tuks in the USSA Gauteng League, where a top three spot will get them to nationals.
Photo: Lameez Omarjee
If the Wits men’s soccer team beat Tuks, Pretoria University’s log leaders, next week, it will go through to the national finals of the University Sports South Africa (USSA) tournament in December.
Through this possible win at next week Tuesday’s match, Wits would attain one of the top three positions in the Gauteng USSA League and would then qualify for the national tournament to be held in Durban, in the first week of December.
Meeting for the second time with their opponents, Wits University football coach Karabo Mogudi said his men were more than prepared for Tuks.
Cruising through competition
“They are good football players; they play high intensity football which is a strong point for them. I’ve prepared the team to play the same as well. They must bring it on because we know we [are] going to bring it too,” said Mogudi.
Wits thrashed Tuks with a 3-1 win the last time there was a face-off between the two in August. Mogudi is confident his team could win against them again, even though the match is in Pretoria, on their rival’s home turf when they duel on Tuesday, September 23.
The rankings so far are as follows: Tuks first, Vaal University of Technology (VUT) second, Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) third and Wits, in fourth place.
Attaining a position in the top eight of the USSA national champs will then qualify Wits for the Varsity Football league. They did not qualify last year.
“The team should be the star. I don’t want individualism … if the team wins, the players shine. It’s that simple”
Wits team captain Tebogo Digoamaje, 2nd year BSc Property Studies, who joined the team last year felt that their performance this season was better because the squad was bigger. About 25 players are registered for the USSA Gauteng League. Last year the smaller team battled without squad rotations between games.
Digoamaje revealed that past lost matches were due to mistakes they had made, rather than their opponent’s performance.
However, he had “full respect for every opponent” they played against. In preparation for their game against Tuks, he said, “We’ve implemented a number of strategies, various ones, and the coach will decide which will lead us to victory and get us to nationals.”
Left wing Neo Makua, 3rd year BSc Quantity Surveying, felt confident that the team will go through to national championships. “The coach made us become a team, so we put the team before the individual.”
Although there are strong individuals playing, Mogudi emphasised team play rather than individual stars. “The team should be the star. I don’t want individualism … if the team wins, the players shine. It’s that simple,” he said.
Mogudi is confident in the team’s tactics and credits his technical team, which consists: assistant coach Dumisani Thusi, goal-keeper coach Kgabo Ditsebe and team manager, Sanele Nene for developing new ideas and strategies for success.
BASKETBALL glory was on display when Pretoria Heat and the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) took the men and women’s trophies in the Ashraf Lodewyk Memorial Tournament this past weekend.
Pretoria Heat beat the VUT men’s team by 63 points to 39 in a tightly contested match, snatching the title from the reigning champions.
“It was beautiful; poetry in motion,” said Heat and national basketball team player Neo Mothiba.
“Everything we trained for came together in 40 minutes. We prepared very hard for this tournament.”
The VUT women, who put on an aggressive defence and a spirited offensive, beat the Wanderers Scorpions by 71 points to 62, capitalising on the fouls committed by the Scorpions in the opening quarter of the game.
VUT’s national point-guard, Requelh Molema, explained her team’s strategy as having been to use post players to dunk the balls, with her assisting when they could not.
“When they could not [net the balls] I had to take responsibility.”
Throughout the game Molema set a fast pace. She opened the fourth quarter by gunning down the court to net a neat basket. Wanderers’ Rethabile Gumede retaliated with a net, but VUT then netted another two balls in quick succession.
A key point for the Pretoria Heat men was Mothiba slam dunking two balls one after the other in the first quarter, setting the tone of the game.
Heat coach, Victor Fouda said this was the team’s strategy; to net baskets early and dominate the game.
“We started off well; the rest was about controlling [the ball and exerting] high intensity on defence.”
Although the VUT men were disappointed with the loss, they conceded to the higher calibre displayed by Pretoria Heat.
“It feels bad [to have lost], I’m angry. We lost to a better team though – I’ll give props where props is due,” said Mxolisi Dlanga.
The annual tournament, begun in 2003 in honour of fallen Wits player Ashraf Lodewyk, was held at Wits Hall 29 on West Campus from May 12-15.