Wits Cricket Club Premier League Champions

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



Wits cricket ready to play ball

OUR BOYS: Members of the Wits Cricket Club taking a breather to enjoy some team time together.                                                                                                                                                                             Photo: Ilanit Chernick

OUR BOYS: Members of the Wits Cricket Club taking a breather to enjoy some team time together. Photo: Ilanit Chernick

The Wits Cricket Club has started 2015 with a bang. The Varsity Premier league is in full swing with Wits currently in second position.
Wits finished third overall in last year’s Premier League.
With four Wits teams playing in a number of different leagues, Presidents cricket squad captain and premier league spin bowler Joshua Datnow said: “There is a lot of cricket to go round.”
“We have a lot of youngsters in first year who we are developing. Our goal for this year to become an A division team in the Premier League,” he said.
Datnow said the team are inspired to play for “the Kudu Heart badge” and their aim is to make the university proud.
“Our game performance stems from the pride we have for our university.”

“Our game performance stems from the pride we have for our university. We play for each other and to bring pride to our university.”

With three games being played every weekend until April, Datnow said the team does face its challenges and tough opposition.
“There are some brilliant players on our opponents’ teams.
Opponents like the Caxton Khosas or Randfontein have Strikers playing on their team so when we play them we try make sure to be in top form.”
The team also undergoes regular group therapy sessions to help them deal with the pressure of the game.
“We’re being taught relaxation techniques and guided processes to help us deal with any difficulties that may arise during matches.”
In their free time the teams also enjoy tenpin bowling, going out for dinner together and recently went to the Wits Sports Party together.
“Bonding time is important so that our team gels well,” Datnow said.
“It’s the dream for all of us playing to be able to make it big. You just have to work hard and play even harder,” he said.
The team will be heading on tour to Limpopo later this year and they will also be playing a number of three-day games.
Matches will be taking place for the next seven weeks every Saturday and Sunday from 9.15am at the Walter Milton Oval on East Campus.