Menlopark clinch Schools T20 title in nail biting finish

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Hoërskool Menlopark (The Titans) sealed their second Coca-Cola® Schools T20 Challenge title after beating Hilton College (Dolphins) by just two runs in the tournament final in Stellenbosch on Sunday. The last time they won the tournament was in 2010.

The match went down to the final ball, where the Pretoria side held their nerves to restrict the finals weekend first-timers to 122/5 and fall a scant, two runs short of the title.

Menlopark won the toss and elected to bat first, posting 124/4 in their allotted overs. Thinues Viljoen and Dean Foxcroft were the stars of the innings, hitting 62 off 64 and 40 off 47 balls respectively to get their sides to the competitive total after losing openers Dalen Mmako and Bernard Snyman without scoring.

Rourke Lauryssen was the chief destroyer, claiming 3/31 at the end of his four-over spell.

Hilton’s response was a little steadier to start with, but they also lost two batsmen in quick succession up front. Jonathan Jewels and Daniel Hirschowitz were dismissed for a respective five and three, but opener Angus Curtis (52) scored the half century that got his side out of trouble an on course to chase the total.

Menlopark’s bowlers showed a lot more discipline in the end, although Julian Yeats was allowed 34 runs off 38 balls before his dismissal to finish with Hilton’s second highest score. The final over saw the KZN side require 13 runs to win, but Foxcroft’s tight bowling denied them victory in the end.

The winning team take home a R110 000 cheque, while Foxcroft took home R8 000 in prize money for being named the Man of the Match (R3 000) and Man of the Series (R5 000). He also took home the Hero of the Match trophy for his combined batting, bowling and fielding efforts.

Summarized Scorecards

Last Round

Hoërskool Volkskool Potchefstroom 132/6 (Charles Louw 33, Louis van Schalkwyk 30, Bradley Thain 3/26); Paarl Boys’ High (Ulrich Kotze 42, Justin Wubbeling 38, Jacobus Crwother 3/28). Paarl Boys won by 5 wickets.

Hoërskool Menlopark 114/6 (Jandre Erasmus 30, Willem Britz 24*, Dean Foxcroft 24, Barend de Klerk 2/28), Grey College Bloemfontein 108/5 (Wihan Victor 29, Raynaard van Tonder 28, Neil Durrow 28, Willem Britz 2/26). Menlopark won by 6 runs.

St Andrew’s College 94/5 (Christopher Benjamin 37, Eathan Bosch 2/22); Hilton College 98/7 (Julian Yeats 26, Simon Taylor 3/17, James Norval 2/17). Hilton won by 3 wickets.

Final

Hoërskool Menlopark 124/4 (Thinus Viljoen 62, Dean Foxcroft 40, Rourke Lauryssen 3/31);
Hilton College 122/5 (Angus Curtis 52, Julian Yeats 34, Michael du Preez 2/22, Jandre Erasmus 1/25). Menlopark won by 2 runs.