Saints on winning streak in Zimbabwe

Gerald Coetzee

The Saint Andrew’s first cricket team enjoyed a hugely successful tour to Zimbabwe over the long weekend, by winning all six matches played as they won the Saint John’s College Rams T20 Cricket Festival title.
Saints had participated in the Festival in Harare many times previously, but despite being regularly ranked among the top 10 cricket teams in South Africa, had never previously won the title. This time, though, they made no mistake, running roughshod over the opposition to claim the silverware.
After crushing the hosts, Saint John’s, by 134 runs in a warm-up match, Saints dominated the event, which also featured the six leading Zimbabwean schools and Clifton College (Durban).
During the pool games they thrashed Churchill by 145 runs after posting an astounding 316/5. Their innings included an incredible 28 sixes, with Gerald Coetzee hitting 10 and not a single four in an innings of 71 off 23 deliveries. Calvin Flanegan finished unbeaten on 95 and only needed 37 deliveries for his score.
Saints then beat Peterhouse by eight wickets and Saint John’s by 121 runs after putting up 292/2. In the semi-finals, Saints crushed defending champions, Saint George’s College, by nine wickets to secure a rematch against Peterhouse in the final. Peterhouse in their turn had edged the Pool 2 winners, Clifton, by 10 runs in their semi-final.
In the title decider, Saints posted 214 to set Peterhouse a challenging target. It proved too much for the Mashonaland school. They mustered 179/5 in reply to leave Saint Andrew’s the champions after a 35-run victory.
Coetzee starred for Saints. He was the second leading run scorer in the tournament, making 341 runs at an average of 113.76, with a strike rate of 2.47 runs per ball, which included 154 off 55 balls against Saint John’s. He was named the Festival’s Most Valuable Player.
Captain Garnett Tarr excelled at the top of the order and he was the third highest run scorer. Henré Koekemoer, meanwhile, was a revelation as an opening batsman. He tallied 193 runs at an average of 39.20 at an astonishing 2.54 runs per ball.