The dull thud of bat on ball, the desperate shouts of “Howzat!” and the delight of the crowd as another ball is hit over the boundary for a six; these are the sounds Zimbabweans love to hear at a game of cricket and this is what the CABS T20 Cricket Tournament held at St George’s last month served up to eager spectators.
The tournament, which is growing in popularity and size, played host to eight Zimbabwean high schools and four South African schools and an amazing 32 matches were played over the weekend.
Mini McDonald, the head of sports at St Georges congratulated the players on a “fine display of talent and sportsmanship,” and even though the weather on Friday and Saturday had given organisers “a few grey hairs” the tournament was a resounding success.
The final was held on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. It was an all-out South African affair as St John’s from Johannesburg and St Andrew’s from Grahamstown fought to be crowned as this year’s winners. St Andrew’s took to the bat first and made 134 runs all out and in reply the boys from Jo’burg put on 136 for 4 to win convincingly by 6 wickets. The Plate was won by Falcon College of Zimbabwe who managed to defeat Churchill in a game also played on the Sunday.
The Mayor of Harare Bernard Manyenyeni was there for the exciting closing match. He noted with pleasure that the tournament is growing rapidly every year and is fast becoming a highlight on Harare’s calendar. He even suggested that it could soon become as well known as flagship events such as HIFA.
Moving through the crowd, it was clear that this T20 tournament was a hit with cricket fans. “It’s great to see such a high standard of the game at a high school level” said Cain Chinogureyi, a spectator and a past player of the tournament.
Players who shone during the tournament were awarded prizes at the end of the day on Sunday. Best batsman went to A. Daiken from St Andrew’s who scored 358 runs and averaged 78.6 runs, best bowler was awarded to L. Masedi from St John’s College South Africa who took 13 wickets, with best all-rounder going to L. Roach from St George’s College.
Tournament organisers and sponsors are looking forward to an even bigger and better tournament in 2016 that will get more and more people around the country excited about cricket, and will help build and develop our cricketing youth to compete at higher levels locally and internationally.
Image by Gregg Robinson