Saturday the Saints played host to Clifton College on The Oval. With gloomy skies all week, and a lot of rain, it seemed at one stage that a game on the weekend would not be possible; however, thanks to our incredible, hardworking ground staff, they managed to get all home games running on excellent pitches. The toss of the coin was always going to be crucial. Saints skipper, Lawrence Lawler, duly won the toss and bowling first was always going to suit the fielding side in the first hour on an overcast morning. With Brandon Van Zyl bowling briskly and accurately and debutant Kian Channon getting the ball to move beautifully, it wasn’t long before Clifton were three wickets down for 10 runs. Clifton clawed their way back into the morning session and went to tea feeling better placed at 90/3. After tea, the Saints spin duo, Madhevere and Login, turned up the pressure and between them bowled 20 overs for 46 runs. At lunch Clifton’s 157 seemed a decent total after the difficult start.
After lunch, the sun began to pierce through the clouds and on a more settled track the Saints batsmen quickly began their chase. The two openers, Lawler and Spangenberg, reached 30 inside 4 overs and it was the perfect start to the run chase. It wasn’t long then before Clifton introduced their trump card, Montgomery, a brilliant off-spinner, and with him tying down one end, Clifton were back in the game. Lawler and Spangenberg went in quick succession to some fine quick bowling and at afternoon tea the Saints were precariously placed at 93/5. Riley Coutts batted superbly for his 39 and was the pick of the batsman, with the lower order assisting to chip away at the score. The game seemed in control until Saints, needing only 3 runs to win, lost a handful of wickets. At 9 wickets down and Clifton on the charge, it was left to Channon, the Grade 10 debutant, and his opening bowling partner, Brandon van Zyl to score just 3 runs under extraordinary pressure. Channon kept a Montgomery over out and it was left to Van Zyl to see St Charles College home at the other end.
Clifton 157/6 (Channon 2/19)
St Charles College 158/9 (Coutts 39, Login 20)
SCC won by 1 wicket
Picture on top: Riley Coutts
Left: Brandon Van Zyl
Photos: Kirsty Campbell