The LPL All Stars hit Wits’ high performance cricket squad for six on Tuesday night at the Walter Milton oval with three overs to spare.
The Varsity Cricket preparatory tournament has lined-up Wits to play a five match series against the Lenasia Premier League (LPL) All Stars.
Their first match on Tuesday night gave us a taste of some of the skills and action we can expect from the rest of the series.
Wits made 146 for the loss of five wickets in their 20 overs. LPL chased down the score in just 17.4 overs with 7 wickets remaining.
LPL’s opening batsman, 22-year-old Yassar Cook, was batsman of the game with an undefeated 71 off just 51 balls. Cook’s fellow Gauteng squad teammate Nono Pongolo (25) was Wits’ top scorer and captain, who scored an unbeaten 43 runs off just 33 balls.
“The main focus for us with this tournament is to make sure that our youngsters who were chosen from the LPL tournament learn something and become better cricketers”, said LPL coach, Juan Le-Maitre.
To the Wits squad coach, Neil Levenson, a win was important, “but it’s more about the development of the squad and pushing the players a bit more.”
After playing the same team a few times they start to pick-up your tactics, which is the challenge of this tournament, according to Coach Le-Maitre.
“The Wits team has a good young side and we shouldn’t underestimate them”, said LPL captain, Juanré Potgieter. LPL’s weakness lies in that they can take the Wits squad for granted, because they have a better team with more provincial players, according to Potgieter.
Before the game Pongolo told his squad to learn as much as they can from the more experienced LPL team and enjoy the ride. “This is such a big occasion and as much as we want to win the tournament, our sole focus is to grow as a team.”
Despite the loss, the Wits squad keeps a professional mentality. “We’ve been working on T20 skills after the season break. We studied the opposing team’s player profiles and know the players well,” said Levenson.
With four games left to play in the tournament the final wicket hasn’t fallen yet and Wits still stands a chance at lifting the trophy.
Published: Wits Vuvuzela on 24 April 2015