Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Coca-Cola T20 challenge playoffs underway around the country

The Coca-Cola® T20 Schools cricket challenge enters its franchise playoff stage this week and when the process ends on 5th March, the 6 schools that will represent their Cricket South Africa franchises at the national finals of the competition will be known. The national finals tournament will take place at the University of Pretoria’s LC De Villiers complex from 14th to 16th March.

The Coca-Cola® T20 Schools Challenge is a mass participation tournament. The process began in October last year when over 10 000 players from over 650 schools started their journey to become the school to represent their franchise and ultimately be crowned the 2014 winner of the competition.

Some clarity has emerged as to who the contenders are, although rain has affected the finals in some provinces.

In the Dolphin Franchise, Hilton College are the KwaZulu-Natal Inland champions, having beaten Michaelhouse in the final, their opponents in the franchise final on 5th March will be Westville Boys’ High who beat Northwood in the KZN Coastal final.

The Titans franchise is a challenging one, involving four provinces: Northern, Easterns, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. It has emerged that last year’s franchise champions, Hoërskool Waterkloof are the Northerns champions and have beaten the Limpopo Champions, Pietersburg Hoërskool to get to the Titans franchise finals.  Hoërskool Waterkloof will now face EG Jansen, the winners of Easterns province, who beat the Mpumalanga champions Uplands College, to get to the Titans Franchise. This Final will take place on March 5th.

The Gauteng champions are Johannesburg’s St Stithians College who recently beat St John’s in the Johnny Waite Knockout (the Gauteng final). St Stithians met the Northwest champions, Potchefstroom Gymnasium, in the Lions franchise finals this weekend and emerged victorious. St Stithians will now be representing the Lions in the national finals at the University of Pretoria in two weeks time.

Last year’s Knights champions, St Andrew’s School have been eliminated and Grey College have emerged as this franchise winner.

The Cobras franchise final will feature Paul Roos Gymnasium, the Boland winners, against the Western Cape winners, Wynberg Boys’ High, who contest their final this week.

Still in the running to be crowned Warriors champions are East London’s Selborne College, the Border provincial champions, who will meet the Eastern province winners, Kingswood College, on the 4th March.

The Coca-Cola® T20 Schools Challenge has produced its first full international player in Quinton De Kock, who was selected for the Proteas Test team against Australia last week. De Kock played for King Edward VII School in the 2010 and 2011 Coca-Cola® T20 Schools Challenges.

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