Gugs buckle under pressure

Known for his bowling prowess, David Schierhout has been in a stellar form with the ball for Primrose in Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA) First Division A one-day matches. He is seen here contributing with the bat in a game against Goodwood, a fortnight ago, in which he went on to take seven wickets and the title of player of the week.

The Rosmead Avenue-based Roses had mixed bag of results in the run up to the Gugulethu match, having lost to United in their league opener before beating Goodwood, a fortnight ago.

Schierhout is proving to be handful with ball in hand as he was named last week’s WP club cricket player of the week, following his side’s victory.

He was, however, not the only bowler on top of his game against Gugulethu. In fact, teammate Shuhail Fortuin was the best bowler on the day, taking a fiver.

Playing at their fortress at NY49, the home side batted first and recorded a total of 101 all out in 39.4 overs. Batting at number two, Thembani Ngcingeza top-scored with 32 off 80 balls.

His opening partner, Siyabonga Madondo, on the other hand, was not as productive, only scoring one run off 14 balls. Middle order batsmen Mncedisi Tyilo (23 not out) and Khanyisile Mfana (15) were the only other batsmen to reach double figures for Gugs.

Fortuin was the pick of the Primrose bowlers, taking five wickets for 15 runs in his 10-over spell. He was well supported by Schierhout and Maahir Eksteen who took two wickets each. It was then Primrose’s turn at the crease.

Their opening pair of Aadam Tomlinson and Raees Carr took the game to the home side’s bowlers. Carr went on to top-score with 40 not out off 59 balls. He scored four boundaries in the process.

His opening partner Tomlinson contributed 24 runs (with three boundaries) off 31 balls. Batting at number three, Mujahid Behardien was as reliable as ever, scoring 31 not out off 26 balls. He hit six boundaries in the process. Those contributions by the top three were enough to see the Roses reach 103/1 in 19.1 overs.

None of the Gugulethu bowlers were able to take wickets on the day, as Tomlinson, the only Primrose wicket to fall, was dismissed via a Ncedo Tywaku run out.

Despite that, however, there were a number of positives to come out of the Gugulethu bowling unit.

Mthiwekhaya Nabe was the most economical of the bowling pack having conceded four runs in four overs (at the rate of one run per over).

That, however, was not enough as the Roses went on to win by nine wickets. Primrose will now welcome Kraaifontein at Rosmead Avenue on Saturday, while Gugulethu will lock horns with Goodwood also at home.

Meanwhile, Carr, who top-scored for Roses, said he won’t be playing every game for the Roses due to provincial and varsity commitments, however, beyond this season he looks to keep improving as a player and hopefully make the various provincial and franchise sides.

“To be honest I started quite late compared to the rest of my peers, I started when I was 11, just playing for fun but then the next year I took it seriously when I moved to Wynberg Boys’ High School.

Finally my school career came to an end a few weeks ago when I played my last game against SACS, but ever since I picked up a cricket bat for the first time, it’s always a special feeling,” he said.

“If I keep working and keep doing the basics that’s required, I see myself putting on the green and gold for my country, I’m at an age now where it’s make or break but I try to remain calm and focus on myself and not worry about external things around me.

“When I was younger I kept hearing “work hard” and “keep grinding” and I thought it’s the same thing over and over until I came to realise it’s the real truth.

To youngsters looking to pursue cricket, I say, always remain calm, work hard and focus on your own game and nobody else’s.

Most importantly, enjoy this game, because there really is no point in playing this lovely game if you do not enjoy it, trust the process and you will reach those goals you set out for yourself,” said Carr.