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Wits Cricket on a high following momentous GCB T20 campaign

Wits Cricket have ended a sensational sporting year for the university on a high after being crowned champions in the inaugural GCB T20 Competition this past Saturday.

The Wits 1st team IX boys’ coasted to championship success unbeaten in the round robin stage. Wits beat Old Eds in the earlier semi-final en route to ousting cross town rivals UJ Cricket Club by 41 runs in the final that was held at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.

After losing the toss and being sent in to bat first in a game reduced to 18 overs a side due to rain, Wits were put under the pump early by a bowling masterclass led by UJ all-rounder Juan Landsberg. In the end, Wits only managed a modest total of 103 for 9. With the prospect of getting yet another one over their arch nemesis, UJ had it all to play for when they came in to bat; looking relaxed as they backed a strong batting line up.

However, as the conditions overhead changed so too did the atmosphere at the bull ring as UJ lost wickets at regular intervals. Wits skipper and Bizhub Highveld Lions player Nono Pongolo led the team with clever bowling changes and field placements. The pace pair of Brad Morrison and Gauteng under-19s player Bryce Cressy dismantled the UJ cause by taking 3 wickets a piece; resultantly blowing their neighbours away for 62 all out.

This was the first piece of silverware for Head Coach Garnett Kruger who took over the helm in September. At the time, the new coach had his sights set on ensuring that Wits Cricket becomes a force to be reckoned with. Following tournament success, Kruger basks in the glory of his success but asserts that no room should exist for complacency.

“It’s always nice being first in something and Wits are the first team to win The GCB T20 Competition. The mood is happy but I bet you they weren’t happy at the break being 103 for 9. Coaches always want to win and I’m happy for the win, but Wits Cricket still has a lot to do [moving forward]. It’s always nice being first in something and Wits are the first team to win The GCB T20 Competition. Our success in the tournament proves that we can [reach extreme heights] if we really want to,” he said.

Cricket

Cricket at Wits has achieved at all levels of the sport, including releasing players to provincial and national teams, and winning leagues and competitions.

practices                   Tue & Thur 16h00-19h00 (1st & 2nd teams), Walter Milton Oval, Braamfontein Campus East; Mon & Wed 16h00-18h00 (3rd & 4th teams), Braamfontein Campus Sturrock Park
club chair/sports officer  Garnett Kruger, 011-717 9435
head coach  TBC    
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The 2014/15 season was one of new beginnings for Wits Cricket: a new coach, new programmes and new recruits have all contributed to an exciting and successful season. Back in June we launched our hi-performance (HP) programme for elite cricketers at Wits. It ensures players train in a professional environment with a comprehensive structure. The students have the opportunity to train 3 times a day with sessions covering technical work, game plan, one-on-one's, fitness and much more. The HP players also have the opportunity to play additional games against quality opposition, helping develop them as cricketers. With all these in place we push boundaries for the club as a whole. 

Facilities
Visiting teams relish the prospect of playing on our superb home ground, the Walter Milton Oval (WMO), on Braamfontein Campus East. It is held in such high regard as a that Oxford University's 2012 touring side to SA asked to play there. We also have quality pitches at Sturrock Park & the Wits Education Campus. Practice nets at Hall 29 (indoor), and WMO & Sturrock Park (outdoor) round off our facilities. 
 
Nurturing talent
We are proud of the opportunities we have been able to offer young, talented cricketers. First year Nandre Burger was unstoppable with the ball taking 48 wickets in the season and showed his potential to play top flight cricket. He was also club player of the year. Wits Captain Nono Pongolo was at his usual clinical best with bat and ball and showed why he is now a Gauteng Strikers regular and contracted by the Highveld Lions franchise. We were particularly pleased that our very own EDDIE LEIE (right) was called up to the SA national side, the Proteas. The pride of Croxley Wits Cricket, Eddie returned the Proteas' best ever figures for a bowler on debut, taking 3/16 in 3 overs, as the South Africans completed a 2-0 T20 series win over Bangladesh. 
 
Leagues
The league structures of the Gauteng Cricket Board (our provincial affiliate of Cricket South Africa) affords us the opportunity to play regular matches that can lead to provincial and national selection. League cricket under the auspices of the GCB is the bedrock of our club, and in the 2015/16 season we've entered four sides: Premier League; Presidents League; Sunday 2; and Saturday 1. 
 
Future Cup
In 2015 the Wits' first XI played the 5-match Future Cup series against an All Stars selection side made up of players from teams in thevery competitive Lenasia Premier League (LPL). The Witsies were very pleased to have drawn the series 2-all, with one game drawn.
 
USSA
Wits competes in the A section of the annual Cricket USSA national institutional championships. Unfortunately, due to the disruptions to the academic calendar that resulted from the students' fee protests, no tournament was held in 2015 and 2016.
 

 

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