Coaching a cricket team at a tertiary institution is for various reasons challenging, more so in the case of the University of Cape Town’s coach Kholekile Matikinca.
Having taken over the coaching reigns at the beginning of the season it has so far been an uphill battle for Matikinca who has to juggle between exams and preparing for the upcoming national University Sport South Africa (USSA) tournament and of course battling for honours in the Western Province First Division One Day Cup.
The students registered, after seven matches, only their second win of the season, when they edged Avendale by one run in a nail-biting last over drama-filled match, at Field Crescent, in Athlone on Saturday.
“Our batting was on point against Avendale, a department which we were battling with so far this season mainly due to the unavailability of players. My main challenge has been continuity. One week we will have the best bowlers available then exams pop up. Then there’s the question of students having to travel for various reasons. Some of them live outside the Western Cape and must travel back home over weekends.
“So, yes, it’s challenging for many coaches at a tertiary institution around the globe. But I hope after this win we can move forward.
“We also have to prepare for the up-coming USSA week. I have a squad of 14 players who are all available.
“Then there is the main objective, winning the WP First Division which is also high on the agenda. But we need to build a squad so that we can become more stable and then press for promotion,” said Matikinca.
After electing to bat first, UCT amassed a competitive score of 284 with Sukhvaj Singh contributing a valuable innings of 71 runs from 59 deliveries. His fine innings included 9 boundaries and 1 six.
Yaeshen Saman (55) and Ketan Sharma (14) set a good, yet patient opening platform with a partnership of 47 runs.
Avendale fourth back bravely with Brent Josephs scoring a brave 110 from 111 deliveries, which included 13 boundaries and two sixes.
But it was UCT’s pace bowler Jordan Jones who was the star of the students’ win when he took 4/59 in his nine overs.
And it was seamer Thomas Scarth (1/27 in six overs) who kept his cool in the last over to prevent Avendale’s Storm Matthews (99) from reaching a memorable century or scoring the winning runs. Reece Engelbrecht (2) was the other not out batter for the homeside.
With this win the students moved to 10th spot on the log in the 12-team competition while Avendale remained in eight place.
Western Province First Division results:
Vikings v Brackenfell: Brackenfell won by 7 wickets;
Pinelands v NGCC: NGCC won by 6 wickets;
Gugulethu v Ottoman: Ottoman won by 9 wickets;
Tygerberg v Strandfontein: Tygerberg won by 136 runs;
United v Hottentots Holland: United won 80 runs;
Brackenfell v Hottentots Holland: Brackenfell won by 197 runs;
Strandfontein Gugulethu : Strandfontein won by 82 runs;
Tygerberg v Pinelands: Tygerberg won by 45 runs;
Vikings vs NGCC: NGCC won by 5 wickets
Premier League results:
Rylands vs Cape Town: Cape Town won by 8 wickets;
Bellville v Durbanville: Bellville won by 39 runs;
Green Point v Claremont: Claremont won by 7 wickets;
WPCC v Kraaifontein: WPCC won by 91 runs;
Rondebosch v Milnerton: Rondebosch won by 137 runs
Rylands v Bellville: Rylands won by 148 runs;
Cape Town vs Kraaifontein: Cape Town won by 24 runs;
Durbanville vs Green Point; Durbanville won by 8 runs;
Milnerton vs WP Cricket; WPCC won by 4 wickets
Saturday: First Division fixtures
Gugulethu v NGCC; Hottentots Holland vs Avendale; Pinelands v UCT; Strandfontein v United; Vikings t Tygerberg
Premier league fixtures:
Bellville v Milnerton; Green Point v Kraaifontein; Primrose v Cape Town; Rylands v Claremont; WPCC v Rondebosch