For the second year in succession, the First Cricket XI were crowned KZN T20 champions. On this occasion it was a thriller at Kingsmead which was decided on the very last ball of the match.
The Westville boys looked down and out half way through their innings, particularly after the Hilton spinners put the brakes on the run-rate.
Hilton set a total of 123/5 in their 20 overs. This total was regarded as a very challenging one on the large Kingsmead ground. The in-form Nic Pentz looked impressive in his knock of 19 off 15 balls, and the Hilton team were obviously glad to see the back of him. The Westville boys then struggled for runs and found themselves at 55/4 needing 69 runs off the last 6 overs.
Captain Luke Schlemmer kept a cool head and steadied the innings with 39 not out off 42 balls, and it was Alex Whitelaw batting at no.6 in the order, who provided the fireworks at the end with two sixes and three fours in his innings of 40 not out off 30 balls.
The Grade 10 group who had been designated as supporters for this match were privileged to have been witness to a most dramatic last over. Needing 13 runs off the last over, Schlemmer and Whitelaw scored 8 runs off the first 5 balls. Facing the final ball, Whitelaw who was ultimately the hero for Westville, deliberately edged a ‘snorter’ from the Hilton fast bowler over the wicketkeeper’s head which gave the fielders no chance as it ran for 4 to the long-stop boundary.
The Westville boys now travel to Stellenbosch for the SA finals.