We, at Club Cricket SA, name our Team of the Tournament, featuring only non-university team players – after the recently-concluded 2016 National Club Championship in Pretoria…
1. Patrick Kruger
The Burma Lads Cricket Club opener was named Batsman of the Tournament and Player of the Tournament on the back of successive centuries – and two half-tons. He topped the 2016 National Club Championship’s run-scoring charts by almost 150 more, in an innings less, than his closest competitor.
Almost: Wesley Marshall (Kempton Park Cricket Club)
2. Luke Le Marquand
The Old Selbornians Cricket Club opener proved the epitome of consistency throughout, bar one single-figure failure against the University of Pretoria Cricket Club, but will be the first to admit at least two of his four innings of 30-odd should’ve been converted into half-centuries and beyond.
Almost: Zakir Katrada (Burma Lads Cricket Club)
3. Tumelo Bodibe
A permanent fixture through Burma Lads Cricket Club’s opening three 2016 National Club Championship games, Bodibe showed all and sundry why he has earned more than 120 first-class – and almost 100 List A – caps for the Northern Cape and others during an outstanding 95 not out against Old Selbornians Cricket Club.
Almost: Almost: Chris Beard (Old Selbornians Cricket Club)
4. Brendon Louw
Louw effectively carried an otherwise faltering Union Stars Cricket Club batting order, managing the top score of the innings on four out of five occasions. The fifth brought his best score of the competition, regardless – a patient 61 in a big victory over the Central University Of Technology Cricket Club.
Almost: Almost: Brett Osborne (Old Selbornians Cricket Club)
5. Ruben Hattingh
Unable to bowl due to injury, the talented all-rounder played as a specialist batsman for the latter part of the Crusaders Cricket Club’s campaign, culminating in a superb 115 against a challenging Central University Of Technology Cricket Club unit. The century afforded the 2015 champions their only victory at this year’s competition.
Almost: Wesley Coulentianos (Kempton Park Cricket Club)
6. Kyle Verreynne (wicketkeeper)
Not yet 19 years old, Cape Town Cricket Club’s wicketkeeper-batsman displayed prowess and maturity beyond his years, with the bat in particular. Near perfect on the pull and completely confident on the drive, Verreynne took advantage of the hard and fast pitches on offer in Pretoria, after playing on low and slow pitches at the Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh earlier this year.
Almost: Johan Fourie (Kempton Park Cricket Club)
7. Brendan Young
Having graduated to the Cape Cobras ranks shortly before the start of the tournament, Cape Town Cricket Club star Young had plenty to prove in Pretoria – and delivered on cue. Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat with the bat against Union Stars Cricket Club and displaying nerves of steel with the ball in late triumph against the Central University Of Technology Cricket Club, Young proved the consummate all-rounder.
Almost: Philip Badenhorst (Old Selbornians Cricket Club)
8. Geoff Dods (captain)
An exemplary man manager and eventually captain of the highest placed non-university team at the 2016 National Club Championship, Cape Town Cricket Club’s inspiring leader contributed valuable runs down the batting order and shared the new ball with Young very well, when strike bowler Darren Rolfe was sidelined by poor form and illness.
Almost: Jason Biddulph (Crusaders Cricket Club)
9. Marius Lubbe
Lubbe’s role with the ball took on greater importance in the wake of Kempton Park Cricket Club talisman Tabraiz Shamsi’s late call-up for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League. Figures of four for 39 against Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Cricket Club were certainly his finest.
Nduduzo Mpoza (Crusaders Cricket Club)
10. Nicholas Hewer
Like team-mate Hattingh, Hewer best performances arrived late in the Crusaders Cricket Club’s campaign. As a member of last year’s title-winning squad, he brought plenty of peripheral experience to a relatively new-look squad, while figures of five for 29 against Stellenbosch University Cricket Club proved his primary value.
Almost: Aidan Brooker (Burma Lads Cricket Club)
11. Marcello Piedt
Having clinched six wickets in Union Stars Cricket Club’s opening fixture of the tournament and forming a dangerous combination with fellow seamer Baartman, Piedt seemed destined for the Bowler of the Tournament accolade – and duly received the award on the back of 15 wickets at a remarkable average of under nine and an economy rate of just 3.15.
Almost: Ottneil Baartman (Union Stars Cricket Club)