Sisonke Sobekwa scored the only century of the competition to help Western Province pip South Western Districts as the top team at the Standard Bank Regional Performance Centre (RPC) Under-16 Week on the fourth and final day in Potchefstroom on Friday.
The opener made 110 (120 balls, 16 fours, 2 sixes) as his team narrowly won the battle of the top two by just three wickets and one over to spare to draw the curtain on what has been an excellent second edition of the competition.
Some of the country’s top young cricketers from previously disadvantaged areas across South Africa have spent the past four days trying to outshine each other and they did not disappoint.
On day four, Sobekwa watched his side bowl first and concede a worrying 306 for six against an impressive SWD side that had swept aside all before them in the previous three days.
Feni Kamvalwethu top-scored with 90 (72 balls, 13 fours, 3 sixes) in that first innings, while there was an equally powerful 84 not out (59 balls. 10 fours, 3 sixes) from Geon Burns.
But Sobekwa’s pivotal century anchored the chase, and with Mattheo Herman (44) and Thaakier Davids (59 not out off 50 balls, 3 fours, 3 sixes), they reached their target with six deliveries to spare.
In another closely fought game Suveer Dewlall came agonisingly close to a century after his unbeaten 99 (136 balls, 13 fours) helped KwaZulu-Natal down Boland by 16 runs.
Kyle Chinakanoo also managed 55 (88 balls, 9 fours) for the coastal side, who posted 260 for eight after batting first.
The week’s top run-scorer, Nathan Jacobs, was the pick of the bowlers with four for four for 48 and then went on to top score as well in the chase.
The all-rounder, who finished with an aggregate of 198 runs at an average of 49.5, struck a classy 85 off 95 balls (11 fours, 3 sixes) to keep his side strongly in the game.
This after Mpumsi Gabada hit 61 (99 balls, 6 fours) earlier, but the pair lacked support as Boland tailed away at the death to end on 244 for nine.
Border, meanwhile, ensured it was a forgettable week for Gauteng after beating them by six wickets in their clash of 205 for seven versus 206 for four made by the winners in only 40.3 overs.
Mohammed Goondiwala top-scored for Gauteng with 78 (94 balls, 8 fours), but he was upstaged by Longezywe Sgila’s 69 (88 balls, 8 fours, 1 six) as well as 40s from Butsha Mfazwe (41) and Uviwe Moshani (40).
Elsewhere, the week’s joint-top wicket-taker Esa Gangat produced the performance of the competition for Eastern Province against Mpumalanga.
He recorded a stunning haul of seven for 21, including two maidens, that helped skittle the opposition for 52, before his side hunted down the target with four wickets down inside 17 overs.
Gangat finished the tournament with 13 wickets alongside WP’s Caleb Schoulas.
In other action on the final day, Ithumeleng Sekonyela struck 66 (100 balls, 6 fours) and Tlhalefo Gape took four for 21 to help Northern Cape beat Free State 126 runs, while three wickets apiece by Mahlatsi Theko (3/19) and Unathi Felane (3/27) bowled Easterns to a two-wicket win over Northerns, who ended the week with just a single win.
All scores from the Standard Bank RPC Under-16 Week held in Potchefstroom can be found at www.websports.co.za