During the February Half Term, 12 Lancing cricketers returned to South Africa for the College’s fifth biennial Cricket tour.
Our first fixture was against Rondebosch Boys’ High School. Lancing lost the toss and were put into bat; despite a slow start we finished on a good score of 150 runs after 20 overs. Barney H was the pick of the batsmen with 40 runs off just 18 balls. Despite our strong batting performance, Rondebosch rounded up the game after 15 overs with some excellent batting.
On the second day the team enjoyed a well-deserved break with a visit to the markets at Hout Bay followed by the highly anticipated trip to Boulders beach to swim with penguins. The experience was unique, with African penguins walking and swimming around the edge of the beach just inches away from the team.
Wynberg Boys’ High School were next on the agenda with a long 40 over game on day three. Lancing won the toss and chose to bowl first. The intensity in the field was excellent as loud chat and high quality fielding restricted Wynberg to 196 runs for 8 wickets after 40 overs, with the wickets being shared between the bowlers. Lancing started their innings well with a 50 run opening stand. However a rush of wickets saw Lancing struggle to regain the early momentum and we bowled out 40 runs short of the target. Despite this the team performed well on the whole with only a few errors in judgement leading to the defeat.
The third game was a t20 against Bishops School. We got off to a flyer with 5 wickets being taken in the first 5 overs. Bishops recovered well to post a respectable 137 runs at the close of their 20 overs. Despite a slow start with the bat, Alice C and Ted E batted well in the middle overs, before Matt L provided the fireworks with just balls to spare. Unfortunately the total was not quite attainable with 17 runs still required at the end of the innings.
The second leg of the tour started with a short excursion along the coast to Hermanus, followed by the match against Curro High School (New School). Lancing was exceptional in the field and with the ball to get Curro all out for just 43 runs. Conor L was the pick of the bowlers with 5 wickets for 9 runs, and was backed up well by Oscar S who also took 2 wickets. The 43 runs were easily achievable with Lancing clearing them up with 8 overs still remaining, winning by 9 wickets: the team’s first victory on tour.
The final day began with a visit to Panthera Africa, a big cat sanctuary just 20 minutes from Hermanus, where the team had the opportunity to observe lions and tigers from just a few metres away. The fifth and final game of the tour was another t20 match against Hermanus High School. The game went right to the wire with 10 runs (Alice C top scoring with 29) required by Lancing off the final over. Despite some excellent shots by Matt L we couldn’t quite bring home the victory, losing by a solitary run.
The trip was an unforgettable experience and a considerable improvement was noted - on and off the field - as the tour progressed, with both individuals and the team as a whole reaching new levels.