The honour of notching up the first official “ton” of the new cricket season went to Duncan Brown of the under-14A team, who made 126 against Trinityhouse last weekend.
There were a few other hundreds from Jeppe boys in other games – and they were all great achievements – but those were pre-season warmup games, while Duncan’s feat was achieved at the Trinityhouse Under-14 Festival, which is an official event on the sporting calendar.
He made the runs in quick time too – off 101 balls, with 19 fours and three sixes. He is not getting too excited about it though. “It was smallish field with a very quick outfield and the opposition’s fielding wasn’t great,” he said.
That’s proper cricketing talk, and speaking to Duncan you immediately get the feeling that he’s a proper cricketer, even at his young age.
He is quick to acknowledge the role of the coaches in the success of this year’s under-14A team. “Mr Laing is so good technically, and now we have Mr Hummel who is old school. He insists on the proper cricketing things being done and I enjoy that,” he says.
Between them, Duncan explains, the coaches have made him a better batsman, simply by getting him to turn his head a bit. “I see the ball with both eyes now, and that has made a big difference.”
That sort of attention to detail has led to this under-14 team’s unbeaten run. “We had one game rained out,” Duncan explains, “but we’ve won all the others.”
The big test will come next week at the Charl Van Rooyen Week when they take on four of the top schools in the country. “It’s going to be tough,” Duncan says, “although only one of them – Grey – are ranked above us.”
Then he recited winning margins and net run-rate comparisons between the Jeppe team and the opponents they will be facing. As I said, proper cricket talk from a Jeppe boy who is showing signs of growing into a proper cricketer.