2020 Premier Cricket Preview
This Saturday is the start of Premier College Cricket in Wellington for 2020. Below is a featured piece on Rongotais promotion as well as key players from each side and how they could impact their teams season and possibly guide them to the Term One title.
All is Wells with Rongotai Cricket
For the first time since 1999 the Rongotai College First XI cricket team are back in the Premier Youth grade.
In 1999 coach Jason Wells was about to start the last of his dozen seasons playing for Wellington. His son Henry Wells wasn’t even born.
Today Henry is captain of a vastly improved Rongotai outfit mentored by Jason.
“Dad started coaching the First XI in 2017. All of our cricket has become more serious. We have five teams now with a greater belief and talent,” Henry revealed.
Rongotai won their way back into the top flight finishing behind Onslow College in Premier II last year. They only dropped one match and had Sam Mycock selected for the Wellington Under 19’s.
Henry impressed with his wicket keeping and leadership.
“I think a good captain is someone who stays positive all the time. Even when your down you have to try to rally the boys,” he said.
Rongotai will have to be at their very best to compete against reigning champions St Patrick’s College, Silverstream in their first Premier Youth fixture on Saturday.
Earlier this week Silverstream hammered St Pats Town by 266 runs in their annual three-day traditional fixture. Caleb Montague was particularly devastating scoring 247 runs off 192 balls across both innings. Additionally he took five wickets and affected two runs out.
“Silverstream is a tough start, but we are trying not to get too far ahead of ourselves. We have to work on the things we need to improve on and play to our strengths rather than worry about the opposition too much,” Henry observed.
For the first time in 30 years Rongotai will later play brother school Wellington College.
“That will be a big deal for us. Wellington won nationals a couple of years ago and any sport against Col is a big rivalry for Rongotai.”
Henry’s highest score for the First XI is 79 and his highest score for the school 130 for the leading Year 10 team.
Henry’s brother George Wells is also a member of the First XI, bowling left arm spin. Oliver White is a quality all-rounder worth keeping an eye on.
Rongotai isn’t short of pedigree when it comes to producing quality players. Former internationals Bruce Edgar, Jeetan Patel, Barry Sinclair and Ian Smith are old boys.
Wellington Premier cricket players to watch
Lachie Bailey – Hutt International Boys’ School (HIBS) – After losing seven players out of last year’s Term Four side, Bailey, who was a representative for Wellington Under 17’s, will need to be not only up there in wickets but shine with the bat also along with help from his teammates if HIBS are to reach yet another Final.
Jacob Madigan – St Pat’s Wellington – Much like Bailey, Madigan was also a representative for the Wellington Under 17’s and is entering his third and final year of 1st XI Cricket with St Pat’s Town. Jacob was also St Pat’s’ top wicket taker in the Term Four competition last year, with eight wickets including a five-for against Scots College with 5-47.
Sam French – Wellington College 1st XI – Sam was another attendee at the Under 17’s Tournament, also captaining the side that came second. French was the highest Wellington College 1st XI run scorer in the Term One competition, with 207 Runs in six Games at an average of 41.
Ryan Jackson – St Pat’s Silverstream – Jackson has always been a stand out performer for St Pat’s Silverstream, and has started off 2020 with a bang. Tearing through Francis Douglas MC in their traditional, taking figures of 8-25 off 21 overs across two innings. Jackson will want another brilliant year in his final year of school, and to get back in the New Zealand Under 19’s Side.
Oliver White – Rongotai College – White was the top wicket taker for Rongotai in their Term Four campaign, and finishing second overall in the top wicket taker charts with 10 wickets in four games. If Rongotai aren’t to get relegated White will need to be brilliant with the ball.
Finley Kruger – Scots College – Kruger is entering his third year of 1st XI cricket at Scots College. He was arguably one of the best Scots College players last year, in Term One he was their second highest run scorer for Scots with two half centuries and a total of 222 Runs at an average of over 30.
Will Greenwood – Wellington College 2nd XI – A strong 2019 season for young Greenwood has seen him be propelled into the Wellington College 2nd XI as an opening batsmen and a part time off spinner for 2020. After getting a late call up to the Under 17’s Trial in Term Four last year, Greenwood will want to be at his absolute best in Term One to make sure he’s a member of the Under 17’s Training Squad.
Connor Lusty – Onslow College – Lusty has always been a crucial player for Onslow as he enters his third full year of cricket for the 1st XI. Connor will have to be at his absolute best with the ball if Onslow are to make a name for themselves in 2020. Lusty was on the verge of the Wellington Under 17’s selection in January and will be wanting for a big year as he looks to push for the Under 19’s Squad Selection.
– Story courtesy of College Sport Media