St John’s College ended this year’s edition of the Ram Slam unbeaten, sinking Kwazulu Natal’s Michaelhouse by four wickets to retain their title, in an encounter played this afternoon at St John’s College.
An energetic finish from Gary King and Shane Snater that built on Nick Welch’s outstanding 68-run stand, set-up the Ram Slam hosts for a four wicket victory over the visitors in the tournament final. King and Snater went for the quick singles to steady the ship, before Snater powered home with a couple of boundaries that gave his team the victory.
Welch, a Form Three student at St John’s, was outstanding throughout the tournament and won the batsman of the tournament award – a first grade willow bat and US$250,00 cash prize courtesy of Health International and Bon Marche. Coming on alongside skipper Jason Murray as one of the opening batsmen, Welch had perfect shot selection, blocking when he had to, getting under the short ones for the big boundaries and a couple of glances when required. The lad’s 68 off 40 balls, included 4 fours and 5 sixes – or five pizzas if you like. Welch’s big wicket was claimed by Michaelhouse’s Cameron Oldfield, but by then Murray’s boys where well on their way to victory.
Earlier in the visitor’s innings, all-rounder Luke Stevens top-scored for Michaelhouse with 58 off 37 balls while Brad Evans posted figures of 3/19. Jason Marshall and Brandon Tattam were the only other batsmen from Kwazulu Natal to score double figures with 10 and 28 respectively.
To make the final, St John’s overcame newcomers Hellenic Academy, who surpassed expectations by qualifying for the semis ahead of teams such as Falcon, Churchill, Prince Edward and Peterhouse. Michaelhouse had to play St George’s College in the other semi-final, emerging victors with a 44-run win over the Harare boys.