2016 Varsity Cricket tournament is relegated to the annals of history and with that, the name of Tuks as two-time champions. Take a bow, fellas.
Tuks defeated UWC by 21 runs in the final of the 2016 Varsity Cricket on Saturday night at Senwes Park. Tuks ended on 174/5 and UWC were restricted to 153/6. The Red Bull Campus Cricket champions, having won the prestige of that moniker in India last year, retained their Varsity Cricket crown by once again fortifying their reputation as a side who enters the door when the big occasions comes a knocking.
UWC were the poster boys of the archetypical underdogs going into the final, but fairytales seldom come true unless written by the Brothers Grim. They too should take a bow, and one more. They deserve every adjective that will join their name as a prefix when talking about their tournament.
Tuks needed a team effort and that they got. Evan Jones (56 from 35), Gerry Pike (45 from 48), and Blake Schraader (40 from 24) were the fulcrum around which the Tuks innings revolved. For a side seeking the other glass slipper, UWC was unnecessarily reserved. They lacked urgency, they lacked the big-match-temperament embedded in the soles of their opponents.
Maybe the occasion was too big; maybe Tuks were too good. Maybe it wasn't their time. Yet. For example, Tuks delivered 20 dot balls within the first six overs. That's a telling stat.
If they went for it and lost wickets, that would have been one thing. But they erred on fate's providence. It was a fatal decision.
Wickets fell but the required runs were amiss. Dean Mazhawidza struck 53 off 50, but it was as valiant as it was futile. Tuks are the champions again.
Man of the match Evan Jones says: 'I wanted to contribute in the final on the big stage. Its all for the boys.' His captain, Murray Coetzee, promised that there is still more room in Tuks' trophy cabinet, saying: 'I'm absolutely ecstatic about the win. We know how to play well in the big games. We showed that in India last year and this was once again unbelievable. We are going to Sri Lanka (for the Red Bull Campus Cricket championships) and we hope to bring back the trophy again.'