The National Secondary Schools’ First XI Cricket Cup for boys began in 1990 and is among the longest-running competitions in secondary school sport. Many first-class and international cricketers have made their name in this tournament.
The 2018 national Boys and Girls finals are being played in Christchurch and Lincoln University in early December. Starting with capital representatives Wellington College, College Sport Media is profiling some of the teams involved.
Co-Captains: Devan Vishvaka and Ollie Petersen
Management Staff: Duncan Murray, Richard Petersen
Full Squad: Devan Vishvaka, Ollie Petersen, Tim Campbell, Tim Robinson, Hugh Morrison, Harry Hunter, Dylan Sharma, James Wallace, Josh McArdle, Henry Chandler, Tom Valentine, Sam Edlund
Devan Vishvaka, Dylan Sharma, Tim Robinson and Hugh Morrison represented Wellington at the U17 national tournament and Vishvaka and Sharma were members of the champion Wellington U19 team last season. Vishvaka, Sharma and Robinson have been joined by Harry Hunter and Tim Campbell in the Wellington U19 team for the December 2018 tournament. Ollie Petersen was not considered for the team due to injury.
This is the first time Wellington College has represented the Wellington region at this tournament for 10 years. Hutt International Boys’ School were the Wellington participant last year defeating Wellington College in the regional final. HIBS won the title in 2015 so Wellington will be looking to repeat that feat.
Wellington College are the College Sport Wellington Premier Youth Grade champions, having only lost one match. To qualify for Gillette Cup the team participated in a tournament that is separate to the Premier Youth Grade. Schools were split into two pools and the winner of each pool played each other in the final at The Basin Reserve. After wins against St Pats Town, Tawa and Hutt Valley High School, Wellington College played the final against St Pats Silverstream. Batting first, Wellington scored 260/8 and bowled Silverstream out for 151 to win by a commanding 109 runs.
Wellington College has a batting lineup that is capable of posting a good score with five of the top six batsmen being in the Wellington U19 winter squad but it may well be the ability to contain and take wickets on the Lincoln pitches that determines results, particularly if the wickets flatten up. The team fields well and this will be important against good opposition.
The team has nine returning players from last year and is an experienced squad, with all bar three members in their final year at school in 2018.
Memorable Match In 2018
A memorable match was a very recent one played against strong rivals, HIBS. After the match was transferred to an artificial wicket at HIBS, Wellington could only muster a score of 139 and only reached that after a 42 run partnership for the final wicket. Wellington then bowled out HIBS for 111. It was a determined and disciplined performance by all in the field and a strong test of character.
All Round Sportsmen
Co-Captain Ollie Petersen is also the captain of the Wellington College 1st XI football team, and Dylan Sharma is a member of the same team. Hugh Morrison and Tom Valentine play for the First XI hockey team and Sam Edlund is a member of the First XV rugby team. Tim Robinson excels at athletics where he is the NZ Secondary Schools junior champion in the javelin. Tom Blundell is the latest test cricketer from Wellington College, while 2016 First XI captain Jakob Bhula has debuted for the Firebirds this season.
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