Following fiercely contested group stages, held at the beautiful Buckinghamshire cricket ground of Wormsley, the teams arrived in London ready to face the final hurdle. Universities from South Africa, Australia, West Indies and India were welcomed with glorious sunshine and were all determined to claim the trophy for their respective nations. Both highly competitive semi finals where played earlier in the day, with the West Indies beating Australia courtesy of an impressive batting display whilst South Africa finally clinched victory against India in the very last over of a gripping encounter. Both South Africa and the West Indies’ journeys to the final were very different.
South Africa stood unbeaten from every match they had played, beating England, Bangladesh, the West Indies and finally India to put themselves in the driving seat. The West Indies however started well with a win against England but lost to Bangladesh and the South Africans before breezing past Australia to reach the final. South Africa really found their flow early in the first innings, with Johan Wessels taking the game by the scruff of the neck and posting his second consecutive 50 runs, finally finishing on 61 from 40 balls. A succession of overzealous innings from the West Indian bowlers and some unfortunately fielding right on the boundary allowed Assupol Tuks to post a formidable score of 188, leaving the West Indies with everything to do.
The Windies lost an early wicket but showed great resilience to get their run rate back up. Cassius Burton put in a fine display reaching a half century but was eventually stumped by Klaasen for 55 runs. Then South Africa seized control as Vincent Moore took 4 wickets and Corbin Bosch a respectable 3 wickets.
The Windies put on a fine performance to the last over but were 40 runs short, finishing up on 148/9. Victorious South African Captain Theunis De Bruyn said of the tournament, “The whole experience has been fantastic. It’s been great to meet all the guys from around the world and it’s been a pleasure playing against them. We were very proud of being chosen to represent our country and to lift the Red Bull Campus Cricket World Finals trophy here at The Kia Oval was unbelievable.” The South African captain had further cause for celebration as he was voted the Red Bull Campus Cricket World Finals Player of the Tournament having scored 209 runs with an average of 52 runs on the way to victory.
His team mate Johan Wessels was voted Player of the Final for his 61 off of 40 balls in the final hitting six fours and three sixes.