Despite the defeat in an abbreviated title decider, UJ coach Dumisa Makalima said he was proud of what the squad had achieved.
It was a frustrating final for UJ after a power failure resulted in a two-hour delay during their innings.
In the end, the innings was reduced to eight overs, in which the Johannesburg side made 60/7, a reasonable recovery after they had been reduced to 19/5. They ended up losing by eight wickets.
Nevertheless, Makalima was encouraged by his squad’s performance, particularly after captain Muhammed Mayet was injured in an accident and unable to play again in the tournament.
“There are absolutely some positives which we can take from the tournament,” the coach said.
“The team has built up well over the last six months and they have become a united outfit. The boys play for each other and that’s very exciting going forward.”
He added that it was also important to recruit smartly to complement the talent already in the squad.
Makalima said they had put in a lot of hard work ahead of the Varsity Cricket tournament.
“I was confident we could reach the final because a lot of thought went into our build-up to the week.
“One of our main successes was the batting of our openers Joshua Richards and Delano Potgieter, who often gave us good starts.”
Makalima said they lost a bit of momentum during the week.
“We then sat down and decided to simplify the game and play good basic cricket.
“We focused on rotating the strike and trying to reach a run-rate of eight an over when it came to the power plays.
“Chad Classen had a good week with the ball and we had a nice mix in our bowling combinations, made up of fast bowlers and spinners.”