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From the classroom to the crease

Mechanical engineering student stars for South Africa at Red Bull Campus Cricket.

Dyllin Matthews proved the difference in the Red Bull Campus Cricket World Finals as his fiendish leg spin propelled North West University (NWU) to victory over Business Management School (BMS) at the Galle International Cricket Stadium in Sri Lanka.

It was South Africa’s third title in this event and all the more impressive for achieving it on Sri Lanka’s home turf against the defending champions with seven wickets and 28 balls to spare.

Twenty-year-old Matthews wrecked Sri Lanka’s top order to finish with three wickets for 22 runs and 12 wickets in the tournament to underline his promise.

Matthews is a Bachelor of Science student and an aspiring engineer who has come back from a 2016 study spell to become the star of the 2017 Finals.

He revealed, “Last year I think I only went to two training sessions in the whole year. The coaches might have been a little frustrated probably because they saw some potential in me, and if you’re not showing up to training the results probably don’t show on the field.

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“But it was quite difficult to make training sessions, because I had lectures from 7.30am to 6pm every day. This year, it’s been a little easier. I’ve made sure I get to training now.”

He has made his first-class debut for the North West province and is keen to make the step up to the South African national side at some stage in his career.

He added, “It’s pretty unique to be a leg-spin bowler in South Africa. There’s a lot of finger spinners, but not many leg spinners. If you can do your art really well, people are always looking out for you. Hopefully you’ll go places.”

If it does not work out for him on the pitch then he hopes to take up mechanical engineering like his father, who is working on an oil rig in Brazil. (Reuters)

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