Photo Credit: Cricket South Africa
It is not every day that you score a triple century.
For Andrea Agathangelou the rare feat came this past season when he recorded an absorbing 313 (459 balls, 25 fours, 4 sixes) playing for Easterns against Boland in a CSA 3-Day Provincial Cup match against Boland at Paarl that ended in a draw.
That innings in January, which he describes as one of the best in his career, undoubtedly tilted the scales heavily in his favour when the nominees for the 2020 Cricket South Africa (CSA) Awards were named last week.
The 30-year-old is shortlisted alongside Beyers Swanepoel and Patrick Botha in the race to be named Player of the Year for the provincial first-class competition.
The gala event to honour South Africa’s top performing cricketers over the past year will take place on Saturday, July 4 2020, in a virtual ceremony because of the restrictions imposed by COVID-19.
Agathangelou scored an aggregate of 676 runs at an average of 67.60 in 10 innings to help the Benoni-based team win a share of the title, along with KwaZulu-Natal.
The seasoned opener usually plays for Northerns and the Momentum Multiply Titans, but in 2019/20 Willowmoore Park became his base and it had a huge impact on the right-hander.
“The Easterns side needed an opener so (then Titans coach) Mark Boucher made a call early season to hand me over for a couple of games,” Agathangelou explained.
“I actually enjoyed it so much that and they enjoyed having me there, so we came to a mutual decision to make it a more permanent thing.
“The whole season being there with the Easterns boys, I couldn’t have asked for anything better. Their an incredible side with a really good coach and playing with them sparked a real new enjoyment level for me.
“I played some good cricket and that on its own was a real highlight for me, along with a couple of hundreds for the union.”
The innings that he eluded to was that magnificent triple ton.
Alongside Yaseen Valli, who hit 230, the pair made history when they broke one of the longest standing records in South African cricket.
They shared in an opening partnership of 485, improving on the national first-class record of 424, which had been set by Jack Siedle and Nipper Nicholson for Natal against Free State way back in 1926/27.
Looking back on the innings, Agathangelou added: “It was a dream come true, every cricketer dreams of scoring a triple century at some point in his career. It was a massive milestone for me and a real high point of my career.
“We knew it was a good wicket and as we were ticking along, we just challenged each other to keep going.
“Then much later in the innings once we both were nearing on 150 when the coach ran a message to us saying that if we get a few more runs we were going to break a record and then we were challenged to bat as long as we could by the coach.
“He just kept setting up more and more records for us to keep us going and eventually we got there.”
“It was definitely one of the best innings, depending on the criteria you look at, but for that one it was definitely the most mind-challenging and most patient one of my career.”