The weather gods continue to provide us with one of the most frustrating starts to a cricket season in many years with most afternoon grade teams having only played two of the first seven Saturdays following another disappointing but expected cancellation this weekend. However, for the teams that did play, there was a big turnaround in performances after last weekend's disappointing results.
Fortunately conditions were good enough for the Premier men's game to get underway with a 34 over match against Marist Harewood at Redwood Park after the rain moved away in the early afternoon and sufficient drying enabled the match to get started. Although the loss of the toss, and being asked to bat in such conditions, didn't bode well bearing in mind recent batting failures, Chad Bowes and Dylan Goldstone quickly put paid to those concerns with a sparkling 141 opening stand produced at a clip just over 7 per over.
Chad Bowes acknowledges the applause for his maiden Sydenham century
Dylan, returning after a three match absence, compiled an excellent 70 from 60 balls before pulling a short delivery to the mid-wicket boundary rider.
Dylan pulls behind square during his innings of 70
Chad carried the dominance on, and with the match conditions ripe for it, produced his most aggressive innings for Sydenham to date with a 138 run effort from 99 deliveries which included a barrage of big sixes mixed with a series of nicely stroke boundaries, calculated reverse sweeps, and well placed singles.
Chad Bowes always strong through point
When Dylan departed, Stu Naden batted intelligently coming in at No. 3, and turning the strike over to Chad as he had to do, but also tucking away the occasional bad ball to the boundary. When Chad was also finally gone, Ryan Wallace then played a nice little cameo of 20* runs from 8 balls until the 34th over when the innings finally closed at an intimidating 279/3 in the conditions.
A well deserved drinks break and innings reassessment
Realistically the damage had been done, and when opener Hawkins once again fell cheaply against us, despite a couple of twenties from the No. 2 and 3, the Marist batting succumbed fairly quickly to the required run rate of over 8 rpo and were dismissed inside 17 overs for 63 to complete a 216 run victory. Chief destroyer was off-spinner Stu Naden who followed up his 29* batting effort with an impressive 6/22 off 5 overs, assisted with a couple of wickets from Harry, and one each from Mitch and Tom.
So finally a 1-day win, and although out of the competition in terms of being able to get to the semi-finals, the match should add some confidence to the batting unit which has struggled throughout much of the early season. We now have a week off for the Pakistan test at Hagley, then back to Sydenham Park for the remaining four Saturdays, being the two remaining 1-days and then the resumption of the 2-day competition in the last round before the Christmas break.
The good day continued with both the Prem Women and 2A reserves getting excellent wins as well in rain affected shortened matches. On Sydenham No. 1 the 2As beat Heathcote who sit a place above them in the 1-day competition. After Heathcote got to 154/8 in their 35 overs (wickets shared around) the 2As got to that total seven down thanks to Matt McCall's 65 as opener, some useful 20's in the middle order from Taylor Irie, Matt Day, and especially Andrew Moulton's 19 at the end which included a desperately needed six and three fours to get the 2As across the line.
The Prem Women played St Albans at Ilam and scored 118/4 thanks to Bernadine Bezuidenhout's 52 and Rachel Davidson's 32. In reply Saints could only get to 108/7 off their 35 overs with the skipper Carolyn Esterhuizen taking 4/12, and Eden Pettigrew 2/20 and Jenna Waghorn 1/18.
Player of the Season
At this early part of the season Lane Tutty and Matt McCall sits atop of the Player of the Season leader board, but with only players from the top four morning grade sides featuring on it, it just goes to highlight the weather frustrations for the lower grade sides who don't have the benefit of covered wickets - we are surely overdue some decent weather.