T20 semi finals loom as Premier Men win both weekend matches
The Premier men are on the brink of qualifying for the T20 semi finals after winning both of their T20 matches on Saturday. After Thursday night’s thrilling last ball victory over OBC, the Prems were up against Marist, and then later Riccarton, on Sydenham Park with the knowledge that two wins would put them close to a semi-final spot.
The first up match was against Marist who are struggling this season without a win, but had played well on Thursday night to go near to beating Riccarton. Sydenham won the toss and elected to bat on a wicket that had started to keep a little low particularly at northern end in the previous match. The innings then turned into another TJ Johnston show as Tim’s innings dominated the Sydenham effort of 146/5.
Marist were made to rue an early dropped catch at long-on as TJ then proceeded to smash 70 off 63 balls in a controlled display of hitting that always had his side on top. His other top order batsman didn’t play long innings but did contributed short run a ball efforts as the score was built around TJ’s innings.
There was an interesting, possibly historic moment for Prem cricket in the innings when there was at least 80 years plus of cricketing experience at the crease in the two batsmen when Chris Harris and Kelvin Scott came together. When Harry was out with only 10 balls to go and the score at a healthy but not intimidating 125/5, Kelvin Scott’s little four ball cameo innings of 17* put the icing on the cake for his team. Kelvin, filling in as wicket keeper, smashed two sixes and a four to get the score through to a much more challenging 146/5 that was always going to be demanding for Marist.
Kelvin Scott 4 ball cameo
The Marist reply was kneecapped early on when Mitch Gardner and Tom Agnew sneered both openers with the score at five. A small recovery to 27 saw another two wickets fall at that total in the 6th over, and with the run rate up to around nine by then, it was a hard position for Marist to recover from. All the bowlers played their part as Marist finally succumbed for 50. Jamie Hunt (3-3-7) was the best of them, but Tom and Mitch got the valuable early break throughs, and TJ and Connor commendably went for less than 4’s in a T20 match. Mitch’s two wickets now sees him equal leading wicket taker in the T20 competition. https://www.crichq.com/matches/710527/1st_innings
The Riccarton match later in the afternoon was a far better contest against a side still well in the competition and able to exert much more pressure in the field. However, in many ways the match panned out in a similar fashion.
Sydenham again batted first, and again TJ dominated. His second half century of the day (51 off 41 balls) set the innings up, and although there was no Kelvin Scott bonus at the end, it was good to see one of the young guys in Hayden Day contribute with a 24 before the innings closed at 121/7.
The target was very gettable for Riccarton, however, although Sydenham’s batting still has some work to do in the way of consistency, the side is currently blessed with alot of options with its bowling attack and as a fielding unit which makes them arguably one the tougher challenges in the field for other teams this season. Riccarton started well with Nick Kwant getting them through to 24 at 8’s before his fellow opener Bartholmeusz fell to Mitch. Nick then left at 28 and the Riccarton innings never managed to stem the tide of wickets from there.
Connor Marshall (3-4-10) did the bulk of the damage with his leg spinners, and indeed was unlucky not to get a 5th wicket when a catch near the boundary went down. But that catch was a rarity on a day where the side’s fielding was again top notch and seems to get better each week which is credit to the organisation, attendance and hard work at practice this season. On the day Taylor Irie was outstanding in the field with a strong arm and two excellent run-outs, but the speed to the ball from all the outfielders was impressive, with none quicker than Ryan Wallace in his sweeping role on the boundary.
Taylor Irie Double Run-Outs
Riccarton were eventually dismissed for 69 giving Sydenham its 4th win out of 5 matches. The result most mostly a reflection of that top bowling and fielding performance which now sees three Sydenham bowlers (Gardner, Marshall and Hunt) all sitting in the top six wicket takers in the competition. The side now requires one more win from of their remaining two qualifying matches next Saturday to be certain of progressing in the competition. However, they will both be tough ones being up against firstly the unbeaten leaders St Albans at Hayley Park at 10.30am, and then Burnside at Burnside Park at 2.45pm. https://www.crichq.com/matches/710731/1st_innings
Marist Match Highlights
Riccarton Match Highlights
The Premier Women failed to even provide an opportunity for a club photo on the day of their match such was the speed at which they demolished St Albans on Sydenham 2. Saints batting first lost immediate wickets to the skipper Carolyn Esterhuizen (3-4-6) and Gina Aldersley (4-2-6), and then saw Jenna Waghorn, “fresh” from her mid-week rep duties, claim the other three wickets (4-3-6). Sydenham got a poor start in reply with only 2 runs from the top three, but then Sarah Betterton (12*) and Erika Oda (16) took the side to the total with 13 overs remaining. https://www.crichq.com/matches/710719/1st_innings
The Division One side had a win and a loss in their two matches. No detail available for either their first up loss to OBC, nor their win over Suddenly Sydenham.
Division One Suddenly Sydenham lost both their matches, the later one to their fellow Sydenham side but also their earlier one against Lancaster Park at Garrick. Batting first against Park 20’s each from Pankaj Bhagat, Marty Crook and Andrew Moulton got Sydneham through to 109/6 but Park managed to get there five down with nearly 5 overs to spare. Wickets were even shared. https://www.crichq.com/matches/711079/1st_innings
The Div 4 Goats had a big win against Burnside on Centennial Park. The Goats can thanks their last minute ring-in player Van Zanten for his 124*, that coupled with Ollie Philpott’s 55, saw the Goats set a commanding total of 219/7 for BWU. Ollie then turned to the ball and picked up outstanding figures (5-5-8), and along with Archie Goodrick (5-2-16) and Nadeem Aslam (5-2-18) dismissed BWU for 79 and a 140 run win. https://www.crichq.com/matches/710921/1st_innings
The Div 6 All Stars got their 2nd win of the season against Parklands at Waltham Park when batting first solid scores from Chris Reeve (45), Gourav Saini (30) and Milin Paul (22) contributed to Sydenham’s total of 144 all out. In reply Parklands wre bowled out for 104 thanks mostly to Satvik Saini (4-4-15), Mark Flowerday (7-3-26) and Gourav 7-2-20) https://www.crichq.com/matches/711182/1st_innings
The Div 6 Cardinals lost their second match in succession to New Brighton. No match details available
The Div 8 Tamils also lost their match against Riccarton on the Polo Grounds. Batting first the Tamils put up a competitive 154 all out thanks mostly to Mohanasundaram Kumar (41) and David Jayapaui (43). However Riccarton were never really threatened in reply with the opener getting 61* and coasting to the target 3 down in the 37th over. https://www.crichq.com/matches/711038/1st_innings
The two Presidents sides undertook their annual derby match on Sydenham 2 with the Noel Moorhead Trophy at stake. Hospital batted first and with Bruce Day (51) and Richard McKinlay (44) getting the side off to a good start a reasonable score always looked likely. Eugene Hawyn later backed that up with a solid 40 to take Hospital through to a more than useful 183/8. Jeremy Brown (6-3-19) and Warren Guy (8-2-35) were the best of the bowlers. https://www.crichq.com/matches/710993/1st_innings
The Cardinals got a horror start at 4/3, and despite a valuable 47 from Ewen Spence and useful contributions further down the order from Jermey Brown (19), Brent Dunn (21) and Dave Fleming (28), no one managed to get the substantive score required to get the side through with the Cardinals finishing up 32 runs short at 151 all out.
The T20 Womans Stars lost their first match back from the break, playing Lancaster Park.
Sydenham's MS Dhoni Orchestrates Prem Win
For those of us who marvelled at Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni’s successful 300 run chase against Australia two nights ago in Adelaide would have been enthralled by Sydenham’s T20 match against OBC at Sydenham on Thursday night – the Sydenham chase might have been a bit shorter, but the final over excitement was on another level again.
With a win and loss from their first two T20 matches last weekend a win was important for both teams to remain in contention in the competition. Sydenham won the toss and ask OBC to bat banking on the light remaining good through to the after 8pm finish. Although Daniel Stanley then started with a near run a ball 22, OBC lost early wickets to be 38-3 after 8 overs. A small recovery then looked possible with the dangerous Jeff Case and David Wakefield looking comfortable until a spectacular caught and bowled by Ryan Wallace saw Case back to the pavilion.
When Wakefield fell at 88-5 in the 16th over the OBC innings never recovered and the side was finally dismissed for 104 with 10 balls still left to bowl. Although Ryan had the best figures with 3-3-19, there was much credit also due to the misery performances Tom Agnew (4-0-11) and Jamie Hunt (3-2-9).
A known, and modest, five runs an over target just required some smart and controlled batting early on but that was not how things panned out. Although TJ put a few away early we lost wickets consistently, and at 28-3, Sydenham were suddenly in a worse comparative position to OBC at the same stage in their innings.
Players came and went but the only one that wasn’t going anywhere was Sydenham’s own MS Dhoni, Chris Harris. Despite the procession, Chris eked out the ones and twos and guided his various partners through such that he kept the score ticking over sufficiently such that he narrowed down the target to something finally within reach.
But discretion had also warranted and the recovery saw the required run rate pick up from around 5 an over mid-innings, to 10 an over by the final 4-5 overs. Ryan Jones and Jamie Hunt late in the order provided some support for Chris and ran hard to get the equation down to 20 required off the last two overs. Cool heads were required – Dhoni may have elected to leave the win until the final over, but Harry decided to make it much more exciting, the final ball of the match.
It got down to 10 required off the last over, then 4 off the last ball but with Harry in strike and carrying the result on his shoulders for his team. With a slow outfield, and boundary riders everyway, that wasn’t going to be easy. But the bowler marginally missed his mark, a half volley that had to be hit straight and between deep mid-on and mid-off on the longest boundary on the park – it was very well struck and the boundary taken much to the cheers of the Sydenham supporters on the sideline.
OBC can rightfully feel very lucky not to have won as it would have been just reward for the way in which they fought their way back into this match. Conversely the Sydenham batsmen in particular will know that their skipper got them out of jail on this one and will want to share the load a little more widely over coming matches
The T20 competition continues on Saturday with two home matches at Sydenham, Marist at 10.20am, then Riccarton at 2.45pm