Two Losses Leave Semi Finals Spot Hanging on Run Rate

It wasn’t a great day for most Sydenham teams on Saturday with the top mens and womens sides not getting a win between them out of six T20 matches , and with only the Goats and the T20 Women Stars getting wins down the grades.

The Premier Men lost both matches and their semi-final aspirations now hang on a run rate calculation to determine whether they are involved in Thursday night’s matches. First up on Saturday they played the form team of the season St Albans on Hagley 5. Saints had already won the one-day title earlier in the season and were unbeaten in their six T20 matches to date. Sydenham won the toss and elected to bat but got off to a bad start when TJ fell for two, and was shortly followed by Ryan Wallace who was caught in the deep with the score at 11-2. Connor Marshall stuck his head down and was joined by Hayden Day who arguably played the best knock of his short Prem career to date. They staged a small recovery before Connor left at 45-3 in the 10th over and with Sydenham still in some trouble.

Chris Harris then came in, and as he has many times this season, stabilised the innings and his 55 run partnership with Hayden at just over 6’s made sure that Saints would have a 100 plus target.

Hayden Day
Hayden Day's fine innings of 43 against Saints comes to an end on Hagley 5.

When Hayden fell for 43 (39 balls) Harry and Kelvin Scott etched out a few more off the final 10 balls to set Saints a target of 111. Harry finished on 34 off 35 balls. St Albans set about the task in the considered and professional way in which they play their cricket. Taylor Irie ran out one of the openers early with the score at 17-1 but Lortan and Southby were playing exactly as required when chasing a modest total with the field spread.

Kelvin Scott
The Saints batsman shambles back to avoid a wide leg side stumping

The medium pacers, Mitch Gardner and Ryan Wallace in particular, had bowled well but the undemanding run requirement had enabled Saints the option to limit risk taking and preserve wickets. But when the spinners came on the run rate slowed, and then when Saints attempted to accelerate it again wickets suddenly starting to fall. Jamie Hunt (4-1-19) sneered Lortan and then TJ got Southby at the same score to have Saints at 99-3. Two more wickets fell at that score as Taylor Irie ran out Sharples, and TJ had Budge well caught with the score at 99-5.

The fight back was pleasing and Saints had suddenly found themselves at risk of misjudging the run chase when they were then left needing nine of the last over. However, they were still favourites and a well struck boundary off the first ball of the over took the pressure off, and they got home after surviving a critical run-out chance off the penultimate ball which won them the match.

The second match was across at Burnside Park against BWU who were another side alone with Easts and Sydenham fighting it out for the remaining two semi final berths to join Saints and Lancaster Park. And the Burnside boys certainly did everything they would have hoped for in this match to achieve that.

Sydenham again batted first and got off to an even worse start than in the earlier match. TJ went with the score at two, Ryan Wallace four runs later when he got a brute of a ball from Farrant, Connor soon after that, and then Hayden wasn’t able to repeat the earlier innings at Hagley – Sydenham were suddenly 27-4 with 7 overs gone. Chris Harris was again forced to pick up the mantle and again didn’t disappoint as he played probably even a better innings than the earlier one against Saints. He and Kelvin Scott (16 off 20 balls) put together the only meaningful partnership of the innings with 39 off 7 seven overs, but when Kelvin fell at 66-5 in the 14th over no one was able to hang in through the remaining overs with Chris who eventually fell for 49 off 45 balls in the final over hit-out.

Chris Harris
Another straight boundary for Harry in his 49 at Burnside

Set just 102 to win BWU went out to bat with a very obvious plan to win it with a high run rate to boost their table position even if it risked losing. They played superbly. Huyser’s (60 off 32 balls) gave them the perfect start and along with Hay and Naude smashed our mediums to all corners. TJ and Jamie then came on and managed to concede just sixes when the rest were going in double figures, but BWU were always dominant and raced through to 105/5 in just 11 overs. TJ and Jamie were the pick of the bowlers with 3-2-18 and 2-2-15 respectively but it had been a very accomplished effort by BWU who never let Sydenham into the match.

The day was not a great one for Sydenham but it was good to see the excellent innings from Hayden Day who is another youngest starting to look the part at this level, and further evidence from Chris Harris that experience counts hugely in sport – execution is one thing, but rarely do we see him play an inappropriate shot in the context of a match situation, a lesson for many.

At time of writing we have not had confirmation as to whether we made the semi-finals or not which will be played this Thursday evening. If not, the Prems next match will be with the resumption of the two-day competition where 2nd placed Sydenham take on competition leaders St Albans at home at Sydenham

The Premier Women equally had a day for forget with two T20 losses. Their match against Lancaster Park on Garrick saw Sydenham score 85/5 off their 20 overs mostly thanks to Carolyn Esterhuizen (30 off 28 balls) and Jodie Dean (17 off 23 balls). Park then coasted home 89/1 with Carolyn getting the only wicket to fall.

The afternoon match against OBC on Hagley 3 was more competitive but brought the same result. Sydenham again batted first and scored 73/8 with Casey Liddington (40 from 57 balls) top scoring and the only player to get to double figures. Sydenham got early an breakthrough in the OBC reply with Jodie Dean picking up 4-12 off her 4 overs, but OBC managed to battle their way through to a win at 74/6 with a couple of overs remaining.

The Division One guys fared no better in their two T20 matches. The first against Merivale Papanui saw MP bat first and score 123/9 with Scottie Grose (4-4-26) and Charlie Finnie (4-3-26) the standout bowlers. Sydenham had a reasonable start in reply with both Matt Day and Lane Tutty getting into the twenties but the innings staggered from there as their slower bowler took wickets and eventually held Sydenham eight runs short at 115/7 after 40 overs.

No details are available for the second match against BWU on Sydenham 1 but we understand it was also a loss.

Division One Suddenly Sydenham also lost both of their matches. They lost their first match against BWU at Burnside (no details available) and then the afternoon match against leaders OBC at Elmwood which was always going to be tough one. However, opener Sahan Perara’s 50* was an early encouragement for Sydenham as the side batted first, but other than Isaac Milne with 21, none of the other batsman made it to double figures. The last five batsmen all managed ducks as the side was bowled out for 100. OBC were then untroubled in reply and made their way to the target in 14 overs for the loss of just three wickets. James Simpson was the best of the bowlers with 3-2-27.

Jon Bennett’s Div 4 Goats had a second big win after they scored 229/7 off their 40 overs. Runs were well shared with Robert Graves (85), Ollie Phillpott (45), being the best of them and with Jon Bennett, Tony Danenberg and Andrew Douglas all getting useful 20’s. In reply New Brighton were bowled out for 108 (no bowling stats available).

The Div 6 Cardinals must be wondering what happened at Christmas that has seen form desert them as they lost again on Saturday. Playing Halswell at Halswell Domain, the Cardinals had Sam Crossland’s 52* to thank for scrapping through to 117 all out. Halswell then comfortably achieved that target at 121-1 with Chris Cooper getting the only wicket to fall. This grade has been redrawn following Riccarton’s withdrawal from the competition and the Cardinals now appear to be 1st equal with two others and now with some work to do to take the title which looked comfortable prior to Christmas.

The Div 6 All Stars played New Brighton at Rawhiti Domain and went down by 58 runs. New Brighton set a demanding 196/6 (Jordan McCormick 6-2-21) and then Sydenham got off to a poor start in reply with none of the first six batsmen getting to double figures. Milin Paul’s 39 at No. 7, and Abe Atherton 14*, added some respectability to the total but they were well short at the close at 138/8.

Gourav Saini
Gourav Saini clips one to leg during the New Brighton loss

The Presidents Cardinals match was another loss as they played BWU at Sydenham. Dave Hardy’s 38 and Matt Loose’s 43 got the Cardinals off to a good start, but from 125/3 the only scores of substance were Anthony Wild’s 24 and Ken Julian’s 18 (including his 6000th run for the club) as the Sydenham stumbled to 149 all out. An early breakthrough unfortunately brought Graeme Turner to the crease for BWU who then scored a hard hit 72 to take the game away from Sydenham. A couple more wickets but then Buchanan batting at No. 7 scored 55* as BWU went through to comfortably win the match at 153/5 with 6 overs remaining.

Hospital joined the growing list of the day’s causalities (pun intended) when they went down to Merivale Papanui at Bishopdale Park. MP invited Hospital to bat, and at 18-3 were in early trouble before James Barkhuizen and Costobadie got them through to 70. But wickets fell again and they were finally bowled out for 113 in the 36th over. MP then knocked the runs off six down in the 18th over – wicket takers Barkhuizen (6-2-22) and Thompson (2-6). Full match details available.

The Tamil XI lost by five wickets to Heathcote on Centennial Park. Sydenham score 91 all out and Heathcote got them five down. No match details available

The Youth Women Stars played North West Women on Sydenham with the opposition batting first and compiling 149/4 (Amelia Tainui 5-2-30) and Emma Begg (3-2-15). The Sydenham start wasn’t good and the side struggled through to 75/8 with the top scorers being Harriet Fletcher (20) and Dakota Potter (12).

The T20 Women Stars had their first win when Heathcote were routed at Bradford Park. Batting first Hannah Morrissey’s 28 dominated Sydenham’s 75/5 with Sarah Brostow finishing not out in her first match back from a 3 year absence. Jamiee Cartwright then took 4-8 in her allotted 4 overs to dismiss Heathcote for 21/7.

Sydenham Youth 1st XI commenced their new season with a 2-Day match against Timaru Boys High 1st XI at Cashmere High School on Saturday. After winning the toss and putting the visitors into bat Sydenham picked up a couple of quick wickets but Timaru then put together a number of consistent partnerships to finally finish all out on 155. Bowling rewards were shared around with A. Goodrick 3/35 (13), D. Watt 2/20 (11), J.Wells 2/13 (8), T. Owens 2/29 (12) & O.Smith 1/15 (7).

Despite a reasonable start to the Sydenham innings by O.Smith (14) and H.Boyd-Tibbotts (20) that got the side to 44/1, an unfortunate collapse when the Timaru spinners came on saw 6 wickets fall by the end of the day with just 15 additional runs being scored. So Sydenham are in a precarious position after day one at 59/7 and have a bit of work to do on next week to gain any points from their first fixture in the new grade.

The Sydenham Youth Colts XI had a social match against the CBHS Colts Development side and were in a dominant position after the first day after bowling CBHA out for 85 Issac Milne, Toby Hull and Jamie Ehau all picking up a couple of wickets each. Sydenham then score 280/7 in reply with Dallas Crowe (87), Ben Breitmeyer and Samuel Prasad 28) the main contributors. CBHS fared no better in their 2nd innings and were 34/8 at stumps with Jamie Ehau doing the main damage with 4-4-14.

Youth XI
A great catch in the Youth Colts XI match at CBHS