One Day Competition - President Cardinals vs Merivale Papanui, Edgar Macintosh Park, Presidents, 3rd November 2012
The best thing about this game was the after match, something I'll come back to. With the overnight rain, which was still falling when we arrived at Edgar Macintosh Park, there was always some small question about whether we would get a start in this particular match. But conditions were probably better than we had expected before we arrived, and Merivale Pap seemed equally keen to spend the afternoon productively.
Conditions were damp but playable, and after a half hour delayed start, we won the toss and not surprisingly asked MP to bat. But for once we didn't get the early break through that we were used to, and after 15 overs MP were coasting at 64 without loss and going at 4's on a variable wicket. Matt Loose's introduction changed all that. Two wickets in his first over, backed by some misery bowling from Jason, quickly saw them 64/2 and going at only 3's by the 20th over. We were back in the game and generally held the upper hand for most of the rest of the innings. All the bowlers bowled well with most going for not more than two an over, with the exception of Flem who found the catching, and block bash requirement on that wicket, not conducive to his bowling. Our fielding was less than average, with one or two catches put down, but Jason's sprawling catch to take out the top scoring opener was a huge contrast to the rest of the effort. The wickets were shared around the bowlers who should have felt satisfied with the 152/7 end result - satisfied but perhaps a little wary due to our lack of form with the bat this season.
That concern proved to be warranted. Our batting performance was eerily similar to our previous week's Sumner game, but without the same positive result. Kev Moore again held the innings together, scoring an 83 that only saw him out in the final over. Kev keeps getting better as the season progresses, unfortunately not many of the rest of us can yet say that, with only two other batsman again barely making it into double figures. The run rate crept higher throughout the innings and with 10 overs to go had got into 7's . Kev signed off his innings as he did against Sumner with his signature successive sixes and then out, but in this case needing 28 off the last over, a totally warranted effort. That left Bert with two balls to score 13, which he failed to do, clearly losing us the match.
No question that MP defended their total well. They are a great addition to the President's competition this year. They are competitive, and they are serious, but not to the determent of the spirit of the game. They put on food in the innings break, and generally made for a good day's cricket despite not being sporting enough to give us the result. That said, there was one small spat during the game when the nasty MP fielders started talking rough to our not always backward in coming forward Kev Moore, who promptly turned and sledged the fielders around him. As humorous as I found it standing there watching it at the other end, I laughed even harder at umpire Fleming's dramatic frailing arms attempt to implore all concern with a "will everyone please calm down (lots of arms), please calm down (even more arms)" - I was awaiting for the now famous "will everyone just get along", but it never came. But it was all short lived and non-serious, and when Kev was finally out just about every MP fielder came over to shake his hand as he left the field.
Oh yes the after match. A great little Club is MP. Team speeches took over an hour but everyone of them could have been on a stage at a comedy festival. Not that we were out done in that regard when Bertie took over by literally shouldered Ralphy out of the way as he moved forward to respond to the MP speech. It was classic Bertie with his response topped off by his assurance that Sydenham would reciprocate the afternoon tea that MP had put on for us "with some packages of potato chips when we play the return leg at the SCG".
The match also saw the introduction of Sam Martin to the team, well not playing just watching. But it was immediately obvious from some of the talk amongst the younger members of the team, of which Sammy is now one, that the older and more out of touch members can look forward this year over a few beers to an education in who does what, and more particularly, who does who.
Check out the scorecard from the game.