One Day Competition - President Cardinals vs ES Blue, Burwood Park #3, Presidents, 16th March 2013
Rumour has it that the innovative new Sydenham Pressies opening bowling attack are apparently refusing to sign the "bring back Ralphy" petition.
This was the game you need to play occasionally - where the pressure is never really on, where you get finished by 4.30pm, get in three stubbies (used to be jugs, but such are the times and personal capacity these days), and you're home in time to still be in good with the missus.
For the record, Spency won the toss and rightfully inserted Easts on what was an unusual March wicket at Burwood - hard and bouncy in the middle, but soft at one end, and dead at the other. After Fergus had completed his opening spell in which he picked up danger man Nick Cottam, things only got tougher for Easts. Matt Loose warmed them up with three testing overs, and then Sam Martin and Ken Julian, both making their belated after Christmas debuts, completely shut them out of the game. This was Ken at his most parsimonious best, and whilst turning it square at times (one East umpire suggested at least two foot on one of the dismissals that turned) he took most of them out bowled with arm balls that had deceived them throughout his spell, to finish with 4/11 off 8, and deservedly winning the Man of the Match award. But note, more runs than overs, much to Ken's disgust. You could hear the howls from as far as the SCG when the Skipper missed one for 4 at mid-off that negated that achievement - nearly as loud as those when he was turned down for a plumb LBW towards the end of his spell that would have given him his first ever 5'fer in one day cricket
Sam was just plain hostile, at least when he wanted to be, and for the East batsman it quickly became a case of who did they dislike the most, being beaten for pace at one end, or by guile at the other. Sam finished with 3/5 off his 7 suggesting that the batsman never really figured that puzzle out, and whilst they tried hard to compensate by swinging wildely at Flem when he came on, Flem's 2/4 off nearly 6 showed that there was little respite as Easts folded all out for 82. It was simply a case of good cricket all round, where a struggling batting side was clinically taken apart and pounded
Someone who also took a pounding was wicket keeper Walker. Some athletic saves down leg side, eventually and unfortunately, resulted in a crack on the fingers that saw him replaced by Yogi. I say unfortunate as it did lead to the disturbing sight from a distance of our wicket keeper relieving himself under a tree (and I don't mean peeing) in the plain view of impressionable young children. The other equally disturbing feature of the innings was the grossly exuberant wicket taking celebrations of one of our spinners who has seemingly been unable to rid himself of his past Easts tendencies..
So match over, finalities to be had - not so, the wicket certainly had its issues, and after a stern lecture from the Skipper about Sydenham's poor history chasing such scores, he had us focused upon the job at hand.. Despite Sam's early dismissal, Kev and Yogi comfortably set up the win. Kev, a nicely compile 25, and Yogi with the scores tied, out for 23 - a seven wicket win. The highlight of the innings was the comical running between the wickets of Kev and Yogi, which at one point saw them cross about fives times in the process of completing an otherwise regulation two.
It was a great bowling effort that our own batsman would not have welcomed if positions were reversed. From my own observation, and something that the East players stated later, this was the best bowling combination put on the paddock in the Presidents competition this season. And a bowling attack without Ralphy, who was away with CERA duties, and thinking upon it, one without Jase or Thommo, or Michael O, or for that matter, the nagging little medium pacers of Tim's who would have loved bowling into the north end - gee I continue to so look forward to next season
Check out the scorecard from the game.