One Day Competition - President Cardinals vs ES Blue, Burwood Park #3, Presidents, 18th October 2014
Ok, so I researched them, and I don't care how fanatical they are about the game, the Queen has a lot to answer for when she awarded MBEs to two guys back in 2010, Fred Duckworth and Tony Lewis. These two English academics clearly know little about the game. They know nothing about darkening skies for the batsman, the slowing outfield as they became damp (only slightly), and they certainly know nothing about East Blue's middle and lower order batting....well let's not go there further for now.
East Blue's at Burwood carries some fond memories for most of us, not least the two batsmen involved, in that we'd seen history there last season when Laughts and Wildy had put on 305 in their opening partnership. So when Ralphy won yet another toss, yes two in a row, and elected to bat, the conditions were set up for a good win despite some suggestion of rain later in the day. And whilst realistically Laughts and Wild were never going to repeat last season's heroics, they did get us off to a comfortable start putting on 49 before Laughts missed one and had his middle stump uprooted in his first turn at bat this season. Wildy carried on, extending his lead in aggregate over his partner by another 7 runs before he too fell for 36. Matt's early duck was one of the few failures which was no doubt a reflection of having used up all his luck in the hour before the game when he won $800 on the pokies in the pub awaiting the game - at least the free beers after the game was one contribution that Matt made to the game/after match.
Kev Moore regained the momentum with a controlled 41, continuing his good start to the season, and was followed up by Geoff with 29* and Ski 30 in his first real opportunity for an innings in Pressies - between them they kept us in a sound position throughout the innings and our eventual 205/7 total was probably a little short of being totally comfortable, after the innings had lost some momentum at times, but in general it was thought to be good enough.
In reply Easts started well, and although they lost their first wicket at 23, Nick Cottam and their number three Chester then put on 90 for the second to get them into a better than even position in the match. That Easts had got themselves into that position certainly wasn't the fault of Jules, who bowled superbly in his 2/11 off his 8 overs, or to an extent Kev or Ralphy, but there were frankly too many four balls, and some less than impressive ground fielding that often cost boundaries, and catches that were either dropped or not laid hands on. Chris Van Rensburg was one of those guilty of bowling one or two more four balls than was ideal, but having not played much cricket of late, and although the rustiness showed, so to did a promise in the balls that he got right, and some agile fielding, that he will be a very useful additional to the squad this season.
Then the drizzle set in which initiated at least a 20 minute halt to the game as the merits of how bad it actually was got debated. The truth is it wasn't ideal, but more-so, we were well behind on CMCA's Duckworth Lewis app that we'd quickly downloaded on the sideline as the rain became more likely. The situation wasn't assisted by the East's Club Captain coming on the field and abusing the demure Jules who had politely questioned his right to be involved. In the end the match never restarted and the situation was resolved with players individually wandering off the field and eventually conceding that East's had won the match via the DL system - frankly a continuation would not have been right.
There was a general acceptance within the team that with East's still requiring near 6 an over off the last 11 overs, we would have won it, but that would have required a greater accuracy than we had been seeing from both the bowlers and fielders as the drizzle had set in, and frankly, whilst we would have backed ourselves to have won it, it was more an even contest to my mind.
What this match did highlight though was that, although CMCA are keen to evolve the game, implementing Duckworth Lewis into lower grade cricket, into non-official umpired matches, is a big mistake. Going off for rain is often heavily debated as one team might favour their chances over the other, but at least when they do, both teams know that they will share the points. DL ensures that one side knows for sure that they will lose and get zero points hence their desire to remain on the field and debate the conditions. This game did create a small amount of disharmony for a short period between two sides that always get on well, but between two sides with issues it would have been a disaster. The sooner CMCA ditches DL for non-umpired games the better, or their judicial system will need to contract some additional resources. It adds nothing to the competition and will almost certainly create more problems than it solves. Either way, we enjoyed a quiet beer with the good men at Easts afterwards as we always do and it was quickly forgotten.
So a President's first, for most of us our first a Duckworth Lewis inspired loss, Hornby next week, and another must win match.
Check out the scorecard from the game.