One Day Competition - President Cardinals vs ES Gold, Bradford Park #1, Presidents, 11th October 2014
After last week's disappointing first up loss it was imperative that we did the job this week as another early loss would have set us back considerably against the more consistent teams. However, although we were drawn against one of our historic boggy teams in Easts Gold, unfortunately for them they were struggling for numbers all week and clearly had a few in to make up the numbers. That said, they still did have 4-5 of their better players, and in 40 over cricket that is often enough to win a match for you.
So we turned up at Bradford to view the other potential leveler, the wicket. To quote a more esteemed thinker than me, the thing about Bradford is that its like a box of chocolates, you never quite know what you're going to get. However, one look at the weedy patched surface and it was obvious that it would be a bowler's day, and when Ralphy achieved one of his rare wins of the toss no one argued that bowling was the way to go. From that point Easts were on the back foot almost immediately and after the first wicket fell at 13 they struggled throughout the rest of their innings, never being able to wrestle the initiative back at any point in the game. It was East's ex-senior players in Gibb, Music and Booth who scored the bulk of their 118/6, which gave them a chance on a fresh wicket at this time of year, but certainly from there on it was going to have to be a case of us having to lose it, rather than them winning it.
The bowling figures highlighted that dominance with every bowler doing the job and the wickets spread across them all, Matt's 2/13 off 5 being the best of them. The two spinners in Ken and Kane proved what a useful combination they will be bowling in tandem over the season, between them taking 1 for 28 off 13 overs. Fergus and Ralphy's opening overs conceded little, and Brownie and Jules never let the pressure subside at any point. The fielding was a bit down on the first week's effort with a few misfields and a couple of dropped catches, Matt's one off Gibb that he tried to "over-catch" at first slip (cost us nothing as Gibby was out next over), and a skier that Kev misjudged in his run in from the boundary
But of course the runs had to be got, and another disaster such as our 6/2 start in the opening overs of the previous week could well have signaled a different result. However Wildy, who was unluckily out to a smart return catch that previous week, and under considerable pressure from a text-er throughout his innings reminding that he was on two ducks, had no intention of failing again. The only good thing about questionable wickets from a batting perspective is that it tends to make good players stick their heads down and work for their runs. Both Wildy and Kev did exactly that, taking the ones and twos on offer, and occasionally dispatching the bad ball when one came along. Both grew in confidence as the innings progressed, and by the time Wildy was out for 39 with the score at 84, the two of them had almost made the game safe. Kev batted on with Matt who did exactly the right thing for the team, he could see the opportunity for a nice little 20 no. and that's exactly what he did. When Kev finally left for a carefully compiled 38 (not a way you normally described a Kev innings, but increasingly he's showing that ability), Bert and Matt took the game to the conclusion we badly needed as we finished on 119/2.
So a job well done, and East Blue next week where we get to unleash the caged tiger who, if the game is at Burwood, will relish reliving past glories of a season ago with his fellow opener and greatest competitor.
Man of the Match: Kevin Moore
Check out the scorecard from the game.