One Day Competition - President Cardinals vs Sydenham Hospital, Sydenham Park #1, Presidents, 29th November 2014
This was a big day for Sydenham Park, the first official "Presidents Day" with all 10 President's teams playing at the ground, or on others nearby. Indeed it was such an auspicious day for the side that the game itself was very secondary to us making a success of the day and creating a standard which we know that the other clubs will now live up to in future events. Fortunately the game ran with recent form and we achieved success in both. The day commenced with a joint minute's silence by all players on the park in recognition of Phil Hughes tragic death.
With the two Sydenham sides playing each other, we got the honour of playing on Sydenham No.1 on a wicket that despite the previous day's rain looked to be full of runs, especially as it dried out on what turned out to be a bright and sunny day. Needless to say Ralphy won the toss, and rather than even out the contest as he's been know to do, asked Hospital to bat. Hospital's innings never really got going. The opener Petitt played very well initially for his 36 before Jules had him well caught by Ralphy with the score at 44. The run rate had crept up to around three by that point, but Pettit seemed the only early batsman capable of accelerating the run rate and when he left we quickly got on top. From there a mid-innings spell where we clamped down the run rate to less than 2 an over for about 10-12 overs eventually saw the loss of two further quick wickets at 58 and 67, and from there we were clearly on top of the rest of the innings from that point. That dominance was further emphasised when new skipper Billy Nicholson was caught plumb LBW by an unplayable delivery that he later admittedly was only going to have one outcome, that is, despite the lack of support from the bowler's team mates. Henderson and Jonny Smart tried to give some creditably to the innings but the bowling kept the run rate well in check and when Henderson was taken out with a neat running catch by Jules at deepish mid-wicket, and then Smart run out for 21, the only burning question left was which side of 132-135 spread would Hospital finish with - as it turned out 128/6, well done Wildy. Ralphy was the pick of the bowlers again, bowling as quick as he has this year and giving little away. Everyone bowled economically and it was simply a day where the bowlers got on top early and Hospital didn't have the hitting power on the day to turn the innings around.
Our reply had a degree of inevitably about it. The track was a good one, Laughts was in fine form, and Wildy knew that he had a few runs to make up on him this season. So the inevitable 106 opening partnership did occur with both players still in their Elmwood form of the previous week. Wildy was out for a rapid 40 with half of that coming in boundaries, and Laughts, not one to waste a good not out opportunity, completed the job with a 67* that took his average to to 105.8 for the season - yes Wildy, I did average it up from 105.75. So the comfortable win that we required inside of 20 overs that sets us up for a much bigger test against BWU next week.
The rest of the day involved us hosting the other Presidents sides that all returned to the Bowling Club for a good night that lasted until well after 8pm with speeches and food put on by the team. And a particularly good effort by the always social East Gold team who's game had finished at 4pm but were some of the last to leave. A huge thanks for the day must go to our President Graham Harris in his assistance with the off-field event, but most especially to Matty Loose, who organised the entire event, got the food bought and presented, run the raffles and MC'd part of the night - all in all an after match with 100 plus players there for several hours, something reminiscent of the old days for those of us of older years, and a great standard set for further such Presidents events planned this year.
Man of the Match: Kevin Congdon (yes every second week Laughts does have to find some mug to give it to temporarily)
Check out the scorecard from the game.