One Day Competition - President Cardinals vs BWU, Burnside #2, Presidents, 26th November 2011
This game was won for us in the field by two guys who had missed out with the bat and were keen on redemption - Kev Moore and Ken Julian - in fact in Kev's case, desperate for it. We don't seem to play that often on Burnside Park, which is a shame since it is one of the better facilities in Christchurch. But I'll claim that inexperience of the Burnside wicket as the reason for my error in batting first, although Kev Moore's scheduled late arrival was also a big contributor to that decision. The pitch was damp and slow making batting never comfortable, and although it didn't change markedly over the afternoon, I don't doubt that we had slightly the worst of it.
Neither side batted well in this game. Spencey and Thinny got us off to a reasonable start, but at 32 when Spency missed a straight drive, we quickly lost five wickets for a measly 35 runs to be 5 for 67 and in real danger. Enter, Brenden "Ralphie" Winder in his first bat for Sydenham since joining us this year. Ralphie set about restoring some credibility to the score with a very solid and well compiled 38*, and in conjunction with Flem's 18* towards the end, got us through to a competitive, but probably still 30/40 short, score of 147.
Burnside are a good team on the rise and they set about getting that total in a controlled manner with Chris Kennedy bottling up one end, and after a couple of early wickets, Kneebone aggressively taking it to us at the other. In fact right from his first over Kneebone looked more than capable of taking the game away from us very early in the piece, necessitating a change to our standard bowling patterns. Mr reliable, Ken Julian came on and did exactly what was required of him, bottle up Kneebone and frustrate him - 8 overs 1 for 18 shows what a great job Ken did for us in achieving this win. But despite Ken's efforts BWU still looked likely and we desperately needed wickets and to bring some energy into the game to make things change.
Needless to say that requirement has Kev Moore written all over it, especially when he hasn't scored runs. Kev came on hyped up, blasted two out in his first over, chipped every batsman that came before him, and changed the game on a dime - in fact when the opposition captain Dave Robertson was at the crease, asked who had taken Kev off his Retalin program, we fully understood why he was asking. Kev finished with 4-23 from his 8 and crushed any chance BWU had of winning the game. He was well supported by Jase with 3-12 including the all important last wicket as BWU were still only 10 short at the end, and Tim with two, and Ralphie, who backed up his batting with another solid spell at the crease.
So a game where we showed that there is some real character in this side, and that we have individuals who will stick their hand up when the going gets tough - Ralphie, Kev and Ken in particular in this game - and in closing, it was so nice to see Kev get so pumped up and enjoy himself because it clearly has been a tough past 12 months for him personally, but life is getting better.
So we remain top of the table but with tough games, and unavailability's coming up, so I urge players to try to work things around cricket as much as they're able - that's another way of putting your hand up for the team.
Check out the scorecard from the game.