One Day Competition - President Cardinals vs ES Gold, Sydenham #2, Presidents, 28th January 2012
Well, where do you start, perhaps with an apology to the bowlers? Everyone wants a chance to perform in a game, don't always get it, but in this case we batsman made sure no one was going to get in too many overs in this one.
There is no doubt that this was an important match in the content of the competition, but the unavailability of one or two key batsman, compounded by the last minute withdrawal of Ken Julian, further unbalanced the game, especially when Easts fronted with their full squad. But the pitch was damp and undulating (the groundsman had apparently expressed some concern during the week), and we had a strong bowling side. So, with the pitch drying, there was every chance that if we could win the toss, and put them in, a realistic 130-140 run chase was a realistic possibility if we could dislodge a couple of their key batsman.
Oh yes, the toss, something that has rarely fallen our way this season, and this game was no exception - bloody batting! To be fair, we got off to a reasonable start, and at 42/1 we were looking ok, but that was until Ralphie got out and then 42/2 quickly turned into 47/7 within less than half an hour - a batting collapse we haven't seen in a quite a while. The low bounce undid a number of us, with three LBWs highlighting the state of the wicket. Still, it was not a 52 run wicket, and that was effectively end of the game, as it always is. Opening, Thinny was the only batsman playing with time and form at the crease this season, but you always had the feeling that in this game he was carrying too great a burden for the batting performance with his 22 - simply, other than Spency briefly with some good blows, no one provided support for him and his dismissal as the 6th wicket was a final blow to the innings.
The bowlers looked good in our truncated response in the field. Thommo, not one to put in half an effort, worked hard, as did Raphie who got his first chance to open the bowling. However, Jules was probably the pick of the bowlers and was the one who eventually dismissed Craig Gibbs who had ensured that East made no substantive early error. Easts coasted to a eight wicket win, playing solid cricket, but without ever having to get out of first gear to win the match
So nice day, wrong result, but a good 3.30pm finish that permitted some pleasant drinks down at Becks with the Easts boys who are always a pleasure to play against despite the lopsided history of results between us - admittedly a very small consolation on the day. But there's one thing for certain, next week will be a better week.
Check out the scorecard from the game.