One Day Competition - President Cardinals vs MP, Sydenham Park #3, Presidents, 16th February 2013
The great strength of the Sydenham Pressies is the astute after match analysis we perform, where the experience really shows. In this particular match that came in the dying stages when Flem stated that "we really lost it after drinks" - and Jase added his usual insightful observation, based upon his years and years of experience in that regard, when he admitted that "it wasn't the first time that's happened to me" - serious analysis that money just can't buy.
Merivale were sitting in second leading into this game, and were so keen to get ahead of lead leaders BWU that offers of bribes to throw the match were made to this observer after the first few overs of Merivale Pap's innings. Such offers were obviously refused, but there was little doubt about why they were offered, our boys were all over them like a hot rash in those first few overs. Between them, Jase and Jules, together with a sharp run-out from Danny, combined to have them teetering at 13/3 into the 5th over. But it was mostly down hill from there, with Stocker and Dyer then putting on 104 for the 4th wicket that had they back on even keel by the 25th over. All the bowlers went for high 4's to 5's with Kenny's 40 off 8 completely out of character on a wicket that he's had much success on this season. The Merivale batsman just kept being aggressive and timed their innings to perfection to finish with 195/9, a target that's always a challenge on Syd 3. Other than one straight forward chance at slip, the fielding was generally competent, but outstanding whenever anything went remotely close to Danny Thomson (Ivan's ring-in son). I say remotely close because because Danny closed down on the ball so quickly, executed two brilliant run out's and took two catches, both a bonus in the pressies grade.
Our batting response got off to a bad start with Kev out caught at mid-off from the first ball of the innings, and frankly from there never got sufficient momentum to make us look favorites at any stage. Spency battled through with three boundaries and turning the strike over for 17, but we never managed to get a "match positioning" partnership going. Although Matt and Spency's 47 run partnership which took us to 52/2 appeared threatened to do that, it proved to be our biggest of the day and contrasted unfavourably with MP's 104, which was undoubtedly the story of the day. Matt (34) and Ken (24) tried to get a hold on the match, but wickets kept falling, and by the time Yogi came in at soon to be 100/6 we were well on the back foot. Yogi (35) and the Skipper (15*) tried to get the run rate up, but MP were bowling well, and as one of the better fielding teams in the competition, certainly weren't giving us an easy time in the field. So at the end of the 40 overs we were still 36 runs short with two wickets in hand. Damn, I should have quietly taken the bribe on behalf of the team when I had it on offer!
So was Flem right about after drinks, probably. We've twice this season lost a wicket on the first ball after drinks, and whilst that didn't happen in this game, we certainly did die slowly after drinks. Perhaps we implement a no drinking team policy, I'm sure it will be popular.
Check out the scorecard from the game.