President Cardinals Match Report (2nd November 2013)

One Day Competition - President Cardinals vs Buccaneers, Garrick Park, Presidents, 2nd November 2013

This match was always going to have an extra amount of interest. It was our first real challenge of the year against effectively two sides that have been in the top 3-4 performers for the past two years, plus it was our first chance to assess what the merger of those two teams really means to the competition. A beer afterwards to gain a better understanding of the situation suggests that OBC and LP made the right decision...better to retain one very competitive side rather than lose both to the considerable disadvantage of the President's grade as a competition.

With the game disappointing restricted to a T20 match to suit the CCA's desire to try to gain a bigger crowd at the night's Wizard's game, there as some added interest in that we didn't know the game well, do you bat first or second, and what's a good score in T20 in lower grades etc?  As it turned out I suspect that 121 is probably a fairly competitive score in that regard in most conditions. As is usual with Ralphy, we lost the toss and the Buccaneers elected to bat, but probably something Ralphy would have offered them anyway given the chance, so no big deal. The wicket was a little damp from the overnight rain, but by all accounts, a pretty good one and with an outfield that gave good reward for most strokes. The major downside of the playing conditions was the dog next door that devoured at least three balls and at one stage was close to us having to rummage through the Buccaneers bag for balls to carry on the game. The Buccaneers innings never truly threatened to get out of hand, yet did enough to kept them competitive and leave us some work to do at its end. Apart from Tim McConnell with a good 40 odd, they never really got on top of us other than the occasional over (Matt's first going for 16 for instance). They kept it ticking over to finish with only 121 thanks to another solid bowling effort by our guys. The pick of them were probably Flem, Sam and Ralphy, with Yogi's two overs for 6 apparently too expense to continue in T20.

Our response remained on track throughout most of the innings thanks to a 6-7 run rate early on through Laughts initial effort (19) but when Yogi fell for 3 that set the stage for Geoff Miller's innings of the season to date. Geoff's knee operation late last year had him finely tuned for the new season....a couple of early season,  useful but modest, innings promised a big one was coming. After quietly working his way through to a nice little 14 runs we could all see that this was it, his chance to take the side through the whole way and score the winning runs in this important match. All that came to a sudden end when a tickle to backward square promised another couple, but as he turned at the bowlers end for the second, he was hacked down by his batting partner mid-pitch and was well run out, hardly back onto his feet when the bails were taken off. Fortunately Matt (42*) was doing everything else right, and with his ability to find the boundary when really needed, whilst he remained at the crease there was little risk of us not making the target. It got close, needing 15 off the last two overs, and then 7 off the last, but with the firepower at hand, being only 4 wickets down, there was never a big doubt about it and we eventually won with 2 or 3 balls to spare. So a good performance in the end but undoubtedly assisted by the six catches that the Buccaneers missed in the field which could have turned the game their way. Sadly the T20 format never gave the season's debut players in Tim and Jeremy Brown a chance to do much other than catch up with the players after some time away

Man of the Match was Geoff Miller for reasons less to do with his performance and more to do with the fact that last week's MOTM Matt had some making up to do.

Editor (as commented by Laughts): Not forgetting the great contribution from Kev Moore, he's as mad as a hatter to bat with (all due respect Kev) but his 40 odd at the top of the innings was invaluable. Also Ralphy's crucial captaincy decision to send Sammy in at the end, telling Tim who was next man in that we needed someone who could run instead.

Check out the scorecard from the game.