One Day Competition - 3C Cardinals vs Merivale Papanui, Sydenham Park #2, 3C, 19th December 2015
After a few weeks relying on a wide array of ring-ins it was a full Cardinals squad that assembled for the annual Cardinals Christmas Extravaganza.
With a slightly dodgy weather forecast the customary Hawaiian beach theme was initially looking a little optimistic - but what better way to set off your ill fitting Hawaiian shirt than with an ill-fitting cricket jumper on top. With a few lads disappointed not to make the playing squad this week all the lads felt the need to perform well; and boy did the Cardinals deliver!
Santa opened the bowling; and quickly discovered that a full (fully breathable?) polyester santa suit is perhaps more conducive to keeping warm with Mrs Claus during those long North Pole night, than trying to keep cool bowling medium pace. He then proceeded to play strip santa by removing at least one item of clothing at the end of each over for at least the first five. Jamie Livingstone opened at the other end, despite a particularly festive hangover, and quickly settled into a good line and length. The going was slow from both the openers and, after the first wicket, a good partnership began to develop. A clear turning point eventually arrived with two quick, and pretty appalling, runouts which reinvigorated the lads. From this moment on, the bowling was good, and the fielding was simply spectacular. Nick Smithson collected a great caught and bowled, then James Stokes gained a few admirers from the girls on Syds 3 with an absolute screamer of a running one-hander. Their middle order was dodgy, and their lower order was even more so. In the last over we finished them up for 157.
As the lads on the sideline got their hydration levels up a bit, the support got better, and the old-school playlist from the official Cardinals DJ, Morgann Lb, the Xmas party was warming up! Livo and Tom Adams opened up the batting and from the outset the runrate was healthy. Harry was feeling like St Knick (wow, I can't believe I just wrote that joke) and gave three easy chances in the first two overs before putting his cut shot away for the day and, inspired by the DJ, replaced it with a much more reliable French cut. Smitty came in at three and after a slow start, settled into his work in a reasonable partnership before Harry's luck ran out on 29. Santa came in next, but left early to concentrate on more important Xmas tasks (refer photos on rest of page) which bought in Craig Thornhill; who was stocked to score his first runs of the season. Stokes came, smashed it, and left bringing Mank in. Through all of this Smitty had been smashing it to all corners of the ground, and it was fitting that he hit the winning runs to finish 80*.
Overall a great 5 wicket win, that was celebrated deep into the night. Only one Christmas tree was destroyed, 72 strawpedos consumed, and one mystery white-guy rap star was discovered. Naughty Santa....
Man of the Match: Nick Smithson
Check out the scorecard from the game.