One Day Competition - 3C Cardinals vs New Brighton, Centennial Park #3, 3C, 9th January 2016
If anybody wants to try and argue that you can't have exciting cricket unless some idiot is smacking boundaries all over the show and both teams are scoring massive totals needed to be down at the park this afternoon, to watch one of the better games in recent Cardinals history.
Returning from a mildly wet Xmas break, I don't think anybody was expecting a hard and fast wicket, but I'm not sure either side was that happy to see a track that, when you walked up and down it, had more give than the trampoline I didn't buy my kids this Xmas. Stand-in skipper Larts won the toss and, (sure, why not) we batted first. After a slightly dodgy Do' Bro' swap, the two Ben's opened the batting. From the first ball it was obvious that the going was going to be tough for both teams, as the slow wicket, and some really tight bowling severely restricted the flow of runs. The openers lasted until the 8th over, but frustration eventually got the better of Pin, who was the first to be dismissed for 6. Pete O'Shea proved that he is better at keeping a secret, than playing a straight one first up (Congrats mate), meaning Smitty was in to face the hatrick. With his mind potentially elsewhere (any day now....) but his good recent batting for continued to top score with 19. The rest of the innings was a real struggle, best summed up by the bowling figures of their first change bowler...8-5-6-5 with only 3 scoring shots conceded. The Cardinals' 91 felt a little light, but we took the field confident that the pitch, and our usual array of dibly dobblers might just be effective.
After a bit of discussion, it was decided that our best chance of victory would be to take all pace off the ball, and hope the two paced pitch would help us out. The (old) new ball was tossed to Smitty, and as his usual slow/medium was considered too fast for today he was asked to open with Off-Spin. Out strides their best batsman, Smitty bowls the first ball, and to be honest I think the batsman is still waiting for it to arrive. As it took the edge, and settled happily into Larter's glove, we immediately knew we were in this game. 0/1. Part two of the master plan was Burgler Stokes to open at the other end. He runs in to bowl his first ball and, just pause here to simulate the speed of this delivery.....wait.....it's still coming...... and it clatters into off stump! 3/2! Attacking captaincy, good ground fielding and catching, and generally tight bowling saw wickets fall fairly regularly as New Brighton put the any odd poor ball, but genuinely struggled with the rest. Stokes and Krefty were particularly effective with figures of 8-1-20-4 and 7-3-14-1 respectively.
Eventually, with about 15 required we finally got into their notoriously long tail. Those last 5 guys are all mind-numbingly poor batman, and we chipped away at them, taking wickets at regular intervals. Obviously, at this stage, excitement levels were rising as Krefty and Benny were both bowling tight lines. Stokesy took an absolute screamer at gully to mean that their last bat walked out with them requiring 5 to win. A streaky edge flew through the vacant 2nd slips and down to the fence to both ruin Krefts figures, and probably take the game away from us. Two required, Benny bowling, single taken, scores are level. Their #11 at the crease, field in, every man hoping a catch doesn't come their way. Benny runs in, communal intake of breath..... wide. A wide. We lose by one wicket. As anti-climatic as the year I bought my wife an iPhone for Xmas, and she got me a Mr Grumpy mug. (It must be noted that Benny bowled great, 5-1-10-3)
So, overall, an awesome game played by both teams at a good standard. We were just 10 runs short, a few of their edges flew into gaps, and some days, it is just not mean to be.
Man of the Match: TBD
Check out the scorecard from the game.