One Day Competition - President Cardinals vs Merivale Papanui, Centennial Park #2, Presidents, 5th March 2016
In a week that marked the passing of Martin Crowe it was a shame that we were allocated a wicket that had been drenched recently and wouldn’t allow for a match worthy of the occasion. But, we can’t use this as an excuse.
We’d made the top four for the first time and had a chance to make a big impression by knocking over the competition leaders Merivale Papanui. Upon arriving at the ground (Centennial Park) and inspecting the wicket it was apparent that determining the how the wicket would play would have a big bearing on the game. And it did. Laughts remarked that the wicket had less bounce than the estuary and for a team stacked with handy medium pacers - that didn’t help. MP called incorrectly and we choose to bat – assuming the dismal wicket would deteriorate as the sun bore down in it.
A moments silence was held before the game started.
We made a solid start with Laughts and Wildy taking a more conservative approach than normal. They put on an opening stand of 70 odd with some clever cricket, some luck and an MP team still recovering from pre-loading before the match. Once the RTD’s and McDonalds lunch wore off – the MP talent began to shine through and we lost wickets at regular intervals to finish up 127 all out. Laughts top scoring, Wildy second and Phil Walker showing some fancy footwork towards the end of the innings. We had enough we thought, if things went our way early and often.
On taking the field to defend the small but challenging total, it was noticeable how many volunteers we had for third man. Not usually a glamourous fielding position that attracts our best athletes, it may have had something to do with the high school girls volleyball tournament and the weather that had drawn them outside to sunbathe on the boundary. Maybe… who knows?
We got an early wicket and just missed another chance to give us some early hope. MP, sensing the banana-skin potential, stacked their batting order to take advantage of the wicket settling and our lack of slow bowling to back up Flem.
Flem bowled another quality spell to slow the scoring rate and knick a few wickets but ultimately we didn’t have enough runs to defend and didn’t have the right bowling resources to put sustained pressure on. We took some god catches, Wildy and JK in particular. Wazza was all energy in the field as was Browine. Laughts did an admirable job behind the stumps after his innings and everyone else made contributions, on and off the scorebook.
However, MP were too good and deserved to win. They got home about 6 down and with a few overs to spare. Hastings hitting 50no and a few others chipping in with a mix of agricultural heaves and cultured cricket shots.
The game was played in good spirit and a beer enjoyed by all afterwards – as it should be.
So, the passing of M.D Crowe was marked by 2 teams playing cricket on wicket only he would have mastered.
Man of the Match: Brendon Laughton
Check out the scorecard from the game.