One Day Competition - President Cardinals vs OBC/ES Gold, Burwood Park #3, Presidents, 28th October 2017
On a sunny day but with a cool easterly wind, Phil won the toss from Arthur and elected to bat - with Flem claiming some credit for what turned out to be a very good decision!
As for this early in the season it was overall a very good pitch, despite the occasional delivery keeping a bit low, and the outfield was reasonably quick as well. So we got off to a solid start, with the early fireworks coming from the 3rd grade one day game next door - where an East Shirley bowler was naturally exultant after clean bowling one of the opposing Riccarton batsmen with the first ball of the match, only to see the no 3 hit 4 big booming boundary shots off the rest of the over!
Back to our game and after Mario was dropped from a hard chance at gully off a cut shot, the pace began to pick up and he and Dave Hardy (following on from his impressive debut last week), soon had the scoreboard ticking over at a good rate of 5 an over. Dave eventually played on to one that stayed down so 1-68, his attractive 35 (1x6, 4x4) included some fine cut shots and a lovely straight drive for 6 of "Badger's" tempting left arm slows. Mario was by now well into his work, hitting 3x4 off an over including a delightful late cut for 4, and the pace only picked up when Matt Loose strode to the wicket. Fresh from his 50 last week he was into his work very quickly, with some trademark powerfully and very cleanly hit lofted drives, and some crunching back foot shots and pulls to anything shorter.
At drinks he'd raced to 42 off just 21 balls and with Mario on 49 (7x4), we were in a great position at 133/1 and a score of seemingly 270+ or even 300 beckoning. But Mario was out straight away after drinks, mistiming a pull straight to short mid wicket, which brought captain Phil to the wicket. Things slowed down a bit as the combined team tightened things up, but he and Matt still put on a classy 65. Then Matt was bowled missing a forcing shot at 198/3, for a very high quality 70 off 47 balls (3x6, 8x4). Enter Ski who didn't time the ball the best initially, but after looking like he was coming right with a nice straight 6 he got beaten by a very good Yorker a couple of balls later and out for 16, 236/4. And next over Phil was out too, for an extremely well made 58 (9x4), 236/5. Ammar and Brownie then tried to hit out but the bowling was good at the death with no boundaries conceded in the last 3 overs. And when Ammar gallantly perished charging past one on the last ball of the innings, the final score was 252/6 - still a very good score, but somewhat short of what we were hoping for/expecting at the half way stage.
Marc Wells was far and away the best of the combined team's bowlers, with impressive figures of 8 1 26 1, and while all the rest of the bowlers were going for 6, 7 or 8 an over Craig Gibb bowled a good spell at the end and was rewarded with 2-32 off 5 overs. So our scoreboard was Hardy 35, Williams 49, Loose 70, P.Walker 58, Borcoski 16, Yousef 5, Brown 8* - a great effort by the top order! :-)
Brownie opened the bowling with a terrific over, having Gibby slice the first ball of the innings to gully where Flem couldn't hold on to a very difficult low chance diving to his left. Then 3 balls later Brownie had a great LBW shout on Hoops, but Badger gave it not out - because he said he though Hoops had hit it, but after the match Hoops advised he hadn't, so more bad luck for Brownie! Ski opened at the other end and he and Brownie both bowled extremely accurately and well, both keeping the pressure on and only going for 4 an over. In fact they both bowled so well that captain Phil kept them both going for their full 8 overs straight through. In his last over Brownie had a straightforward catch dropped at backward point, but finally got a hugely well deserved wicket with his 2nd last ball by bowling Hoops, 53/1 off 15 overs.
Dave H with his mediums and Flem then maintained the pressure, and with the last ball before drinks Flem yorked their no 3 with a beautifully flighted ball, 74/2. So at this stage the run rate was already up to a formidable 9 an over. And things looked even better for us when once again a wicket fell straight after drinks, with Dave bowling Gibby with a beautiful delivery that swung a long way - the always dangerous Gibby had made 48, with some classic cover drives being his best shots. Dave then had the frustration of having 2 very regulation chances dropped off him, but Flem finally broke our catching drought by managing to hang onto a fierce straight drive, no hands! As the ball somehow stuck between his (considerable?) bicep and his shoulder. Wellsy was in and looking good, but after making 22 including one big 6 into the trees he teed off at Dave and smashed a skimming drive straight to Phil at deep mid-off, in front of the roadside boundary - who bravely held on to this knee high bullet, although his hands were already starting to bruise up afterwards. So 111/5 at this stage, but enter the ever dangerous Arthur, who has certainly stung us a few times over the years from some similar positions!
At the other end Woodhouse had hit out from his first ball, and after being dropped a couple of times he played the shot of the match, a massive hit off Flem that cleared the pavilion! The run rate had climbed up to a hugely challenging 12 an over, but when they hit 19 off an over from Phil anything looked possible - as they were hitting freely and running well, and putting real pressure on our bowlers. Eventually after they'd put on 82 in no time at all (in the highest partnership of the match) Phil finally broke the partnership by stopping a straight drive from Woodhouse, then turning round and flicking the ball onto the stumps to run out Arthur. It was a good piece of work and a vital wicket, Arthur had made a rapid 32 and it was 193/6 with just under 5 overs to go.
JK's first over had gone for quite a few, but he bowled a very good 2nd over to keep the pressure on, forcing Woodhouse to hit out at everything in Phil's next over. He connected with one and skied it straight to Ski at long on, but with his confidence no doubt somewhat low by now after already dropping 2 catches Ski shelled this one too - his catching on this occasion certainly didn't match the quality of his bowling. And afterwards he was heard to say he couldn't remember ever dropping 2 catches in a row, let alone 3! While this was the 8th catch we'd dropped, plus a couple that landed by fielders who'd lost them in the sun. Woodhouse thus reached a very well hit if occasionally lucky 50, but a couple of balls later Phil had a well deserved wicket when Woodhouse mishit one to cover and Paul Bennett coolly waited under it and held it safely.
This wicket basically snuffed out the combined team's brave rally and this was confirmed in the next over - when Bert (who had achieved nothing up to now, apart from declining Phil's kind offers to bowl all the while offering gratuitous advice re field placings), was somehow stirred into life. As he managed a fluky run out by hitting the stumps side-on with an underarm throw from about 10 yards, Tim Grocott being the very unlucky batsman. And Wellsy the umpire confirming his reputation as a great sportsman by becoming probably the first umpire in the history of the grade, to give a run out and then generously high five the opposition fielder who'd achieved it! :-) JK got a well deserved clean bowled with a good delivery next ball and after Phil had done his Shane Warne impersonation with actually not bad leggies at all in the last over, the combined team finished at 212/9 - unlike us they had almost doubled their score in the last 20 overs and indeed they had come back very well in the latter half of both innings.
Bowling figures were Brown 8 1 32 1, Ski 8 2 30 0, Hardy 6 1 27 2, Flem 8 0 35 2, Walker (P) 6 0 49 1, JK 4 0 28 1. While the best of our fielders were definitely Brownie, captain Phil, and JK - who 3-4 times did very well to get across and get a foot down to balls heading for the short roadside boundary, thus saving vital runs. Mario missed a difficult stumping off Flem but otherwise did well behind the stumps, obviously though our catching was the sub part of our whole performance.
So overall a very enjoyable game, with 464 runs scored on a good pitch, and played in an excellent spirit. Afterwards both teams shared a convivial beer in the dressing shed - where one of Ski's team mates was heard to say something to the effect he was glad Ski was managing to keep his beer bottle in his hands with the concrete floor looming, as he hadn't looked like holding onto anything in the field! Captain Phil announced Matt as our well deserved man of the match for his fantastic innings of 70, although Captain Phil himself had certainly led from the front with a top all round performance - 58, good bowling under pressure (after the over that had gone for 19, his other 5 only cost 30) including getting their last hope out, plus a very brave catch and a crucial run out. While in addition he has almost perfected the most valuable art of looking really interested in Bert's field placing suggestions, considering them deeply but then somehow just not quite acting on them! :-) AND......he also brought along the team beers, what a man - very proud of you son, keep it up!! :-)
And last but definitely not least, many thanks to Gail our most excellent scorer - she does a fantastic job for us (even somehow providing all the relevant stats during Matt's early batting blitz) and does it all with a smile, she is a great and most highly valued asset for our lucky team.
Man of the Match: Matt Loose
Check out the scorecard from the game.