As Canterbury sweltered under the heat of a 30 plus degree day, perversely it was too much water that threatened to disrupt the Premier men’s hunt for its fourth successive one-day win.
St Albans won the toss on Hagley 3, and with the day forecast to be reaching into the 30’s, and a wicket and outfield that looked a picture, they seemingly had no hesitation in deciding to bat. The innings started well for Saints with the opening pair putting on 49 for the first wicket, but in the 11th over, bowling one of his best spells of the season (2/30 off 10), Tom Agnew took out both openers including their prolific run scorer Greg Dawson.
Tom Agnew got the early break through for Sydenham
Saints were then quickly 87/4 and starting to look at risk of not being able to score the mandatory 230-250 total that was clearly needed in the conditions. However, their middle order fought back strongly with a series of 30’s and 40’s that got them through to 200/5 with six overs to go, and the prospects of a challenging 250 plus total to chase. But as they often do, the return of the Gardner brothers put paid to that prospect with Mitch picking up two (finishing 3/39), and Braden one (finishing 2/54) to see Saints struggle through the final overs to 232/9 at the close.
The Sydenham reply came from two men in Dylan Goldstone and Ryan Wallace. The start for once wasn’t the greatest with the in-form Matt McCall and Tom Hewison both gone early to have Sydenham teetering at 17/2. Dylan and Ryan then got together and between them they put on 109 for the 3rd wicket in a classical partnership with Dylan, once settled, playing the aggressor with his 79 coming from 64 balls, and the experienced Ryan working the strike to him as much as possible whilst he got too himself set to carry on the good work deeper into the innings. When Dylan’s excellent knock finally came to an end in the 22nd over we lost another two quick wickets before the match came to a sudden stop.
A break for Goldstone & Wallace as they discuss tactics with Chris Harris, and Braden offers some tips, during their match winning 109 3rd wicket partnership
Finn Loader takes one on the body for the team
The other two adjoining Hagley wickets had been not scheduled for matches this week so that some outfield repairs could be made, and sprinklers had been popping up all day over both wicket blocks and outfields as part of that process. However, at 4.30pm with the match evenly poised, suddenly they did the same thing right in the middle of Hagley 3 forcing players to sit beside each pop up and directing the water away from the pitch area itself whilst the umpires desperately searched out the groundsman. The 15-20 minute dowsing was enough to hold up play for a while, but with the breeze and heat doing to job the match resumed within 40 minutes with little impact upon play other than perhaps giving the Saints bowlers a chance to freshen up.
Frustration as sprinklers interupts the Sydenham reply
Indeed they did came back hard but by then Ryan Wallace was well set and in total charge and intelligently pacing the required run rate which had been made all the more comfortable by Dylan’s earlier strike rate. Supported by Finn Loader, Jamie Hunt and then the skipper, Ryan took Sydenham through to the St Alban’s total seven down with three overs to spare, and finishing himself with a polished 91* off 103 balls, further evidence if needed of the growing talent of this young man.
Despite the result Sydenham had required other matches and bonus points to go their way to made the one-day semis which didn’t pan out on the day, and the same as last season, the initial three losses followed by four wins probably leaves us again frustratingly short in 5th place.
The Premier Woman lost both of their two Kirsty Bond T20 matches played whilst the first class season is underway. Sydenham could only tally 61/6 (Linda Pettigrew 18 & Jenna Waghorn 16) against Saints on Ilam, and then only managed one wicket as Saints cruised to that total at 62/1. In the other match Sydenham got through to 94/4 thanks to an excellent effort from Jodie Dean (50), but again OBC were untroubled reaching that total just three down in the 11th over.
The 2As had a tough day in the heat at Garrick Park where Lancaster Park batted first and compiled an intimidating 331/9, with Hayden Day the best of the bowlers with 4/47 in his first match after returning from Varsity – the other highlight was brother Matt’s spectacular leaping one-handed catch at point which must be the Club catch of the season to date. The Sydenham reply saw five batsmen get starts and into at least 20’s, with Stu Naden (46) and Taylor Irie (43) the best of them, but they were unable to manage the required run rate later in the innings and struggled through to 191 all out without really seriously threatening the big total.
2A’s Matt Day is mobbed by team mates after his catch
It was a somewhat better performance from the 2C’s against BWU at Burnside where they scored 193 in reply to BWU’s 260/8. After a promising start from Gaurav Dudeja (22) and Marty Crook (30) Zach Abbott’s 63 gave the Sydenham reply some momentum, but eventually the chase petered out to lose by 67 runs. Earlier Daniel Unwin (3/47) and Michael Nicolson (2/51) had been the best of the 2C’s bowlers.
The afternoon mens teams also seemingly struggled with the heat without a win between them. In a very low scoring match at Centennial Park, only one run separated the 3D All Stars in their match against OBC. Batting first Sydenham only managed a paltry 58 with Kiran Gullapalli (13) the only player to reach double figures. However, Gourav Saini (4/23) and Abe Atherton (3/12) then bowled well and very nearly pulled off a win as OBC stuttered to the victory nine down.
The 3B Goats had Jacob Harrington (68) to thank for their 153 all out batting first against Southern Districts on Waltham Park, but the opposition got to that target comfortably five down inside 22 overs.
The 3D Cardinals apparently lost their match with many player away – details unknown
The Sydenham Tamil XI showed some improvement in their second T20 match together when they scored 74/8 against Number 4 Experience at Sommerfield Park – Emmanuel (20) being the only batsman to make double figures. However the opposition got the runs relatively untroubled only two wickets down with two overs to go.
Presidents Hospital also lost. Struggling bowling and fielding in the heat, Sumner put on 284 in their 40 overs. Hospital batted well, but fell short scoring 235 in reply, with Abhaya Paudel top scoring with 48.
The Division 1 T20 woman had a big victory against OBC on the Polo Grounds with Sydenham scoring 150-2 mostly thanks to Rachel Pullan’s 48 and Linda Pettigrew’s 35, and then leaving OBC 42/5 at the close. The Division 2 match against North West Red at Ilam played out similarly after Sydenham scored 137/4, with Sydnee Edwards and Kate Cameron the main contributors with 47 and 18 respectively, and then holding NWR to 45/7 thanks to Rosie Pentecost’s 4/9.