One Day Competition - President Cardinals vs Sumner, St Leonards #1, Presidents, 14th January 2012
Well what else could you ask for; a beautiful little ground, flat track, lightening outfield, 27degree temperatures ? .... well a win would have been nice.
St Leonards isn't a ground that many of us have had any experience of but it was immediately obvious that this game would not fit the normal pattern of a standard Pressies 40 over match...closer to 300 than 200 would be a likely target on this ground. And ideally winning the toss and applying the immediate pressure to the opposition would be the desired strategy, unfortunately it was Sumner who got to take that option.
As luck would have it we got off to a great start with a wicket in the first over when the two openers attempted to take a sharp, and unsuccessful single, to Jules. That small pleasure had to last us the next 26 overs as Booth and McConnell then put on 113 for the 2nd wicket at 4 an over which set up their innings. McConnell was dropped early at point but went on to score 100* off 136 balls, and when York and Hooper finished off the innings they had the run rate up to 6 and a score of 237. The pick of the bowlers was undoubtedly Stu Simpson going at only 2.5 an over on a ground where 5-6 was not a disgrace. Ralphie and Jules rounded off the best of the other performances, but someone was always going to suffer in those conditions, and this week it was Flem, Kev and to a lesser extend Thommo.
Still, 237 was at the lower end of what was a reasonable score on that deck, and a reasonably calculated run chase should have seen us home. Unfortunately, there lay our problem, we weren't calculated. We raced to 6 an over from the outset, lost three times as many wickets as Summer in the first 25 overs, such that the run rate slipped back to 4 as new batsman kept coming to the crease - Summer's McConnell had ensured that did not happen to them. That said there were some good performances; Kev's 42 off 27 balls was impressive, but not without risk, whereas an 80 or 100 at a run a ball (a doddle for Kev in those conditions) would been enough to win the game. Tim certainly set about it right, with a non-risk boundary on offer at least ever second over, it was just a case of accumulating the 1's and 2's and maintaining a run rate over 4-5 through those first 25 overs. Unfortunately when he was out for 37 the task got tougher when Spency hit one down long-on's throat, so unlike him after just 4 balls, and then Mark initially took some time to get going.
Summer sensed a chance, and with Yock and McConnell bowling well, we soon lost Mark for a useful 30, quickly followed by Ivan and Stu. But Thinny was still there, carrying on his good form this season, and with Ralphie and Flem providing good support, clawed the innings back to needing just 9 off the last over with 3 wickets in hand, and then 4 off the last two balls, 3 off the last one. In the end we got two to tie it, and only through the good fortune of a wicket keeper who accidently kicked the bails off has he attempted the run out on the second run, with Flem still half way down the wicket.
The skipper was devastated but Thinny's 59 off 54 had kept us in the match and was deserving of a better result. What wasn't, was the lack of pressure we applied with our running between the wickets. Hardly was there an occasion in the match when two Sydenham batsman pressured the boundary rider with smart running, and numerous times misfields on the boundary weren't taking advantage of because of lazy assumptions that it was only one - one of them would have been enough to win it !
So as always, its an easy game to play from the boundary with a score book, but hopefully a few lessons have been learnt for the remaining games this season.
Check out the scorecard from the game.