One Day Competition - President Cardinals vs ES Blue, Burwood Park #2, Presidents, 25th February 2017
On an initially warm and sunny Saturday Laughts won the toss and put Easts Blue in, on what turned out to be a very low and slow pitch. The first over of the match from Brownie was a bit of a rangefinder that went for 9, but after that he and JK both bowled well. And JK was desperately lucky in his 2nd over when the self confessed out of form Nick Cottam hit across a straight full toss and it was the most obvious LBW the World has ever seen, but somehow Vin the umpire managed to turn it down!!!!!
And next over Cottam nicked one from the luckless JK, but Bert (keeping) put down a very regulation catch. At the other end Raj was hitting some good shots while Cottam struggled, and the score was 38/0 off 8 overs when Kenny came on at the pavilion end. And more drama, in his first over Raj hit one back that he thought was wide of Kenny and called for a run. But Kenny dived across and fielded it brilliantly, got a throw in to Bert and Raj was seemingly comfortably run out (by 1-2 feet according to Ski and Phil, both square on), with even one of their guys walking round the boundary at the time said it was out, but the umpire's call (not Vin this time) was not out. So much unhappiness, muttering about setting standards and such forth. And to add insult to injury the last 2 balls of Kenny's over were French cut then snicked past 3rd man for 4s.
Ski had joined Ken in the attack and Easts were looking very comfortable at 63/0 off 13 overs, when Ski got a double breakthrough - firstly Raj on 43 played on to a good slower ball, which he jammed down on but the ball rolled back on to the stumps. And the next ball was a rank shooter which hit the new batsman on the foot and he was promptly given out LBW, although the ball may have been missing leg (a conscience job?). Kenny then chimed in with an arm ball that kept low and that the batsman mistakenly tried to pull, and Vin gave this (equally palpably as the first one) LBW this time, 71/3. Then Ski somehow produced a fierce lifter on this slow pitch that caught everyone by surprise, including the batsman who fended it off and Bert managed to hold onto the catch one handed behind the stumps, so 75/4.
Drinks were taken at 80/4, in the last 7 overs we'd taken 4 wickets for 13 to get right back into the game. Cottam had struggled through to 20 at the break, but soon afterwards Ski got him with another LBW for 23, with a good ball that cut back and kept low, 94/5. The new batsman Tim McClud somewhat dented Ski's fine figures by driving him for a good 6, then Ken got his fingers to a hard chance at mid wicket off Ski but couldn't hold on. Another chance came in the next over when McClud got a top edge trying to pull Ken, but Spency at backward square never looked comfortable under it (with the sun and wind both being factors) and in the end barely got a finger on it.
So the unlucky Ken finished his spell not al all flattered by his figures, and Mario came on. Third ball a batsman teed off straight at him and Kenny took a beautifully judged catch, off a skier right on the edge of the boundary under the trees, 111/6. Ski had finished his fine spell at the other end and Jules when he came on the edge of the likewise got a wicket 3rd ball - another LBW, the 4th of the innings and another very plumb one as the batsman hit across yes another one which kept low. So 115/7, then came the turning point of the innings. As in Mario's 2nd over McClud went to cut, got an edge but Bert standing up dropped the catch - and next ball McClud mistimed a drive and lobbed the ball back to Mario, but he somehow mistimed it (thought the ball was coming faster than it was) and missed it. And a left hander Ajith who had just come in, then hit the last 2 balls of the over for 4 then 6. While McClud was still riding his luck, next over he hit a powerful drive back to Jules, who got both hands to the c&b but couldn't quite hang on while the rebound fell just out of reach.
So if either of the first 2 chances had been taken they would have been 120/8, instead McClud and Ajith then settled in to both bat very well and take the game away from us. In the end they put on 84, and when Brownie came back for 37th over of the innings it went for 18, with Ajith hitting clean 6s over long off then straight. But Brownie to his credit stuck to his guns in his last over and finally broke the partnership with a beautiful ball, that cut back and hit the top of McClud's middle stump, knocking a bail almost all the way to the boundary. He had made 52 and just before the end Ajith holed out off Phil after getting to 50, they finished with 206/9.
Which was a very good score indeed, considering how slow the wicket was. While we had let them off the hook in the field, taking only 3 out of 9 chances - not helped by Bert who hadn't had a good day behind the stumps, with the 2 costly dropped catches plus 14 byes against him.
Bowling figures were Browny 8 0 43 1 (2 overs cost 27, the rest just 16!), JK 5 1 24 0,
Kenny 8 0 31 1, Ski 8 0 30 4, Mario 2 0 19 1, Jules 4 1 18 1, Phil 5 0 23 1.
When we batted their slow and slow medium bowlers bowled very accurately, and after 6 overs the score was just 8/0. At which stage Laughts hit out but unluckily picked out mid wicket with a clean hit, who held onto the catch at the 2nd attempt. Phil came in and continued his good form, although the bowling was still tight and the first boundary didn't come until the 10th over. Phil and Spencey were working hard, but then Spencey was bowled by Ajith at 37/2, he was bowling good left arm inswingers. Wildy came in and hit a couple of good shots, hopes were rising as brought up the 50 but then he was very unluckily out, when a full ball going down leg hit his foot and was deflected back onto the stumps, 52/3. Phil was the next to go, after a very good 34 (including 5x4) when he was bowled by another very good ball by Ajith, 60/4. And he was soon followed by Ski at 61/5, yet another clean bowled this time from a very good inswinger by the right handed Sudarth. So we limped to 73/5 at drinks.
After drinks Kenny and Mario took their partnership to 25 before Mario was another clean bowled victim by Ajith, hitting across it, then when Sudath came on at the other end first ball he bowled Kenny round his legs (after he'd walked across it), for a well made 25 (4x4), 97/7. JK and Brownie both hit a couple of good shots before Brownie was run out, falling victim to JK's inscrutably interesting range of non calls! :-) So 110/8 and with the run rate mounting JK teed off at Ajith, only to be yet another clean bowled victim of his, 111/8. Jules hit a couple of powerful blows before the innings ended when Bert got a short ball on off stump but only managed to carve it straight to deep point. So just 122 all out, with the sorry scoreboard reading Laughts 3, Spencey 8, Phil 34, Wildy 8, Ski 2, Mario 7, Kenny 27, JK 7, Brownie 6, Jules 9*, Bert 3.
For them Sudarth had 3-31 and Ajith 4-31, all 7 of their wickets were clean bowled and they certainly both used the increasingly stronger cross wind very effectively with their good swing bowling. While no doubt about MOM, as Ajith certainly backed up his chanceless 50 with some very effective bowling indeed.
Ski got our MOM award for his fine bowling spell and thanks go to Gail for her scoring, while great to see Flem, Paul B and Congo there lending their support.
So not a great day for us unfortunately, after a batting effort almost on par with NZ's in the ODI (and both teams had a top score of just 34) with only 2 of our batsmen making double figures.
Man of the Match: Craig Borcoski
Check out the scorecard from the game.