It was a warm summer’s day with a light cross wind. Rutger could not make it to the ground on time and so we welcomed Stefan from the Zamis. Deepak, stepping in for Richard, put on the wicket keeper’s gloves.
Gelre opted to bat. Stefan and Charu spearheaded our attack and Charu claimed his first scalp in the 6th over. The scoring rate was slow at under 3 runs an over. Their two inform batsmen from Sri Lanka upped the tempo. The started hitting any loose balls and taking quick singles. We dropped both these batsmen many times throughout their innings. Their confidence grew and both managed to get their half centuries. According to our bowlers, the scoreline would have been very different if their umpires had given out two or three plumb LBWs.
Gaurav (33 runs in 4 overs), Suresh (51 in 6 overs) and Kobus (15 in 3 overs) did their best to break the partnership but to no avail. With the score at 125 after 19 over, the skipper tossed the ball to Dinesh who immediately prized out a catch to safe-hands Rob who managed to hold on to a difficult skyer. Their opener fell for 63. Charu was brought back into the attack and immediately bowled their number four batsman. Charu finished with very respectable figures of 5-14-2.
Dinesh continued to bowl a tight line and managed to get another wicket with a slower ball. Dinesh managed to get another wicket with a catch to Stefan at cover (thanks to smart field placing by Kobus). More dropped catches followed including a difficult c&b by Dinesh. Stefan in his final over managed to hole out their number 3 bat who scored 68 runs (6-38-1). Rob again was the catcher. Dinesh bowled the last over, assisted in a runout and finished with figures of 6-29-3. Gelre had scored 183 for 7 after 30 overs. 6 runs an over was difficult but gettable on this ground with a shortened boundary and a quick outfield.
After a delicious lunch (thanks to the Nel family), Rob and Gaurav strolled to the centre. Flamboyant Rob smashed the first ball to the square boundary. Not to be outdone, Gaurav smashed two more 4s in the same over. It was a promising start.
Unfortunately, we lost Rob on 5 to a short-pitched ball that stayed uncharacteristically low. Dinesh came in at 3 and watched Gaurav smash a string of 4s before being caught at cover. He scored a quickfire 28 and the score was 38 for 2 after 6 overs. Dinesh (13) hit two back to back boundaries before misjudging a quick single which resulted in a run out with a direct throw to the stumps. With the top order back in the pavilion, the pressure was on Deepak and Kobus.
Deepak, who did very well wicket keeping did an even better job as a batsman. He batted sensibly and put away loose balls on both sides of the wicket. He hit his first half century for the club before being bowled in the 27th over. The other batsmen tried to support him but the required run rate was too demanding. The only other batsman to reach double figures was Stafan who scored 11 which included a glorious 6 to long off. John was not out and we finished on 142ao.
In cricket there is a saying “Catches win matches” and this was very much the case for us.