Travelling to an away match is not trivial. With more and more players depending on public transport in their daily lives getting to the opposition with big fat cricket bags poses a challenge for those of us who have ditched the car. Fortunately for us Dave took it upon himself to organise the complex logistics of getting us to the lovely Bloemendaal grounds where we could enjoy a sun-drenched game of cricket.
The first innings got underway with VCC in the field. Wickets fell at a reasonable pace (roughly 1 per 5 overs), with Nick opening the tally by uprooting the stumps of their opening Batsman (known to Match centre as “M”), but it was at times hard to contain the run rate and it looked likely that we may have to chase a total of 200+.
The breakthrough cam with a fabulous boundary catch by Kirk off the bowling of David, relieving “W” (yep, match centre has some original names) of his high-strike-rate batting duties. Then danger man “R” fell to Prem – another good catch, expertly executed by Dave. His demise was followed by Mr. Mridul, their most aggressive player with a s/r of 116.
Mr Mridul felt compelled to pursue a loopy ball lobbed in by Kirk, and ended up offering a great stumping to Graham who dutifully obliged. After that their run rate dried up and we were able wrap up the innings with Bloemendaal restricted to 162/7.
Notable mentions were our 7!! wicket takers: Stefan 1/18 after 7, Prem: 1/15 after 5, Kaushal: 1/32 after 6, David 1/25 after 2 and Kirk: 1/25 after 5. Also many thanks to our catchers: Nick, David and Kirk.
The second innings started optimistically. After all, the target couldn’t be too hard to reach, right? Wrong!
We lost two wickets in quick succession to some good bowling which evidently took some getting used to. That requires time and that is what both Kaushal and Auke took when stoically rebuilding our innings. The outfield was extremely slow – on several occasions our batsmen lost out by not running on a balls looked dead set like boundaries but died in the grass with two metres to go. The opposition seemed well aware of this as they placed almost all their fielders inside the circle thus making it hard to score those much needed singles. This finally changed when Mo came in and energised our innings with a smattering of boundaries, including a commanding six over mid off, and some clever running with Kirk, who delighted us all with a six of his own. Suddenly a victory seemed within grasp with 18 runs off 18 balls. Alas, that was not to be. First they claimed the wicket of Krik and then with the new batsman at the crease and their best bowlers back for some death bowling, managed to clamp down the run rate to leave us 9 runs short of victory.
Notable mentions were Mo with and unbeaten 47, Auke with 25, Kaushal with 24 and Kirk with 11.
Nevertheless, we felt that we could learn a few valuable lessons and possibly beat them next time. It was a gloriously sunny day and what better way than to end it all with a few beers and lots of stories!