Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Indoor Cricket Time!

Ok the regular season is now well and truly over, and the indoor season has started. If you are keen, please call or text Eben on 021954500. We are possibly going to make two teams if we have enough interest.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Another Final Spot Slipping Through Fingers

For the second time this year the Prems are being denied of a finals spot by Boys High. A toss was not needed as the boys (Devi) wanted to bat and we needed 20 wickets. The ball was doing a lot early, and after half a dozen edges over slips and a few mis-timed hooks over the keeper, Gaz finally broke through and the brought Anarag to the crease. A ripping owtswinging yorker greeted him, plumb on the toe in front of middle, given not out by Goat who was umpiring. Two balls later he gloved it to the keeper, only for goat to say not out again. On questioning as to what it hit, Goats reply was that he would have walked if he hit it. Since when do umpires leave it to the batsmen to make the decisions?
It was then 86 overs of chasing leather round the park as Boys High racked up a total of 303, though this included a five wicket bag for Rohit and a first premier wicket for Ryan. Well bowled Rohit!
We finally got a chance to bat with 23 overs left in the day. Mulchy opened the batting on debut for the prems and looked good until departing chasing a turning ball from the spinners first over. Out went 'night watchman' Cooch, who preceded to swing at everything on leg stump and made a quick 25 before departing in the penultimate over. Rowly saw out the last over and with Zeb not out 22, we are in a good position for a run chase next week, though the outright needed is a long way off at this stage, but then, funnier things have happened...

Sunday Cricket is Morally Wrong!

In most religions playing any sport on the holy Sunday is forbidden....... I now know why!

Watching this atrocity unfold from the sideline can only be compared to the pain a hamster feels when giving birth to an elephant! It was that bad. The morning started with another toss lost to the now infamous Aussie $2 coin owned by the oppo skipper. Every time that coin is flicked up in the air it feels like an underarm delivery hitting the middle stump......

It got worse from there on. With a batting line up that capable of holding its own against most prems sides, the general feeling was that the Te Rapa bowlers would be easy enough to play on a good track with overhead conditions suited to batting. The openers looked good, as they always do, but our number 3 was in there soon enough as Counsell got one to bounce a bit. At number 3 was David March. He painfully constructed some form of resistance to the ever so average Te Rapa bowling, but he was a lone cowboy until the long absent Charles Johnstone announced his return to A's cricket with a good fifty smashed of very few deliveries. His heroics got Star through to a very mediocre 125 all out.

Upon his departure some of the Te Rapa boys took the celebrations a bit too far and said a couple of things they probably shouldn't have. As a result the customary Star-Te Rapa scuffle broke out. Chuckie chased a wary looking Te Rapa bowler up the hill with his bat, and the game descended into chaos for just a little moment. The beast was tamed and the game was brought back to a more civilized event, but posting only 125 with the bat will dent the confidence of most bowlers, and this proved to be the case. The bowlers struggled with their line, and before the sun had even dipped enough to lengthen the shadows it was all over. Te Rapa winners by default, actually they cheated........ Te Rapa are the One Day Champions........... At least we have still got our health....... Participation is more important than winning..... bla.... bla..... bla....... whatever, bring on the rugby season!


Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Well, where do I start!?!? Suburbs I guess.

This week saw Star A move just one tiny little bit closer to making it 3 out of 3 for this season's finals. With the Skipper out, Dave Gunn took the reigns and did a sublime job both as a captain and player. Star opted to bat and thanks to big fifties from Tharik Alam and Pieter Geldenhuis ably supported by the middle order, Star got to 270 odd.

Suburbs was never on target and fell 60 odd runs short. Again Tharik and Pieter stood out with 3 wickets a piece. Gus Lily snared 3 catches in the field, to firmly stamp the attendance of the B's players in this side.

On this point, Star has this year lost many players through the year as most clubs did, but Star A was well supported and could not have gotten into the 2 finals they did without the help of the very able B's squad. In fact many times this season, Star's B team could have made a very interesting game against Star's A side! It also looks like Star A could make the 2 day final, and seeing as Saturday's team was made up of only 3 Star A regulars and B's, it looks like the B's may yet play a big roll in the third final of the year.

So 2 days worth of cricket will decide Star A's destiny. 13 Points against St Pauls, and Star A will be in another final this season.

And then there is the one day final this Sunday.... Te Rapa, YOU are going down! Good luck boys!


One last chance

Star prems played Melville on Saturday under the new one day rules brought in by the HCC this season. Melville won the toss and sent us in to bat. Rohit was promoted to open after some good performances for the A's this season, but unfortunately was sawn off LBW to a ball from Mike Allen in the third over, by none other than Mike's dad, Keith, who was umpiring the game. Melville soon discovered that by bowling a foot down leg side we couldn't score and they weren't going to be wided as we were playing two day wides. This restricted the scoring to 60/3 off 30 overs and some big hitting needed by the middle order. It was all a bit too much as the negative bowling continued and only a brisk 32 by Mike W saw us through to 170 off our 55 overs. At one stage in a five over period, 14 balls were bowled down leg, plus a couple wide outside off! Great sportsmanship there Melville - well done :(
Agagin Mike Dodunski was the bain of star, scoring a very good half century and Melville got there easily three down, though saying this, they were facing five/six playable deliveries per over.
The scary thing is that we can still make the final by beating Boys High in the next match, hoping that results go our way in the other game.
On a brighter note, an 8 man Old Boys team got rolled for 37 by Tech. And we thought we were facing troubles :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

ANZPCC (AUS/NZ Police Cricket Championship)

So while you lot have been waiting for the rain to stop, some of us have been lucky enough to be playing cricket across the ditch. I was fortunate enough to be included in the New Zealand Police Cricket Team for the 16th Australia – New Zealand Police Cricket Championship held in Perth during late Feb. The event is held on a bi-annual basis, with hosting being shared amongst the Australian states and NZ. NZ has never won the tournament, but has finished runner up on two occasions.

Day One - Thursday afternoon, all except one member of the team assembled at Auckland airport for the 7 ½ hour flight to Perth. A lot of the team were touring for the first time, so we all wandered around looking sideways at others thinking “maybe he’s one of us?”, but eventually we all grouped together. With some last minute defections the team number only 11 plus our manager. It was captained by ex-ND and Auckland rep Richard Morgan and contained players from Whangarei to Invercargill. Other members had played 2nd XI, Hawke Cup or Provincial cricket, Premier Club Level or other club level, while some were not currently active. There were a couple of boys from the Mount, one of whom played in that 20/20 game earlier in the season. At least it was a conversation starter.

We landed at Perth and the WA boys drove us to our accommodation, apartments located 10 minutes walk from the WACA. Also staying there, but arriving a few days after us were the boys from Victoria.

Day Two was a free day to get us used to the time difference, which was really knocking us around. In the evening the WA boys had arranged us entry into the night trots at Gloucester Park. We were invited to sit next to the track with all of the “important” people during the feature race. We were then introduced to the crowd. Of course it goes without saying that we all made thousands of dollars, trifectas all round.

Day Three – Still struggling with jet lag, but the boys managed to shake a bit of it off with a training session at the WACA indoor nets. Nothing flasher than what we are used to apart from the complex containing four nets. The highlight of the day was walking onto the WACA (and consequently being chased off by the groundsmen for breathing on the block).
Day Four – We shared a bus to the ground with the Vic boys, where the competition would take place. The hosting club was Midland-Guilford Cricket Club. Within the clubrooms you could see a vast amount of history. Players of note to have played for MGCC are Simon Katich, Tom Moody, Tim Zoehrer, Bruce Yardley, Jo Angel, Brendan Julian & former English captain Alec Stewart.
Our opening match was scheduled on what was known as ‘Lilac Oval’, the ground used for the former traditional opening match for international teams touring Australia. It was the hardest pitch I have ever seen, and there was a bit of cracking. So we are thinking bounce and maybe it will take turn or a bit of sideways movement off the cracks. Very quickly we learned no sideways movement, no spin, not a great deal of bounce, but vary off a good line or length and you get smacked. Another interesting point regarding the ground was that it was in the flight path for the Perth airport, with a plane passing at least every 20 minutes or so. After a few days the boys had noticed that there hadn’t been from Air New Zealand, which had us a bit worried, thinking the company had gone bust and therefore there was no way home.
We played 45 over matches, under some rules new to all. For the 1st 15, two players were allowed outside the ring, 2nd 15 three players, with five players allowed outside for the rest. Each team could play a specialist batter and bowler.
We kitted up in our whites with our black caps displaying the silver fern for team photos followed by the opening ceremony. After a few words from the organisers a bag piper played and then a minute silence was observed for the victims of the recent horrific bushfires. We also wore black arm bands for our opening match against NSW.
NSW got through to about 230, after an opening stand of around 120. We fell 25 odd runs short. Too many dropped catches on our part probably being the difference. During the match there was a good dose of Australian culture (AC/DC) playing from the nearby picnic area.

That evening was the opening function where former Australian International (and half Kiwi) Bruce Reid was the guest speaker. He talked on his views of the current game, dislike for Greg Matthews, the Allan Lamb over (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5LD1AZqRuo) and on insistence from us, the Chris Pringle over. He was highly entertaining.

Day Five and we played the hosts WA on the far pitch. However we were all a bit cautious after hearing about a certain event. All of the pitches border the Swan River, with a small strip of bush in between. A small deadly poisonous snake had been killed adjacent to our ground on the previous day. Where there are small snakes bigger snakes can usually be found, so we were told to be careful when fielding the ball if it made its way into the bush. Cheers to the skipper who bowled four balls down leg in one over for me to fetch amongst the dead leaves and sticks. We restricted them to around 220 and were cruising with a century from Sunny Patel, only to crash and lose by 15 runs. A game we should have won quite easily. Our day with nature was not complete however, as in the changing rooms was a spider the size of your palm guarding its web.

Day Six and a potential wooden spoon game against South Australia on the middle pitch. We won the third toss in a row and having previously fielded first to stay out of the afternoon heat which was somewhere in the high 30’s, we changed the plan and decided to bat. Unfortunately after two balls we were 2 down, we recovered slightly, but eventually were all out in the last over for 199. SA got there about five down with 3 overs to go.

Day Seven was a rest day and it absolutely poured. We caught a ferry to visit the zoo, with highlights being the python and crocodile. The following day we were scheduled to play Queensland but because of the rain the pitches were deemed unplayable, or at least we would ruin them for later in the week. Therefore it came down to a game of touch, and continuing our run of bad form, we were cleaned up. So we had the afternoon free and the boys from SA arranged us some tickets to the WACA to watch the Sheffield Shield match between WA and SA from the members lounge.
Day nine and the grudge match against our roomies and travelling buddies from Victoria. With not a lot riding on the game we shortened it to 40 overs, restricted Vic to 220ish and then ran them down with plenty of overs to spare with only 3 wickets down. With that win we finished fourth ahead of Victoria and South Australia on the countback system employed. WA won the tournament, going through unbeaten , illustrating that we weren't too far off the pace, considering our encounter earlier in the week against them and the fact that most of the other teams play together on a regular basis.

That evening the closing ceremony was held at the Burswood Casino. It is difficult to describe the size of the complex but sharing the main billing that evening with the police cricketers was the ‘Phantom of the Opera’ and a ‘Coldplay’ concert. Along with this were a number of bars and restaurants. The boys looked sharp dressed in their number ones, easily standing out amongst the other teams. The guest speaker was former Australian off spinner Bruce Yardley, who stressed the legitimacy of Muralitharan’s action along with other things. A tournament team was announced, with opening bowler Chris Lemon from Auckland being the only Kiwi to make the team.
We enjoyed the night’s festivities knowing we had a few days before heading back home.
With another couple of days in Perth there was a team trip to Fremantle along the Swan River, along with a tour of the Fremantle prison, thoroughly enjoyable.

Overall the standard of cricket was good. Each team had two or three decent batsman and good bowlers, but we did not experience any pace of note. Overall a fantastic experience and as tour ended, the boys were much more of a team. Now knowing what it’s all about, we are all keen to do a lot better in Melbourne in two years time.

Campbell Vette (aka Cooch)