Sunday, March 28, 2010

We're in the final! We're in the final!

The All-Stars faced up to HBHS 7th XI, (Aka Old-Boys Cs) in our semi-final on Saturday.

We had a strong team, even with runs and wickets leader Dave absent. We knew if we played well we'd get the job done.

The day started well with Duncan taking responsibility for the toss and winning. We were happy to bowl and so we sent them in.

They started quietly with Gibbo and Pieter giving them nothing. 33 off 8 overs is pedestrian stuff at Steele Park.

We brought on our other opening bowlers, Eban and Duncan and things started to happen!! Eban nicked out their skipper in his first over and Duncan purchased a wicket in his first over (1 over 1/16!!) and all of a sudden they were 2 for not enough.

Duncan and Eban turned the screws - and nothing was happening for HBHS. At the drinks break they were 75/2 and really battling to get going.

Eban finished a great spell with 2/23 of seven. Shabbir bowled a nice spell from the other end (0/44 off 7), and was unlucky to have some chances put down.

Yap bowled a short spell to get us back to the opening bowlers and we seemed to be in control at the death.

Thaaats where things got a bit wobbly. Pieter came back and went for 14, 11 and 10 courtesy of some big swinging from one Matt Missen who we discovered later was something of a dodgy ring-in. (playing his cricket in the valley comp!!)

But the real drama was at the other end where Daryl went for four off his first over back, and was taking a bit of tap in his next over when one got away from him and he sent down a high full toss which took a bad bounce straight into the side of Brendans nose.

There was a lot of blood, and Brendan was off to A&E with rather a nasty cricket ball shaped curve in his snoz.

Brendan is fine and will be off to see the specialist this week to have his beak straitened.

Aaaaanyhoo they finished their 35 overs 205/5 - a good comeback by them but barely a par score at Steele.

Duncan and (emergency opener) Yap started things off for us. Duncan was a bit lose to start and was dropped twice in the same over - committing a cardinal sin in Senior C cricket - starting to walk off assuming that the catch would be taken - yap barked him back to his end and the partnership continued until yap got the nickiest of nicks a couple of overs later.

Daryll joined Duncan at the wicket and started doing his thing - piling the pressure on the boys who started to wilt. Duncan departed for 22, and brought Eb to the wicket. This was the partnership that broke the boys as the foot went down. By the time Eb departed for 46, the run rate was well under control. JB arrived at the wicket and struggled for timing, and Daryl finally went, played on for 77.

This brought Pieter to the wicket, needing to keep a calm head (and so he did). However anyone who has seen JBs running and Pieters running can imagine the horror of seeing them running together. It didn't last too long as JB holed out and Shabbir came to the wicket.

Pieter meanwhile had been chipping away at the total with some well struck boundaries and there were 10 needed when they brought their opener back. He wisely advised Shabbir to see the opener off. Shabbir didn't listen to a word - mowing a 4 and a 6 (amongst a few no balls) to wrap up the win.

POD Points
Eban 3
Daryl 2
Brendan 1 (In sympathy)

In the other semi, we were all sad to see Hamilton East rolled by Suburbs. Their final act of the summer summing up their lack of class - as their last batsman out kicked over the stumps when he lost his wicket.

So next week should be an excellent match-up! Star vs Suburbs at Steele Park.

The game is schedule for Saturday the 3rd of April.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Rolled in the Mud at Melville

While we were never expecting a green seamer at Melville, the soft rolled mud we turned up to was not in the play-script either. The groundman had obviously heavily watered and rolled the pitch, then stuck on the covers on the Friday evening, bizarre.
With only 8 players at 10.30 Reg had no choice but to bat when we won the toss, though in hindsight bowling with 8 on that deck wouldn't have been a mistake. The ball spat off a length, stopped, seamed and did all sorts. None of the Melville bowlers would have topped 100kmh but they didn't need to. JB and Rohit didn't last long, before Commins and Reg put on a good 50 runs for the third, with Reg (48) carving to all parts. Unfortunately when Cummo left, the obligitory collapse started. From about 90/4 to 155 all out, and this included a brisk 40 from Stu P in his comeback for the A's. It wasn't helped by Shabir who was not out at lunch, got pulled over by a cop on his way to pick up the 11th player and failed to make it back in time to get timed out.
We thought we still had a chance, but the mud had dried and it was just a low (very low) slow pitch - which Melville had been batting on all season. We had suffered some dubious umpiring last time we played them, and this continued with two shockers not given out LBW, and Reg bowling one of them with a full bunger, only for the square leg umpire to call no ball, when it was no where near waist height. They got to 156/6 and looking at a comfortable lead before we took 3/1 to have them 157/9. This should have been wrapped up, but again a last wicket partnership cost us with them putting on 60 to be 215 all out.
There were still 16 overs left in a very slow day, however they advised that since it was 5.30 we couldn't start a new innings. A strange decision, and one that Reg quickly agreed to to end a strange day's cricket.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

All Stars Snuff Out Desperate Burbs

The All Stars final game of the season for the All Stars was against Eastern Suburbs.

It was a tricky encounter - with the All Stars needing the win to have a chance to finish top of the table on run rate (important with the weather getting a bit dodgy late in the season.). The equation for Suburbs was much simpler - win to hold onto fourth spot.

The game was made more interesting by the fact that so many All Stars were sick or injured!

Again the skipper failed to win the toss, but still got the result and we were bowling.

Pieter (cold) and Daryl (sleep deprived) started well and Burbs were on 39 after nine.

Frustratingly we'd dropped their best batsman at the fielding position we put in just for him - a 63 run mistake....

But we removed their other opener, and #3 as well - and their key partnership was at the wicket.

Duncan (something gastric) and Mark(cold) took a turn at the crease - and were struggling to stem the runs, and the fielding wasn't helping.

Yap had their best player given out/not out LBW in a bizarre moment. Note to budding umpires - don't point your index finger up and then to the right to signal not out, missing leg. (Nobody is watching after the first bit.)

At the drinks break we were staring down the barrel a bit - they were 91/2 and we were flat.

The skipper asked the boys to lift their game and reminded them that we had to compete - it wasn't just going to happen. The speech seemed to work and we got stuck into them.

Dave (knee) started a bit rough but settled well, and in his third over picked up the key wicket of their opener for 73 - assisted by Pieter with a great diving catch at midwicket.

That moment turned the innings around for us and Burbs slumped from 110/2 to 160/9 to 188 all out. Yap and Pieter returned figures of 2/32 and 2/34 respectively, while Dave and Daryl took three each (3/37 and 3/38).

189 is a below par score on the wickets at Steele Park and we were optimistic at the break.

Duncan and Yap opened up for us and made a brisk start before Yap was strangled down the leg side for a rather quickfire 19 of 16 balls. 1/45 became 2/78 as Dunc departed for 39 and headed straight for the loo...

Daryl joined Dave at the crease but not for long - he departed for 10 (9 less than Yap) and we were 95/3. That rapidly became 105/5 as Jimmy and Jared came and went. Burbs smelt blood and the chatter levels increased.

But there was no Star Varsity tail end drama! Dave (73)and Pieter (23) batted beautifully and calmly, taking us to the target in the 31st over. Nicely done.

POD Points
Dave 3
Pieter 2
Daryl 1

So ended the regular season for the All-Stars 18 games for 15 wins, 2 losses and one rainout.

We should finish top, but it will probably be on run-rate, and we'll have to wait and see the results of the other matches.

Keep an eye on the draw here...

Prem's vs Melville

Regular skipper Braces was unavailable today so Ben stepped up and led Star for the first time. He wanted to bowl first and got his wish. Jaiden was playing his debut and was handed the new ball for the second over of the day. Unfortunately he couldn't seem to hit his areas and after 2 overs was 0-20. Cam came on and looked good to start with but also bowled the odd 4 ball which the Melville openers were just waiting for. Gaz bowled pretty well to start with getting some good swing but Melville were scoring at a quick rate and their openers were out at 2 for 60 in the 12th over.

Melville then batted superbly well and had a 3rd wicket partnership of 194 between Dodunski and Bettley. Bettley was bowled by Cam for 89 and Dodunski was eventually stumped off Aaron for 117. I think by this stage he was completely haddit and the damage had certainly been done. Some late wickets brought some respectability back to the scoreline but they were able to declare at 292/5.

The bowling wasn't really up to scratch all day. Too many 4 balls and not enough consistency combined with some good batting had us chasing a lot of leather.

Wickets: Aaron 2, Gaz 2 and Cooch 1

So to the batting, and we again lost early wickets to be 2 for 30 odd at tea. The pitch was an absolute road and their bowlers were nothing to write home about. The only way we were going to get out is if we got ourselves out with rash shots, or lost concentration.

After tea that's exactly what happened. Zeb batted well and made 32 before missing a straight one, but other than that the top order again failed and we were 100/8 without really firing a shot. Some late order hitting from myself with 47 along with Cam 23 and Jaiden 15 n.o got us to 184. We were short of the follow on mark of 193 so we had to bat again for 5 minutes. Myself and Rowly negotiated the 2 overs to be on 10/0, still 98 away from making them bat again.

Hopefully next week we can get our batting house in order and get to around 300 in 70 odd overs, and give ourselves a chance of winning outright. Judging by this performance, it'll take a lot of hard work.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Lowdown on the Scoreboard for the Aussie test. 27th-3st March.

This is the run-down for the scoreboard for the NZ vs Australia Test match.

The test starts on Saturday the 27th of March (scheduled finish Wednesday.)

If you've been under a rock - We run the big old-school scoreboard at Seddon Park for all international matches.

The basic run-down is:
Friday 26th - We need people to help with set-up after work. We need 6 bods for this.
Saturday 27th - Wednesday 31st. We need people to run the board. Each day is scheduled to start at 11am (sometimes they start earlier to make up time) and go through to 6.30pm. We need 4-6 people each day (half days etc are fine.)

Obviously Saturday is a cricket day - so we'll be looking for the injured few to help out with a bit of assistance from friends and family!

You don't need to know anything - we have some experienced guys who can show you what to do.

For the uninitiated - bring some warm clothes (lest the weather turns) and feel free to bring a seat and something to drink (no booze though.) ND will provide lunches.

Please contact Yap if you can help.



Monday, March 15, 2010

A's again show 2nd day spirit

For the second match in a row the A's looked in with no show heading in to the second day. 150 runs behind following on with 9 second innings wickets in hand.
The day started poorly with Jess shuffling in front of middle and leaving a full, straight delivery first ball for the plumbest LBW I've ever seen.
Commins and Rohit put on another 20 before Commins (32) was taken by a screamer at wide second slip. Aidan and JB didn't last long and out strode Reg to the wicket. Reg had begged the skip to bat up the order and he didn't disappoint. A great partnership of about 80 before Rohit was out for a well made 33. Josh carried on the fight to see us reach the 188 needed to make them bat again before a horror over saw us lose three wickets LBW. Mark B stode to the crease and with Reg well past 50 we thought we might just be able to make some sort of total for them to chase. Unfortunately, despite a couple of lusty blows, Mark holed out to a man they had just placed for him at long off and our fight back was over. An excellent PB performance from Reg with 77 not out where many more balls were left than attacked.
Te Rapa knocked off the 28 needed in only a few overs though Aidan managed to snare a wicket.

POM Points
Reg 3
Mark B 2 (a PB 4 fer last week)
Phil 1 (3 wickets for not many last week)

NB/ Congrats to umpire Keith who had his personal record with most LBW's given in an innings (6)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

All Stars Drive Through Huntly (Without slowing down.)

The penultimate game of the All-Stars regular season was against Huntly.

The All Stars looked strong on paper, but all manner of niggling injuries lurked.

We were very keen to have a bat and try to rack up a big score. But the skipper failed the toss test again and we were in the field.

Dave was resting his dodgy knees so Pieter and Duncan opened up and both picked up a wicket in their second overs. That was great, but it was all she wrote for those two as Huntly dug in.

The skipper rang the changes bringing in Caleb and himself - again results were nearly immediate as we both picked up a wicket in our second over. Both wickets were notable catches for Jimmy O - who nonchalantly parried each of them up into the air before reeling them in.

We were on a roll and Caleb and the skipper both picked up another wicket before Huntly steadied the sinking ship for a while.

Bowling changes seemed to be the order of the day so we threw the ball to Jared and Rakesh and the magic worked again. Jared started his second over a bit rough with a couple of half trackers smacked to the fence, but then induced a top edge to short fine leg where the skipper overcame a slow start to sprint in an take the catch at knee height.

Rakesh got results even faster, bowling five dots and then inducing a big slog which went a long way up before plummeting into the hands of a very relieved skipper at mid-on.

Two overs later Jared induced another slog and it was all over for Huntly. All out for 110 in 29 overs.

We were keen to get the reply over with quickly - there was plenty of showers around - and the points were there for the taking. Jimmy naturally pencilled himself in as one of the openers, and we sent out Duncan to feed him the strike.

We weren't disappointed as Jimmy got us off to a flyer with a quickfire 17 at better than a run a ball (17 off 16 for the record.)

When James departed new-guy Daimo joined Duncan at the wicket and the big dogs set about pounding Huntly into submission.

12 overs into it, it was all over with Duncan getting 40 and Daimo 38.

Next week a semi-final dress rehearsal against Suburbs at Steel 1.

BTW - The points table is updated on the HCA Website.

POD Points
Duncan 3
Yap 2
Daimo 1

Monday, March 08, 2010

Prem's vs Old Boys

Another Saturday, another beautiful day for cricket on Galloway 1 which seems to be our home pitch these days. With Ben and Rowly playing rep cricket we had to call up Rohit from the A's and luckily for us Chris was back from a quick fire flight to the UK for a funeral.

After a 'gentleman's agreement' at which their skip asked 'what do you want to do?' we had no hesitation in batting. On paper we had a decent line up and batted a long way down but we were hoping the top order could do the business for us. It also helped that 12 of their regular players were out for various reasons, and their team looked incredibly similiar to their A's team from the week before.

Still any mug who bowls can get a wicket on their day so we had to put our head down. We started well until Zeb had a communication breakdown with Chris and ended up running himself out. Braces did what he does best, scoring a quick-fire 20 odd before playing one shot too many and getting bowled. Aaron and Ryan chipped in for a few and Chris was looking great. At lunch we were 135/3 after 40odd.

After lunch Chris continued to make batting look incredibly easy and was joined by Toby. There must be something in the air because both Chris and Toby broke their bats while batting, and I broke mine at training on Thursday! Still they looked good and got us through to 188/4 when Chris was out for a well made 80odd. Skip's plan was to start booming and quickly get to 250 then declare and have plenty of overs at them. Obviously 188 wasn't a good number to start at as we went from 188/4 to 188/8 in the space of 2 overs!

Then Gaz walked in.

56 incredible runs off around 30 balls later and skip had his wish and declared at 267/9 after 63 overs. Some awesome hitting from Gaz, a couple of massive 6's in to 10 Brown Street and some lusty 4's to cow. Great stuff mate.

So we had 40 odd overs to bowl at them and it was fairly obvious from the start that they were under instructions to stone-wall it until their Hamilton reps got back next week. 106/4 at stumps after 42 overs at a mind numbing 2.5 runs per over. The bowlers bowled some good lines and the fielding was great all day so hopefully we can continue that form in to next week. We'll definitely need it with the players they'll likely have back.

A's on the end of hiding from Te Rapa

With two more batsmen called up to prems, the skip was looking to win the toss and have a bowl. Tails was called and for the first time in a long while the team donned the whites at the start of a first day to have a crack at the Te Rapa batsmen.
The first hour was a dull affair with Te Rapa noodling some good line and length bowling from Phil and Jess. 1/40 off 16 at drinks. The rest of the day could only be called bizarre. Mark took two wickets off two deliveries in the second over after drinks and the following over Phil did the same. 5/40 and the boys were buzzing. The next 45 minutes bought 2 more wickets and only 13 runs. An amazing hour where 16 overs were bowled, 13 runs scored and 6 wickets taken. 53/7.
I don't know what the boys had for lunch, but the same side definitely did not take the field. 1 wicket for 60 runs in the next hour and they were 115/8. With only 10 players for Te rapa, you would still think things would be in the bag, especially considering their number 10 had a high score of 8 in senior cricket. Wrong. Another hour, Rob edmonds had bought up 100 and their number 10 had 50 and they declared for 230 odd. 6 dropped catches and some appalling bowling and ground fielding. Arghhh.
A stern talking to by the skip about getting forward and not slogging on a low pitch was once again not heeded by the boys. Josh gone second ball LBW, Jeff for very little, JB bowled for an edgy 10'ish, brent bowled for none, Phil H bowled for 5, Mark B bowled first ball, Phil B bowled for none, Rakesh bowled for 5, Jess caught behind for 5. Commins who batted number four was 5 not out off about 10 balls and had seen 7 wickets fall in quick time - 6 of them bowled (and this was a very average Te Rapa bowling line up without Mark Council). Commins noodled another 5 but with shabir looking nervy at the other end, the skip went for a slog and was out. 50 runs all out. Follow on. Disgraceful.
The skip mentioned something to the others about sorting out their own @*^%&$ batting line up and walked to the middle with Shabir. Te Rapa took the piss and bowled all 10 of their players in the remaining 11 overs. Star 40/1 with Commins in the 20's not out.
Not the best of days to say the least after an amazing start and some real soul searching about responsible cricket needed for next weekend and batting for the team.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Lessons in cricket.

Lesson 1. Never underestimate an opponent.

Turning up on a fine sunny Saturday afternoon to play the second to bottom team in the league, the All Stars turned up to a well turned out Clyde Park to take on the second to bottom of the table Diamonds team. History suggested it would be a bit of a cakewalk as the last fixture ended with the All Stars posting 199 and then bowling the Diamonds out for 39. The mood was relaxed and confident and discussions quickly turned to which pub we would be watching the one dayer in an an hour or so.

Diamonds won the toss and chose to bat, further increasing the chance of an early finish. Gibbo opened the bowling and clean bowled their opener with his first delivery. After the opening spell, Diamonds were 1-17 after 9 overs. The beer was smelling good... New guy Caleb was first change and took a wicket in his first over...

Duncan bowled two tight overs... things looking good, game in bag. Then the wheels started falling off. A bad over by Duncan ended in toys being dispatched to all parts of the cot, our 5th bowling option Glenn injured his leg somehow, Jared couldn't find the length he'd been so successful with previously and one of their guys started pasting us around the ground.

Needing to replace Duncan's overs super-Brendan offered to bowl some very tidy off spin, and it appears we have found yet another player who gets more turn than Yapper. Once Caleb dismissed their star batsman for 84 (64 in fours) Duncan having opted to keep suddenly found his willingness to bowl again. We soldiered through to the 30th over and Gibbo and Dave mopped up their tail. There were a few dropped catches along the way with the ball seeming to follow Dan and his pub stamps around the field. Mentions for Willy (Dan's flatmate) who fielded well at point taking a good catch.

While we thought they might have made it through to 180 if they were lucky, the score in the book was 210. A good score by any standards.

Lesson 2. Recognised Batsmen should score runs
We started our chase well. Or rather they started our chase well for us with their opening bowler sending down one dubious (no) ball first up that wasn't called followed by 5 wides, a dot ball then another 2 wides. After 2 legitimate deliveries he turned to spin landing 4 in a row (two of which got dispatched for four.) Brendon got out in the next over at which point we discovered rather than being a 4 piece kookaburra or platypus ball, they had used a dubious 2 piece of distinctly indian looking origins. A 10-15 minute discussion ensued which ended when we lent them the ball we had used for the remainder of our innings. Surprisingly the game still went by in reasonable spirits.

Unfortunately, our batting was pretty poor. Duncan out for a respectable 35, Brendan 8, Jimmy 5, Dave G 5, Daniel 3 and things were looking dodgy at 4-88 and then 5-100.

Gibbo and John batted brilliantly, with Gibbo stating the goal of batting through to 180. Which he did. Exactly. So with 30 runs to go John guided, noodled, occasionally slogged us through to needing 12 off 3. A last fatal slog and John was gone for a well compiled 28, and we were down to our ring ins.

A skillful edge through the vacant slips left us with 8 off 2 overs.... A solid 5 balls of the penultimate over and we were down to needing 2 runs to win off 7 balls. A lofted cut shot just over the head of point, the boys through for the first run before the guy got to the ball and the game looked in the bag. Till someone called NO. The square leg umpire yelled at them to run to no avail.... A sheepish looking Caleb apologised and we needed 1 to win.

The obligatory mid-wicket between overs conference and the aforementioned square leg umpire said... just f**king run! Willy agreed that he would just try to get bat on ball. First ball was in the slot so bat on ball comprised a lofted off drive for 4 and a win to the boys!

Huntly next week, and I think the lads will be a trifle less casual. All in all, a good result and a tough run chase. I think we've now qualified for the semi-finals as we can't be caught by the 5th place team. Well done lads!

Lesson 3 - Winning hides many faults!

P.O.D points
Gibbo 3 - 2 for 18 off 6, and 70
John 2 - 28 crucial runs
Brendan 1 - Stand in Wicket keeper, and then turning the arm over when we were in dire need.
Honourable mention: Willy (a good catch and 9 awesome runs)

Monday, March 01, 2010

A's fight hard but come up short

Still 75 runs behind from last week, with only 6 wickets left, but the skip had a bit of confidence at the start of the day with Aidan back in the team and a few batsmen to play with (And Old Boys losing 2 of their bowlers to prems, with Janice Fraser - Ru's missus - filling in). Phil and Jeff were in, and they started the day solidly, lasting about half an hour before Phil was cleaned up bowled for the second time in the match. Only 60 runs behind. An hour later and the lead was 40, Janice had just been pounded for 15 off an over and things were looking rosy, with Aidan on 70 off about 50, and Jeff in the 30's. Things were looking up. Unfortunately Star manage to get themselves out of good positions. Aidan went to their 9th change bowler, Josh didn't last long, Jeff was caught behind off Janice (after being dropped twice off her bowling), Shabir was skittled trying to put one to the moon, and JB cleaned up at the end. We lost 5/25 at the end for a 65 run lead. Never enough.
The guys tried their hardest in the field, and we managed to get 4 of them with Phil grabbing a couple, Jess one and Aidan one, but the previous week cost us. We would have only needed 50 more, but it was still an excellent fight back and I think we all ended the day pretty happy with some confidence going in to next weeks game against Te Rapa.

Aidan 3
Jeff 2
Jess 1