TWIC – ROUND 1
Lane Coves finest have finally started the season with a long 120 over day in the sun at the home of cricket. To make matters worse, it was the most keenly anticipated grand final since, umm Last year and to cap it off, was against Pennant Hills.
With a new look team consisting of a few Covie greats, not so greats and a couple of poms we were asked to bat with a wet outfield. Conditions led to slow scoring with few boundaries and some tight bowling restricting the top order. Good starts by a number of batsman were ruined slightly by poor shot selection in losing wickets at crucial times. With the outfield drying out and some lusty lower order hitting we were able to reach a modest total of 188. Highlights of the innings include the pommie import Peter Dominic equal top scoring with the great Librarian and club secretary Ricko.
With 54 overs to chase down in improving batting conditions the boys got off to a good start to have the Hills at 4/45 early doors only for that door to be shut tight. Some horrible cricket followed with slow short balls, waist high full tosses and plenty of juicy half volleys with only 2 additional wickets falling, Penno finishing just 40 runs short of our total for a ridiculous draw. One can only think there was some sort of tanking involved to secure the top draft pick next year.
Highlights in the field include a good, tight opening spell from Corny and City, solid debut with the ball by Timmy Cahill, solid fielding by the boys and some Tuskens in the outfield.
Good to see the boys tried hard until the end on a slow early season Tanty pitch which the groundsman has assured us will be much faster for the next home game.
3. Peter cross
After a big off-season recruitment drive bringing plenty of promising new faces to the club, and a washed out day 1 against the comps’ masters of unpredictability (Penno), it was always going to be an interesting start to the season.
With the 2-day game squeezed into one day and 120 overs, it was an important toss to win, which we succeeded in doing with no hesitation in bowling first. While seasoned Covie Cam Bezer instantly found a rhythm, his captain at the other end struggled to maintain pressure on the fragile techniques of the Penno openers. Despite his lack of support from his opening partner, Cam was able to claim his first wicket as a married man, taking a sharp caught and bowled chance low And to his left. It is pure coincidence that Cameron fields like Jonty Rhodes off his own bowling and like Susan Boyle off anyone else’s. In the post-wicket huddle, Cameron informed us that taking the first 2nd grade wicket of the season was the highlight of his year (overtaking his wedding day, his bucks party, and sitting behind Tim from Big Brother on the bus), and he encouraged us to build on the good start.
Cameron was joined in the attack by Vernon Philander’s more talented brother Earl, who instantly made an impact with some good lines and lengths generating decent out-swing, and some disgusting plays and misses from the Penno top-order. Earl was unlucky not to claim his first wicket with a tough chance put down at second slip. Despite this set-back, we kept the pressure on, and with Kiran coming into the attack in place of Cameron, our 2nd wicket was collected with a great pill cannoning into off-stump, rewarding Kiran for a fantastic opening spell.
At 2-20 odd, the Penno boys thought Christmas had come early when they saw the captain chuck the ball at the small guy who bowls spin, however they were bitterly disappointed when they saw he could land them. Though Alex was far too good to get even near any part of the bat, he built up some fantastic pressure which resulted in a run out to Brad Finnigan. With both penno batsmen stranded at one end, and Brad with the ball in hand 10 metres away from the stumps, Brad decided the best option was to throw the ball as hard as he could at the stumps at the most un-catchable height for the wicket-keeper. Thankfully the ball richoheted off the footmarks, and the stumps were able to save Brad’s Wes fine, and 4 overthrows. 2 late session wickets to Hipkin left Penno 5-90, Covies on top.
After the break, Penno came out firing, and I soon regretted so forcefully refusing to play at Penno 1, getting hit for 30 in 2 overs towards the short 15 metre boundary. The Penno 6/7 targeted the short boundary with some good hitting (not so good technique) and raced away to a 170 run partnership. Credit must go to all of the Lane Cove bowlers who knuckled down and stayed positive, which would be vital for us approaching the chase in the right mind-set.
With 2 more run-outs and a late spell of Shahid Afridi from new boy Sam Rahmani (his first over went for 8 runs, 1 wicket, had 2 off spin, 2 leg spin and 2 seam deliveries), Penno eventually declared on 310-9 off 71 overs.
With the late declaration indicating Penno had absolutely no confidence in the ability of their bowlers to defend such a massive total, we entered the run-chase positively, with a view to keeping the target of 6 an over within touching distance. With Christian and Shane opening up, we steadily made our way to 2-50 at 4 an over, before blood brother Peter joined Christian for a very handy 90 run partnership. Young Christian batted superbly to bring up his maiden covie 50 in an innings of sublime batting. While Penno targeted the short boundary in their knocks, Christian meticulously played each ball to its merits showing a full repertoire of shots to score freely all around the ground (still at greater than a run a ball).
With 9 an over needed from the last 20, Christian and Pete put the accelerator on, and were well on track with 15 to go. When Pete lost his pegs to a very slooooooow ball, Penno to their credit tightened up their bowling and made scoring very difficult. Credit must go to their leg spinner for bowling the whole innings around the wicket giving both sides no chance of a victory.
With Sam and Christian at the crease Sam continued in his quest to be a mirror image of Shahid Afridi blasting a quick fire 35 to bring the score past 200. Sam then lost his wicket late in the day, when Sam greaves joined Christian for a very technically sound 0* off 6 balls.
With the day coming to a close, Christina played his first disgusting cricket shot of the day, a heave towards the leg side for four which bought up what was otherwise a brilliant hundred. In doing so Christian surpassed some of the game’s greats including Bradman, Ponting and Joe Root (when measure by 50-100 conversion rate), bringing his conversion rat stats to 100% during his whole Lane Cove Career.
We shook hands 3 overs early, with LCCC finishing 210-4 off 50 overs.
Credit to the whole side for playing positive cricket throughout the whole day, and sticking at it when times were tough and conditions were against us in the field. A lot of positive to take into round 2.
3 points- Christian King (100 runs, enough said)
2 points- Peter Blood (35 runs, and a great effort out in the field)
1 point- Brad Finnigan (2 run outs and a solid effort in the field)
3rd Grade – Round 1 v Penno
Drainage work at Pennant Hills Oval meant an outfield with lines of trenches filled with sand. With 1s going soft and being relocated to Tantallon, and 2s going to Longy, 3s gladly relocated to Pennant Hills Oval. A wet and cold week before day 1 meant a lot of wash outs and late starts, but somehow, maybe due to the new drainage works, Pennant Hills Oval was pretty much ready to go and 3s got a full day’s cricket in.
The toss was won by LC and Penno were sent in. Lots of good bowling was unfortunately not backed up with good catching, and Penno got away in the last hour, batting the day to finish 6/261. They continued on for 5 overs on day 2 declaring at 9/290. For LC, Raja Islam took 3/65 from 20 with his left arm othodox, Prakash Gopalsamy 2/32 from 16 overs of quality meds and Sriram Rangarajan 2/39 from 12 overs of quality meds too.
This left LC 73 overs to chase. After losing an early wicket, Sirram Rangarajan showed he was a quality allrounder making a well complied 48. He was well supported by Annay Chauhan at the other end. However upon reaching 2/79, LC lost 3 quick wickets to be 5/79. Some hard yards from the “old guns” David Knock and Mark Schaafsma steadied the ship. Knocky made a handy 34 and departed at 6/156. Enter “young gun” Sam King. Sam played some sensible yet attacking cricket to push the scoring rate up. However, the asking rate had slipped to about 8 an over off the last 15. Schaafs departed for 56 to leave LC at 7/222. Prakesh Gopalsamy and Sam King batted out the remaining overs for LC to finish 7/252. Sam finished unbeaten on 55.
Overall, it was a very pleasing performance from 3rd grade with lots of promise shown for a good season ahead.
We love Cricket, yes we do. Well that is what Fat skip kept saying to himself in the opening round of the 2015/16 season. After being delayed by 4 hours due to some dodgy covers, the Lane cove boys kicked off the season by being put in on what can best be described as an interesting pitch. After an impassioned speech by yours truly to value your wicket, bat the overs and make sure that we don’t throw our wicket away, the boys did the complete opposite. Not many highlights in getting rolled for 92 in 24 overs apart from new boy Tom Sherrah’s high score of 28 and Kieran Crayn, cross batting the first ball of the season down the ground for 4.
Into the field we go needing to bowl 15 overs in 5 minutes to ensure that we did not have to start early doors the next week. Hoping to use the same pitch that we failed on to take some early poles, we bowled way to short and let the Penno boys get away from us. 0/52 overnight and a strong fight back needed from the Covie boys the following Saturday.
After kicking the little athletics off the oval we were greeted by a pitch that more closely resembled Pennent Hills road than a strip of green grass, we bowled well early to slow down Pennent Hills before the onslaught began. Dispite the best efforts of Julian Luke and new bowling sensation Tom Sherrah, Penno declared at 6/176 leaving the Covies to bat out 49 overs to avoid the outright.
Cue another inspirational speech by fat skip, and all was looking good at 2/59 after 20 odd overs. Cue Lane Cove collapse. A hat-trick and another wicket 2 overs latter had us at 6/62 with some work to do. Yours truly batted well with the tail but we ended up getting rolled for 116 with leaving the Penno boys 30 odd to get from 11 overs. They took 4.
Even though it was not the best start for the Lane Cove 4th grade squad, some good positives came from the day. Kieran Crayn’s 17 and 44, the emergence of speed machine Tom Sherrah and Fat Skip still being able to walk after being forced to take the gloves were all positive signs for the future. A stronger effort needed next round against the all ways hard North West Sydney, especially with the bat, but I am sure that will be achievable.