TWIC – ROUND 2
After a disappointing start to the season Lane Cove made the trip down the M7 to Bruce Purser Reserve to face North West for our first full two-day game of the season. Contrasting to the first very wet round of the season conditions were perfect with another pom Ed Galek making his debut for the club. Cove lost the loss and were asked to field on an absolute road which was perfect for batting. Some early success was found with the ball with first grade superstar Man City picking up two early wickets and Corny also picking a wicket to leave North West 3/41 early doors. However the pitch slowed and it turned into a very long and hot day in the field which wasn’t helped with rubbish bowling from our 1st changer (He bowls to the left, he bowls to the right, his bowling is….) and our resident pensioner Crazy Joe breaking down with a slipped disk. In the end North West made 7/301 (dec) with Lane Cove sent into bat late on the first day. Damo had a great day in the field with three catches and Ricko also contributing with a glorious run-out. Our openers Dominic Peter and Peter Brett where successfully able to see out the last overs of the day. On day two things started out promisingly with Dom and Pete making a strong start for a 72 run stand for the first wicket until Dom fell for 27. From hear the situation quickly deteriorated. Once again captain Naughto made a start but was unable to capitalise and was quickly followed by a middle order collapse which saw superstars Ricko, Ed and Choco make a grand total of 15 between them. (Have you met Charlie Hipkin?) But through all this Pete managed to hold on and continued to provide some hope of an unlikely Covie victory. Once he fell for a well-deserved 70, which included a broken bat that Pete had since 1974 I believe, things petered out with Covies eventually being dismissed 9/186 with Davola unable to come to the crease due to his back injury.
Disappointing result for the boys who certainly worked very hard for no gain. Some questions to be asked of the middle order who failed to negotiate a flat deck and good start from the openers.
Toss: Lane Cove (Batted First)
Lane Cove: All Out 142
North-West Sydney: 8-192
Outcome: North-West win 1st innings, game called at tea
Returning to the home of cricket after a one-off hit out at Kingsford Smith Oval, we were looking to build on a few positives from round 1 (batting in partnerships, placing value on one’s own wicket etc.).
We had a strong team line-up for the big clash against Way-Out-West Sydney Hurricanes (whoever made the club logo may wish to look up the difference between a hurricane and a tornado), and it was refreshing to not only see the other team arrive with no customs-related delays, but also Ols Young and Pat Francis actually turn up to play. Last round Ols and Pat were forced to withdraw the morning of the game, citing the need to get away from the struggles of living at home with their parents in the slums of Sydney’s Lower North Shore. After a week of bikram yoga, and finding themselves spiritually, the boys returned, cucumbers peeled off the eyes, skin 100% exfoliated, and ready to take it to the opposition.
Installing me as second grade skipper continued to pay dividends for the club’s board, as I won my second toss on the bounce, having no hesitation but to bat first on a wicket that looked pretty flat, on a very hot day. I told the boys that the ball/deck would ‘do a bit early doors’, and that ‘the key is to see through the first 15 overs’. Not really sure of any 2-day cricket situation where this isn’t the case, but I’ve heard it in every captain’s pep talk since joining the club, and I had nothing else to say. But then I remembered that another key was to ‘value your wicket’ and ‘bat in partnerships’, and I later got told that this was great advice, and none of my players had heard as logical a pep talk before.
Debutant Andrew Strauss opened up with Ols Young, and the pair did well getting our score to 25 without the loss of a wicket. We then lost 3 wickets in relatively quick succession, falling victim to what was perhaps a slightly low and slow deck, but more likely laziness and horrendous shot selection.
Pat Francis and Rob Blood then consolidated well for the Coves, playing with some positivity to get the total up to 70, before Pat lost his wicket skying a half tracker from the spinner to square leg, departing the middle for a well-made yet abruptly ended 18. Robbie Rags soon joined Francis in the sheds after being bowled for a well-worked 20. Unfortunately, Way-Out-West Tsunamis tightened their grip on the game from here, picking up the wickets of Sam Greaves and Sriram Rangarajan cheaply, leaving the coves reeling at 7-80.
Enter Charlie ‘Captain Courageous’ Hipkin to save the day. In an innings reminiscent of the great ex-captain’s knock against South Africa in terms of focus and concentration, partnered with the intent of AB De Villiers against the Windies in the world cup, I blocked out the first and hit the second for 3. Walking back to the pavilion after my run-a-ball 3, I couldn’t help but feel I set the tone for the next partnership between new batsman Cam Bezer and Pete Blood. With the score at 8-83 and Coves right back in the game, the pair looked to build our total to a respectable score, with good running between the wickets, controlled aggression, and actual concentration and grit. Credit to Pete for really taking it to the bowlers and scoring quickly for a well-made 39*. After being dropped 3 places in the order after his round one 35, Pete will serve us well batting 10 in round 3. Cam contributed well to the partnership of 50, with a very handy 16, before getting out and blowing up as if he was an actual batsman. Raja came and went, and we had a below-par but somewhat competitive total of 142 to defend.
With 20-odd overs at Way-Out Cyclones to wrap up day 1, it would be a testing time for both sides to wrestle for the balance of the game. With a big night at the fiddler beckoning, the Way-Out-Westies openers looked to have things wrapped up early, charging every ball and trying to get out early with a big first innings win. Forgetting that the game lasted 2 days and potentially 4 innings, their right handed opener eventually succumbed to a Bezer full-toss LBW, with me accounting for the other opener (Think pegs everywhere).
With the score 2-50 overnight, the Hurricanes looked to be slightly on top, with early wickets key for Lane Cove on day 2.
Day 2 started very similarly to how day 1 ended, with Bezer and Hipkin STILL bowling, and the Nor-West 3 & 4 swinging like mad. Bezer was unlucky not to have his man when their #3 chased a wide one and smashed it to first slip (Keeper taking the catch), walking off upset with his early dismissal. Upon realising that he had not been given out, he returned to the crease to stand his ground, insisting that it did in fact brush his thigh pad. After having his integrity questioned out in the middle, the batsman approached me post-game rather upset. When I asked why he started walking off before realising he was not out, he replied and told me he served in the army, so had integrity, and that was that.
From there, credit must go to the NWS bats for grinding in a bit and actually playing some sensible cricket to push the score along to 90. In the process Cam made an unsuccessful attempt at catching a ball in his mouth, before Kiran continued some good form with the ball to have their #4 caught well at 1st slip by Ols Young.
With the 1st innings target etching closer for NWS, Raja was able to halt the process, picking up a couple of poles to have the Hurricanes at 5-120. Despite the best efforts of the boys in the field, with a few close decisions not going our way and catches just evading our fielders, the Hurricanes were able to pass our score 6-down, with a fair few overs left until tea.
Curiously, the NWS side continued batting very slowly with no apparent intent to gi for an outright victory. Rob blood picked up a few poles with a mixture of off/leg tweakers, before Pat Francis made off-stump cartwheel for his first wicket in 24 years of cricket. With Tranny-Bingo kicking off at 4.00 at the fiddler, the NWS captain decided enough was enough, and shook hands at tea with NWS 192-8.
Credit to the boys for keeping the strong batting line up at bay once they passed our score, and making it a tough chase for the opposition. Moving forward, key to our success will be batsman building from starts, and perhaps a few more early wickets from the bowlers.
3 points- Peter Blood- 39*
2 points- Rob Blood- 20 and 2-fa
1 point- Ols Young – 20 and good fielding
With the toss won by the opposition, Chafty’s new look line up were sent in to bat on what was seemingly a good batting deck, and then what can only be described as unimaginable proceeded to occurred. 7/15. Not the strongest of covie starts. A quickly made 34 by Prakash Gopalsamy helped move things in the positive direction, continued on by Sam King ending up with 44 not out, with support from the tail. A salvaged score of 117 was set to be chased down, however a popping batting deck proved a struggle for both teams. The “speed twins” of Gopalsamy and Brian Scott taking 7 wickets between them, with the odd extra bounce and sheer heat of Scott’s speed/stare down bagging him 4 poles. With Chip ins from Cottee-Warner and S King, Shafty’s warriors almost brought home the bacon, however a handy tail Ender batsmen for North West Sydney managed to drag his team over the line with a hard fought 32 not out. Special mentions to Nick “Stevo” Stevens who had a blinder in the field, hanging on to 3 catches, and Kieran Crayn taking 2. With this brought the conclusion of day 1 and the long journey back to Cove Town.
Day 2 saw once again the Covies out to bat first, and a more solid result ensued. With the main objective of batting out the day and not letting an outright victory go against us, we began throw downs. With the unfortunate loss of Sam Rahmany and K Crayne early, Shano Willoughby (29) and Liam Mann (24) struck up a solid partnership, which was then Supported by the man, the myth, the legend, Mark Schaafsma scoring a well timed 20. From here on not many runs were scored, however this was made up by the sheer amount of overs chewed up, with a great display of defence from David Knock, who was also carrying a broken toe. With the captains calling an end to the days play at around 70 overs, the Covies job was done.