TWIC Round 4 – Strathfield
First grade lost the toss and were sent to field on what looked like a good batting deck. 1s had bowled Strathfield out for 139 after Alec 🌽🐶 Cornelius picked up 4 fa with the all star admin team of El Secretario Rixon and El Presidente Naughton both getting direct hit run outs. Batting for the remaining 26 overs in the day, 1s were 3-75 overnight with debutant Zen Malik not out and Slicko unluckily getting out last ball of the day for a gritty 30 odd.
Unfortunately, despite huge efforts to play with the Slug manhandling hundreds of litres of water off the covers, the super sopper being heavily used; First grade collapsed to fall an agonising 3 runs short in the rain, all out for 136 (Rixon 30, Galek 27). Some very unlucky moments but certainly a big kick up the guts that will no doubt fuel 3 massive matches leading into the Christmas break!
Kiran Dindayal: “All done. Tried my best not to exaggerate the hat-trick, but it is what it is“…
With results not going our way so far this season round 4 saw 2s get off to a good start as Pete Blood made it 1 from 4 to send Strathfield in on a slow surface, with the boys hungry to get off the mark for the season.
Unlucky not to grab a wicket with his first ball as Strathfield’s opener found a dozing cover fieldsman, Charlie set the tone early doors, bowling tight lines and conceding a miserly 5 runs from his opening 8 over spell – proving how difficult it was to take wickets on this deck. The aspiring prawn farmer, Rhys, did his bit, chipping in with a couple to leave Strathfield 2 down early on.
Strathfield continued to prod away, reaching 2/40 as drinks arrived, with the skip calling for quick wickets at the resumption of play from his two premier bowlers – Kiran and new boy Tom Bristow. Airey Park wasn’t ready for what was to come, with Kiran Dindayal delivering perhaps the most hostile spell of fast bowling Australian cricket has seen since Curtly Ambrose’s 7 for 1 at the WACA, removing 3 of Strathfield’s top order in succession – stumped, LBW, bowled – leaving them reeling at 5/40 immediately after the break. You’d be hard-pressed to think of any better, more influential hat-tricks in world cricket.
Spin twins Raja and Davola continued to apply the pressure, as Raja picked up a couple of wickets before Bristow returned to clean up the tail, finishing the day with 3 wickets and Strathfield all out for 109.
Fletch and Cottie did a job opening up, putting on a steady 50 stand as we sought to chase down the 6 points before the end of the day’s play, however Raja standing in front of the scoreboard eventually led to Nedcott’s demise as he skied one chasing quick runs. Still haunted by the thought of a high ball, Rigon came in, pouncing on anything short before Fletch was caught with the Covies only needing 36 to win. Davola joined Rigon in the middle and scythed his way to bring it down to 11 to win off the final over, but some tight bowling meant the 6 points would have to wait until the following week.
Day 2 was met with persistent rain as Strathfield tried their hardest not to lift a finger and get us on, with the Coves only needing 7 runs to get the points. After Rigon successfully calculated the revised D/L target, and Cottie and Davola reminisced about the pre and post-war leading Shield run-scorers the rain soon cleared.
Crazy did the job and secured the 6 points within 5 balls, before falling for 48. Pinch-hitter Charlie was sent in to bat for the declaration, sticking to his task with 2 nicely struck singles within the ring and his stumps splattered as Rigon did his best not to pass 50, out for 49 as the Covies declared 6 down and precisely 100 in front, searching for the outright.
Bristow and Raja took one apiece to leave Strathfield shaky at 2/33, however a 93 run partnership and Rhys’ John Cena impression stood between us and the full 10 points as the captains called it a day. Lane Cove will be looking to build on this win with points against Georges River in the next round.
Rain Robs the Covies of certain victory
The Covies 3rd XI arrived at the KSO to face third placed Strathfield in a game that could have seen Lane Cove leap frog them and into the top three. The pitch showed twinges of green and the sky was overcast. Most skippers would overcome the ever present desire to bat first and opt to bowl first in what was, perfect bowling conditions. Luckily or for us, our skipper didn’t need to wrestle with his continuous urge to get the pads on as he has not won a toss all season. We were promptly asked to get the pads on and have a bat.
The start was steady with Shane and Arun picking off early ones and twos and beging to build a strong base to build off until the latter was caught off the bowling of Devidas and Shane let one through the defences and was bowled by Agarwal. 4th Grade hero from two rounds prior, Steve Matheson and Skipper Nick set about rebuilding the innings. Both showed signs of being in good form with many good shots played but the Strathfield inner ring held firm. As the pressure built so did the expectation of covies wickets and Steve let one through the gate and was castled to leave the covies on 3-24. But the runs continued to tick over at a steady pace as Nick, Dave and English debutant James Needham played mostly sensibly to keep the score growing. However, after some hard work both Nick and Dave both fell to their own undoing, the former popping a half volley to mid-off and Fagan failing to clear deep-mid off their part time spinner, his third partnership of 46 this season. Some great batting from Needham and Ben Sykes got Lane Cove to tea at 88-5. Special mention to Santosh for ignoring the team and eating tea with the opposition in one of very many canoodles of the day.
Shortly after the break Needham was saved by a howler of a decision from the Pavilion End umpire after he punched one into the arms of the scrambling Strathfield Wicketkeeper. He wasted no time in clarifying with the keeper that he had indeed “gloved the f**K” out of it. However, cricket may be cruel but it is always a just mistress and the very next ball Needham was triggered after padding up to a ball that wouldn’t have hit a third set for a respectable 35. At this point the Strathfield skipper was rubbing his hands with glee at the having Lane Cove 6-95, unfortunately nobody told him about the mighty firepower of the Lane Cove tail. Issac Kensell promptly began dispatching the Strathfield bowlers around the park with ease, clearing the rope 4 times in his 41 ball innings. He was bravely supported by the rugged defence of Sykes until he was clean bowled for an agonising 49. Sykes then chipped a short ball to the keeper and was also Pavillion bound after what turned out to be a very important knock. Williams was next in and despite dispatching his first ball with a glorious cover drive for four he couldn’t recapture the form of previous weeks and chipped one to gully for a poultry score of 9. With the covies 9-170 the opposition would have been annoyed to concede a further 10 runs let alone the carnage that Santosh and Earl unleashed. 33 vital runs were smashed in record time. Santosh, facing his former clubs 2nd team opening bowler freed up his long levers and made use of the Mongoose by hitting back to back maximums into the road, further canoodling fines were accrued after seeming to lend the Strathfield fielders his bat. However, Earl wasn’t going to be outdone and bided his time and waited for the right delivery for his baseball style skill set and sure enough the full toss off the part time spinner came and it was met with the full force of Earl Van Schalwuk. Some say that ball is still travelling
A mix up coming back for a tricky two ran Santosh out and the Covies finished on 203 at 5:15pm on the opening day.
With just one hour of the day remaining and the momentum firmly with Lane Cove, we set about getting stuck into the opposition batsman. However, what happened next exceeded the expectations of all of the boys in blue.
Opening up was the 10th wicket heroes of Santosh and Earl and they wasted absolutely no time in getting stuck in with Santosh removing their opener for 1 and Earl pinning their no3 for a blob in the next over. With Strathfield 2-4 and 15 overs left in the day you would expect to see a cocktail of forward defensives and leaves to ensure survival into day two. This was not Strathfield’s approach. On a green pitch that was jagging around all over the shop Santosh removed the remaining opener’s off stump and with it any hope that Strathfield would end day one with any momentum. With Earl and Santosh firmly on top, the slip cordon were primed and ready for any glimpse of a chance that would come their way. This was proven shortly after with our very own David Fagan taking a screamer of a diving left handed slip catch to leave Strathfield teetering on 5-16 and rampant covies running around with glee.
KSO had suddenly turned into the WACA during the Ashes as the atmosphere became more and more hostile for anybody in yellow. With the covies bouncing around and applying some top quality pressure on the opposition you could feel they were well and truly beaten as Strathfield finished the day on 38-5 and the 6 points for the Covies was well and truly on the cards day 2.
Cricket is indeed a cruel game and despite the best efforts of all of the boys in blue the weather prevented a single ball being bowled on day two robbing the lads of a certain 6 points and a chance to climb the ladder.
Our focus now turns to round five and the undefeated Georges River 3rd XI.
After two solid performances against Balmain and the reigning premiers Burwood, the 4s took on last year’s other finalists, Strathfield, in 4 four. After winning his 4th toss in a row, Fat skip decided not to break from tradition and send Strathfield in on a steamy opening day. It worked early for the 4s with Fat Skip taking a screamer in first slip of new opening bowler Marc Fini. Two more quick poles to Taylor and Robbie Seymour then followed and the Covie boys were looking good. Unfortunately it went downhill from there. A good partnership from Strathfield’s Skip and number 5 then followed to swing the momentum their way. Even though the Covies toiled hard with the ball and in the field, the pair managed to get away and score a 64 and 116 on a flattening pitch.
After removing their skipper with a Barbeler full toss, hopes were high for the Covie boys to wrestle the momentum back as two quick poles then followed from Fat Skips dangerous looking door knobs. A shocking cameo from their left hand hacker then followed and Strathfield decided 280 was enough and wanted 10 overs to have a go at us with darkening skies. A tough day in the field for the 4th grade guys but spirits never dropped and we fought till the end. After Srini got depegged (a shadowing of things to come), Tay and Felix batted out the day to leave us 1/15 with a further 265 needed for victory.
Day two roles around and even darker skies awaited us a Bark Huts for our run chase. It was tough early on but Felix and Tay looked solid against tight bowling. Felix then missed a cutter, Tay tried to hit the wrong one and we were all of a sudden 3 for 20 odd. Marc and young gun rex then took up the fight to the Strathfield attack. Marc hit some boundaries and was then fired Leg Before first slip, which brought along the all too familiar Lane Cove Collapse. Penny Farthing, Robbie Seymour were both then bowled without scoring. Late Call up Roz showed some fight before having his castle skittled and he was then quickly followed by Shagger the in the same fashion. Fat Skip unfortunately followed next ball to dubious LBW and it was left to 14 year old Robbie and Hugh to hold on as long as they could. Rex batted well to soak up strike and was left not out after Hugh got knocked over. The 8th of the innings. To put it simply not really good enough effort in the first innings and were looking for more in the second dig as we were put back into bat.
Unfortunately this did not really occur. We once again lost regular wickets in the second dig and even though some showed some fight we gave away too many soft wickets. Tay played well to soak up a lot of balls before spooning a full toss to mid-off, first ball after drinks. Billy Keall once again played the seamers off the stumps and fought hard in an impressive knock and along with Robbie Seymour batted a long time under darkening skies. Unfortunately they to eventually fell and we were not able to bat out the day and surrendered the 10 points to Strathfield. All in a very disappointing round but we are looking to bounce back against Georges River next week.