Every player grateful to be able to put 16 weeks of winter training behind us and to start with a real cricket match, after much disappointment with Edgemead’s and Stellenbosch’s cancellations.
After a wet pitch situation which caused an hour delay MCC were asked to bat, not surprisingly as we know PP Smit plays well for the bowling side for the first hour.
Bellville opening bowler, Roodt, caused havoc with some very good bowling, showing good pace and most importantly bowling in the channel. This had our top order struggling to pick his pace and line and unfortunately falling prey to these deliveries and six of our top eight falling to caught behinds – 37 for 8.
Sias joining Vernon at 37 for 8 and with Vernon “hanging” in there on 0 not out these two decided enough was enough and although Roodt had finished his spell of 7 – 3 – 16 – 6, the Sias and Vernon partnership began. Sias in his second overplayed some elegant “late” cuts and penetrated the open gully position crossing the boundary on two occasions taking ten off the over, confidence was rising!
They took the score to 87 for 9 with a great 50 partnership, Vernon contributing 9 and Sias 39 before Vernon was caught at mid-wicket with an unlucky miss-timed shot. Christo joining Sias and so wanting to see Sias through to his 50 did well, a further 12 was added to the total and with Sias lifting his bat for his first club fifty, managed to play the very next ball onto his wickets – innings closed on 99.
After a serious talk and report back from the players it was decided that we were going to go all out and put the disappointment of a poor inning behind us and bowl and field like demons.
Openers, Christo and Kyle, started well, with Kyle’s second ball passing the bat into Darren Mac’s gloves and Bellville 7 for 1. With a couple of dropped chances, we had to wait until the ninth over before Christo disturbed the woodwork and bowled Fuller for 4. Bellville 26 for 2. Vernon coming into the attack and with his second ball had Hamtam (ex WP) skying a ball to high altitudes where Copeland at mid-off had to do roundabouts and wait patiently before the ball came down, a very difficult catch taken, but there was NO WAYS Craig was going to drop his second of the match. Bellville 54 for 3.
On comes the batting hero of the day, Sias, to bowl. First ball opener Prinsloo, dropped twice already, tries to put Sias over the sightscreen, but only manages to sky one to Kyle at mid-off and with Kyle doing everything correctly the ball popped – hard-luck Bass!
Well, the rest is as we know, Bellville scoring the 100 needed in 25 overs and winning the match by 7 wickets.
By all accounts both these sides need to go back and work hard on their individual games and with the full season ahead, we can and will improve.
Some noticeable positives to come out of the match, was Darren at keeper had a sound match, our lower batsman looking good and the bowling not to shoddy for the first middle.
Team behavior was acceptable at all times and comrade on the field was good even though we spooned three.
A game played within the sprit of the game and on many occasions our batsman acknowledged the “nick” and on their way they were, prior to any umpires finger being lifted.
I had a call from Leon who immediately was depressed, but I assured him that his depression won’t last for long, as these players are committed to the cause and their improvement in their standard of play.
Thanks to the loyal club players who made it down to support, also to our club’s Vice Chairman and club captain, the support was great and at no time was there any negativity openly expressed.
Next week is the start of the 2nd XI’s and the club teams season and may they heed a warning from this game and that being “your first outing to the middle is different to the winter and MCC nets!”
Lift our glasses and cheers to Sias, alias Bass, we will toast your achievement !!!!
Until next week………………….
From the Boundary Rope was compiled by Coach Craig