SOCIAL GAME v S.C.G. XI AT CAMPERDOWN OVAL, CAMPERDOWN ON WEDNESDAY 9 NOVEMBER, 2016: REPORT BY RICHARD CLARK
On an overcast Wednesday afternoon, two teams assembled at Camperdown Oval on a day that will go down in history for a remarkable election on the other side of the world. The SCG XI won the toss and elected to bat on a wicket, that although covered during the rain from the night before, looked tacky and on the green side.
New recruit and recent arrival to Sydney from Dubbo, Angus Cusack (3 for 25 off 6.5),opened the bowling with good pace and steepling bounce, balanced from the other end by the steady, tight, line and length of Mitch Sturt (1 for 19 off 6). Both opening batsmen fell quickly with the rattle of their stumps from Gus. But this brought to the crease Michael Singh Bhatty and Chris McNamara – one a cross-batted and wristy player, the other a front foot specialist.
They settled into an ominous 40 run partnership before Craig Kitson (3 for 16 off 6) picked up their Number three l.b.w. The following over a ball leaving a divot in the pitch resulted in a pop up catch from McNamara to Jonty Hall at cover off the tight bowling of Captain Ed Smith (coming off a full run up for the first time this year) (2 for 17 off 6).
The SCG XI middle order then collapsed with the next 4 wickets falling for 5 runs with another 2 wickets to Kitso, one to John Mesar (1 for 18 off 7) and another to Captain Smith. Sharp good catches in this period from John Mesar and Jonty Hall along with a freakish left handed “once-in-a-lifetime” full stretch dive at mid-on from Richard Clarke typified the great day that the Cricketers’ Club were having in the field – the tone being expertly set by the mercurial and evergreen Peter Hall behind the stumps.
56 runs were then eked out by the remaining two partnerships to set what was a modest total of 118 with the SCG XI all out in the 36th over (Mitch and Gus taking the final wickets).
After a longer than expected but well catered lunch and with the weather threatening and light fading, Rich Clark and Matt Rennick opened the batting with Matt out early to their quick opener for 2 runs off 10 balls. Rich and Mike Pinter edged the score to 26 against some solid opening bowling before Rich (13 off 33) succumbed to a lunging, juggled caught and bowled from Joe Scarcella (filling in for the SCG X!).
The middle order struggled against good pace bowling and fading light and despite some good fours being hit by Craig “Bomber” McKenzie (4 off 6), Jonty Hall (5 off 5) and Mitch Sturt (6 off 13) and an anchor role being performed by Punter (11 off 43), the score sat precariously at 6-57 at the half way mark of the innings.
But in the fading light, with the threat of thunder, lightning and an abandoned match (due to rain) building, Craig Kitson (30* off 39) and Angus Cusack (35* off 23!) played a range of graceful shots to all corners of the ground in good time in an unbeaten match winning partnership of 63 off just 55 balls. C.C.N.S.W. reached the SCG total inside 30 overs and, more importantly, one over before the downpour commenced.
Michael Singh Bhatty was named best player for the SCG XI, Angus Cusack was named the best player for the Cricketers’ Club of NSW, but the surprise of the day was clearly Donald Trump’s soon to be confirmed election as the 45th President of the United States of America. This topic was discussed almost as much as the cricket over post-match drinks.
The cricket was played at a really high level in somewhat difficult conditions but with exceptional sportsmanship. At the end of the first innings, Captain Ed Smith recalled the last SCG batsman after he had heard a thin edge in an l.b.w. decision. The SCG XI co-captains Cameron Wheatley and Chris McNamara returned the favour by taking off their two very quick bowlers when the game was in the balance but the dark red ball was very hard to see in the rapidly fading life.
All captains should be commended for their decisions to put cricket ahead of the outcome in this match.
The Team was: – Matt Rennick 2 (10 balls), Richard Clark 13 (33 balls), Mike Pinter 11 (43 balls), Craig McKenzie 4 (6 balls), Jonty Hall 5 (5 balls), Mitch Sturt 6 (13 balls), Craig Kitson 30* (39 balls), Angus Cusack 35* (23 balls), Peter Hall (w) dnb, John Mesar dnb , and Ed Smith (c.) dnb
The Result was: –
SCG XI: – 10 -118 (35.5 overs)
C.C.N.S.W.: – 6-120
By 4 wickets
The Bowling was: – A. Cusack 6.5-0-25-3, M. Sturt 6-1-19-1, E. Smith 6-0-17-2, C. Kitson 6-0-16-3, J. Mesar 7-1-18-1,and M. Rennick 4-0-17-0.
The Fielding was: – Catches: Jonty Hall 3, John Mesar 1, Rich Clarke 1 classic!