At Camperdown Oval, Camperdown, On Sunday 12 February, 2017: Report By Garry Winney
After two blistering hot days, a 30 degree day felt comfortable. We still have a few injured players out and it was good to see Ajoy Roy up and about after his stent operation last weekend. We won the toss and batted on the same wicket that had played so well a month ago. Little did we realise what was about to happen today.
Sittampalam Ragavan (“Raga”) and Bandula Wijesinghe opened against two wily bowlers in Kevin Periera and Cuthbert Berenger. They summed up the conditions immediately. The ball kept low on anything short of a length which is where they bowled. Runs were a struggle, as the field grass was a bit longer as well. Bandula hit a ball wide of point but it stopped quickly, unfortunately quicker than Bandula expected and he was run out going for 2.
Raga next over was caught at cover, now 2-6. Wasanta Hettiarachchi and Mick McCormick now had to ready the ship. Wasa, batting no. three, was off the mark clipping a rare bad delivery for 4 (one of only 2 boundaries in the first 20 overs). Runs crept along until Mick was bowled for 4, 3-20 off 10 overs. John Mesar got another questionable lbw decision, 3-22. Keith Elloy and Wasa worked the ones to take us to drinks 4-38 and 100 was looking a long way off unless their lower bowlers were poor – it wasn’t to be, they were all very capable bowlers.
We needed some acceleration of runs but they had other plans. Wasa was bowled for a well compiled 20, Keith also went bowled for a tidy 13, 6-46. Could we bat out the forty overs? Garry Winney and Prianta Kariawasam were able to stem the wickets flowing and both hit good boundaries off poor deliveries until Garry’s leading edge to mid-on for 11, 7-67.
Worse was to come. Prianta was bowled for 9, next ball and Graham Buck caught behind off a faint edge cutting, now 9-68 off 33 overs. Jay Patel and Paul Georgiadis had a marvellous undefeated tenth wicket partnership based on sound defence and deft placement to get us to 9-88. Not a great score but it could have been much worse. Now we needed early wickets.
Most of out bats lost patience being tied down for much of their innings when they felt we needed quicker runs (which we did) but against a very good bowling line up, we managed to get ourselves out. All they needed was a good start and the game would be over.
Well, they underestimated how getting our two opening bowlers out cheaply would make Buck and John Mesar more determined to bowl the exact same way back to them. Bucky was moving the ball about and cleaned up their opener 1-7 after 2 overs. He repeated the dose next over, this time an lbw 2-8. John was slapped for two fours but bowled him for 8, 3-16 and we were on a roll. Bucky again bowled the next bat to have 3-2 off 3 overs.Now 4-16.
The next two bats played very cautious cricket and inched the score along until the twelfth over when Wasa took a sharp gully catch off John 5-34. Bucky joined in and removed the dangerous Kevin Pereira lbw 0, 6-35. We then had a two over period of inexplicable cricket. In the space of 10 balls we managed to drop 4 catches. None of them sitters but they all went to hand then ground, thankfully these lapses didn’t cost us too much. Buck and Mesar were nearing the end of their spells but John was able to take a wicket in his last over, another lbw, 7-39.
Both bowled 9 overs straight, Buck 4-10, Mesar 3-25 only 3 fours in that period. They sure got us back into the game. Sri Lanka still had their best bat Cuthbert to come in. Raga and Mick McCormick took over. Mick was a bit all over the shop, whereas Raga’s first ball a short ball outside off was crunched straight to the safe hands of Mick at cover 8-53.
Wasanta Hettiarachchi came on to hopefully remove their tall left hander who looked like he could smash balls a mile. Well he got him out but not how we expected; he smashed a ball out to near Mick McCormick then took on his arm – wrong person, Mick’s throw from the boundary one bounce next to the stumps – out run out. 9-55. They now had their captain and their number 11 in – he was a tail end bat but had an excellent defence along with a lot of wild swings. He hit as many boundaries as our whole team. He had some near stumpings and catches but hit a quick fire 27*, Cuthbert batted sensibly giving him the strike while he was never troubled. They passed us 9 down off 28.5 overs.
I was always fearful that it would only take one bat to get going to win them the game and they do have 11 batsmen who could all play that sort of innings. It was just frustrating to only need that last wicket to make it an amazing escape of a win. But it was not to be. The better team won on the day.
A day where the ball absolutely dominated the bat. Special mention to Graham Buck and John Mesar who both bowled magnificently; they really stood tall when we needed them. As they say ‘the one that got away’. Still our only losses have been to teams above us in the table. Thanks to Keith Elloy who filled in for Peter Hall as keeper, he did the best he could. Wasa’s innings was one of composure and stood out as our best bat on the day.
The Team was:- Sittampalam Ragavan 4; Bandula Wijesinghe 1, Wasanta Hettiarachchi 20; Mick McCormick 4; John Mesar 0; Keith Elloy (w) 13, Prianta Kariawasam 9; Garry Winney (c) 11; Jay Patel 11*; Graham Buck 0; and Paul Georgiadis 8*.
The Result was: –
C.C.N.S.W: 9-88 (W. Hettiarachchi 20) (40 overs)
Sri Lanka Lions: – 9-91 (G. Buck 4-10) (28 overs)
By one wicket
FoW (C.C.N.S.W.): – 1- 5 (B. Wijesinghe); 2-6 (S. Ragavan); 3-20 (M. McCormick); 4-22 (J. Mesar); 5-46 (K. Elloy); 6-46 (W. Hettiarachchi); 7-67 (G. Winney); 8-68 (G, Buck); 9-68 (P. Kariawasam).
FoW (Sri Lanka Lions): – 1-7 (R. Wijesinghe); 2- 8 (G. Mallawaratchy); 3-16 (C. Perera); 4-16 (T. George); 5-34 (U. Gunasena); 6-35 (K. Pereira); 7-39 (B. Parsons); 8-53 (D.A. De Silva); 9-55 (T. Bartholomeusz).
The Bowling was: – J. Mesar 9-2-25-3; G. Buck 9-4-10-4; S. Ragavan 3-1-7-1; M/ McCormick 2-0-18-0; W. Hettiarachchi 1-0-8-0; J. Patel 3-0-10-0; and P. Georgiadis 1-0-2-0
The Fielding was: – Stumpings: Nil
Catches: one each to M. McCormick and W. Hettiarachchi
Run outs: one to M. McCormick
Player Points: three points to G. Buck; two points to J. Mesar; one point to W. Hettiarachchi