Sri Lanka tour party team photograph at Galle
Left to right: Craig Fletcher, Soren Hughes, Steve Kish, Paul Brandon, Ken Yardy (Mgr), Ezekiel Hughes (kneeling), Paul Moorhouse, John Wise, Rob Bevilacqua, Bruce Pendlebury, Trevor Worland, Scott Wells(kneeling), Tom Robertson (c), Greg Ballarino, Ian Wright (scorer) and Tony Wood.
(Absent) John Fish
REVIEW OF THE C.C.N.S.W. SRI LANKAN TOUR BY KEN YARDY-TOUR MANAGER
Late form reversal pumps up the crew
Cricket is always the winner
Great Hotels, Fun times and Humidity
The Sri Lankan tour was beset with several issues that don’t normally confront us: terrorist bombings at the beginning, ongoing security precautions, social media blocking, curfews as well as the odd monsoonal downpour, but the team pulled together as usual and ensured that the tour continued from its shaky beginnings.
The tour was a three week, ten (10) game tour of the most scenic and interesting areas of Sri Lanka, with the funniest safari day at Yala (where the leopards were chased by boars, which were chased by elephants) with sixteen adult and one twelve-year-old cricketer plus a qualified scorer in Ian Wright whose assistance in keeping immaculate and accurate scoresheets was invaluable. With partners and children, there was a total touring party of 34 persons.
Despite its average elderly age, the team was generally competitive on the field, with 4 wins, 3 draws and 3 losses. Having lost 3 of the first four games, the team was thereafter undefeated.
Great cricket was played over the three weeks, starting with tough opposition that were regional champions vying for first class status. We learnt how to gauge the weather to force a draw when the going got tough. But after a few days all the stomachs got better; we performed better with some impressive batting efforts. We were probably short two bowlers, which would appear to be a constant problem for older sides.
Paul Moorhouse took 10 wickers @ 20.2, with Tony Wood 9 @ 17.3, Soren Hughes 9 @ 25.2 and twelve year old Ezekiel Hughes 8 @ 21.0. In some games, our bowlers bowled probably one too many overs as the opposition got used to their bowling.
Good batting saw Tom Robertson score 280 runs (avge. 93.3; Hs 74*), Scott Wells 209 (avge.104.5; Hs 42*) Soren Hughes 176 (avge. 58.7; Hs 58*) Rob Bevilacqua 135 (avge.27; Hs 41*). The opposition were not able to get the team all out at any time on tour.
Not playing at Galle Stadium was disappointing. Some of the important cricket venues such as Rangiri International Cricket Stadium, at Dambulla, Welagedara Stadium in Kurunegala and Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy,were closed because of security concerns but we managed two games at the historic P Sara Oval in Colombo .which had hosted Sri Lanka’s first Test Match
Several times we were playing games two days in a row, which affected us early in the tour when players were sick and/or injured. Where possible with an elderly side, games should always have a rest day in between as with less than 22 players, some have to play both days
The land based content for the tour was conducted through AS Travel in Sydney, who had organised the previous tour in 2003 and the hotels were excellent.
Most people had organized their own flights, most arriving and departing at separate times, AS provided transfers to and from the airport for some but not all depending on their dates of arrival and departure. This created several issues and soaked up considerable time by all parties. Consideration should be given to ensure that the tours start at a Hotel, so people can independently arrange their transfers to suit their individual requirements and reduce the workload on the Club.
Using ‘Whatsapp’as a communication tool rather than Facebookproduced dividends with quicker, concise and better notifications between players.
Despite the issues of the bombings and their proximity, the tour party elected to continue with only one person, John Fish having to leave the tour because of a demand from his travel insurer.
Most of the players did not have a great understanding of the terms and conditions of their travel insurance. About half of the insurance policies looked at did not cover travel after an adverse ‘Smart Traveller’warning for the country being visited. There should be some consideration to identifying a travel insurer that covers sporting tours like cricket and provides clear cancellation protocols.
Trevor Worland did a great job liaising with the High Commission in Colombo for regular updates as to Australia’s position on its people in the country. This gave us a trusted information source when things were not very clear.
Sri Lanka is a great place to tour. A number of Australian and New Zealand touring teams such as the Occidentals and the Armidale o50s have also toured recently.
Several of our members on our C.C.N.S.W. tour had been previously approached by another proposed tour to Sri Lanka, which could have seriously damaged our tour if they had ‘defected’. Our players’ loyalty to the Club is to be commended. I have concerns that C.C.N.S.W. should recognise that competing proposed tours by other clubs may have a significant impact on availability for C.C.N.S.W. future tours.
A significant amount of the workload of the tour was delegated to both John Wise and Steve Kish from Melbourne. They have previously assisted in organizing the C.C.N.S.W. 2015 tour to the East coast of USA and Canada and have offered to assist in a proposed 2020 tour to Cyprus/ Greece (I.e. Corfu) and maybe Croatia. A formal proposal with be submitted to the Club Committee shortly.
Consideration should be given to creating nominated future tour contacts in each of our regular C.C.N.S.W. sides to encourage more of the Sydney based members to come on future tour.
Ken Yardy 10.05.2019
C.C.N.S.W. SRI LANKA TOUR 2019 MATCH REPORTS
SUNDAY 21 APRIL 2019 TERRORIST BOMBINGS STOP PLAY
A SAD INDICTMENT ON HATE IN OUR SOCIETY
“KEEP CALM AND CARRY YOUR BAT”
This Easter the club set off for the tour of Sri Lanka, to replicate the last time we visited in 2003. During that time, the civil war was still in progress and during that time we saw several Police and Army checkpoints, but at no stage were we concerned. Sri Lanka had ended its civil war (Tamil v Singhalese) and the lovely green island because again, one of the great places in the world to visit, with its history, natural features and happy, welcoming people.
This trip, the hotel at which we were staying in Negombo was the Heritance which is a large, modern resort just about 1 km. from St Sebastian’s Church, which was destroyed in the bombings. On Good Friday, when we arrived, we passed the church and like the other churches there, they were doing the “Stations of the Cross”Ceremony. It is the largest church in the majority Roman Catholic area, and its Easter Sunday service is seen as the highlight of the year.
A number of cricketers (Soren Hughes and Craig Fletcher) wanted to attend the Easter Sunday ceremony at St Sebastian’s; however it ran from 7.00 am to 8.00 am and our bus departed from the Hotel at 8.00 am for the game at the Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu Stadium Oval (generallyknown as the P Sara Oval) in Colombo, so they went to the smaller, closer church so they could get on the bus on time. (Editor’s Note: this game was only switched from the nearby local Negombo ground to Colombo very recently; had the fixture remained at the original ground, we would have left the hotel later and players and their families would have been able to attend the service the subject of the bomb blast)
The Heritance Hotel in Negombo was also lucky that it was not targeted like the three other luxury hotels in Colombo, as many of those not playing/on the bus may have been in the breakfast restaurant at the time of the blasts (8.45 am).
Some of those travelling to the game heard the blasts but did not know what it was about. The game started, but the local side (An Aitken Spence Travel Co. XI) had better local knowledge and quickly let us know what had happened. From that moment on, it was decided that it was safer to stay in the stadium (continuing the game) and for the others to remain in the hotel. We also liaised with the hotel staff as they attended to room and card inspections and the removal of cars parked outside the hotel. The streets then suddenly became empty and the “Special Task Force”, an anti-terrorist police unit, was seen riding around in groups of 8 on trail bikes and AK-47 machine guns past the hotel.
Realising that a major incident had occurred, Trevor Worland contacted the Australian High Commission to seek advice and give them our details and contacts. We had a team meeting where all the team were asked to consider their travel plans, contact their loved ones and make an informed decision whether to continue the tour, as we were leaving Negombo the next morning to go up country to Dambullah. Restrictions on data and Facebook made contacting others difficult.
John Fish had to leave the tour because his insurer (key-man insurer for his business) demanded his return to Brisbane, so he was on the first flight out. The rest of the team the next morning decided to keep travelling as the level of risk would be substantially reduced by going to the country.
When we left Negombo on Easter Monday, there were police to be seen everywhere and check points at major intersections. We drove past several hospitals where crowds were milling, no doubt to check on the injured.
Our second game the next day on Tuesday 23 April saw the observance of a two-minute silence and the wearing of black arm bands by the players.
We have since been thanked by many of the Sri Lankans that we have met for coming to their country. We hope that the tour will be memorable in the end for the good things that happen in life and the pleasure of playing cricket.
Ken Yardy Tour Manager
Address: P Sara Oval, Borella, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Easter Sunday 21 April 2019 will be etched in the memories of every tourist to Sri Lanka. It was the day when Sri Lanka, its people and visitors became the victims of the atrocious bombings where over 250 people lost their lives on Easter Sunday. Fortunately for the tour party we were all safe. Set in this context the game had a very sombre feel about it as clearly everyone was worried out the personal safety of everybody in Sri Lanka along with themselves.
We left our Hotel in Negombo at 8.00am to ensure we were at our venue,the Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu Stadium Oval (usually called the ‘P Sara’ Oval in Colombo in good time for a 10.00am start. This ground has hosted many International fixtures since 1945 so it was a massive privilege for all the C.C.N.S.W. players to make their “International” debut.
The toss was won by C.C.N.S.W. who had no hesitation in batting first. Rob Bevilacqua and Steve Kish were keen to stamp their authority on the game and a solid start with early runs on the board were vital to give us confidence in our first game on tour. Bevilacqua hit the first four of the tour and Kish the first 5 of the tour! A solid start ensued as singles and twos were taken in the sweltering and sticky heat to bring the score up to 41 before Kish was out bowled by Mahela for 17 in a partnership of 41.
John Fish joined Bevilacqua and made a solid connection with his first ball but went back to the second and it spat and turned trapping Fish in front LBW for 0. In came the dependable Scott Wells who with Bevilacqua pushed the scoring on at a good rate of runs per balls faced. It was proving difficult to score boundaries so what better to do in the heat of 90 Degrees Fahrenheit (Celsius 320) than run singles and twos.
Information about the bombings taking place in Colombo were starting to filter through at various times from 11.30am onwards so the game was stopped a couple of times to allow our hosts to catch up on what was happening with their work, relatives and for everyone to consider their position as to whether the match should continue. Our hosts were keen to continue and advice coming through was for us to stay at the ground since it was considered safer to do so.
Upon the game’s resumption and agreement to reduce the match to 30 overs it was shortly afterwards that Bevilacqua was out for 32 off 56 balls and 73 minutes at the crease. The partnership brought the score up to 81 for the third wicket with Wells still going strong at this point on 27.
Wells was joined by Greg Ballarino before he departed caught at deep mid off for 7 off 11 balls and then shortly afterwards Dave Stewart with 1. Paul Moorhouse and Wells set about building the base again and did so with some well judged singles before Moorhouse was out for 7. Wells then had to retire at 42* with a well crafted innings off 50 balls spending 114 minutes at the crease over the two breaks.
From here on it was all a question of how many runs could we get in the remaining number of overs left. Soren Hughes attacked and made 11 off 8 balls, Craig Fletcher also kept pace with Hughes and made a tidy 8 before both were out in the 29thover. This brought to the wicket Bruce Pendlebury and Tony Wood respectively at 10 and 11 in the batting order. Some “courageous” running and a final lusty blow from Wood off the last ball allowed us to reach 151 for 8 off our allotted 30 overs.
In the circumstances and as our first game on tour in searing heat it was not a bad start.
Our hosts were clearly intent on not remaining too long at the ground and started off with a flurry mauling our bowlers. Mahela leading the charge with 42 off 20 balls and Paul 40 off 28 balls. Both batsmen retired with the pace of their run scoring devastating. None of the C.C.N.S.W. bowlers made any impression and with the score on 0-102 off 9 overs, play was stopped as another bomb went off close to our ground. Both teams were advised to leave the ground and travel back before the curfew at 6pm.
The Team was (playing 11):- Rob Bevilacqua 32, Steve Kish (w) 17, John Fish 0, Scott Wells 42*, Greg Ballarino 7, Dave Stewart 1, Paul Moorhouse 7, Soren Hughes 11, Craig Fletcher 8, Bruce Pendlebury 1* and Tony Wood 6*
The Result was: –
C.C.N.S.W.: – 8-151 (S. Wells 42*) (30 overs)
An Aitken Spence XI: – 0-102(9 overs)
FoW: – 1-41 (S. Kish); 2-41 (J. Fish); 3-81 (R. Bevilacqua); 4-100 (G. Ballarino); 5-103 (D. Stewart); 6-125 (P. Moorhouse); 7-140 (C .Fletcher); 8-145 (S. Hughes);
The Bowling was: – S. Hughes 3-0-31-0; C. Fletcher 2-0-37-0; G. Ballarino 2-0-22-0, A. Wood 2-0-10-0;
The Fielding was: –
Stumpings: – Nil
Run outs: –Nil
MATCH No 2 v AN ANURADHAPURA DISTRICT XI AT THE ANURADHAPURA DISTRICT GROUNDS ON TUESDAY 23 APRIL 2019: REPORT BY JOHN WISE
The touring party assembled for the long journey for Game 2 (4 hours return from the idyllic Kandalama Resort) under the leadership of Steve Kish against a very formidable opponent which was made up of some talented younger players from the district. The conditions for the day which greeted us werevery hot and humid with a fast outfield that showed no mercy to poor bowling or bad fielding.
We won the toss and after discussion by umpires, captains andscorers regarding the conditions and rules of the day Robert Bevilacqua and Tom Robertson strode out to the middle to commence what would be a solid opening stand of 48 before Robert Bevilacqua was dismissed for 9. Paul Brandon joined Tom at the crease but soon after we were 2-50 when Tom Robertson was dismissed after compiling a very well made 34. The platform had been set to build a big total, but unfortunately we lost another wicket shortly after when Paul Brandon was dismissed for 1 seeing us now at 3-53.
A small partnership developed with Tony Wood andDave Stewart taking the score to 74 before Tony was dismissed for 9 and Soren Hughes soon followed suit after only managing 2 runs.Wehadthen moved to 5-74 and were in need of some experienced heads to steady the ship whichis exactly what Dave Stewart andKen Yardy did.
Needing to ensure we used our full allowance of overs,the style and grace of Stewart and the swashbuckling and slapping of Yardy saw our score build slowly but surely before Dave Stewart retired on 40*not out. As he made his way back to the rooms we could all see he was physically drained but his innings was one we were all proud of and the applause acknowledged a great innings. Paul Moorhouse strode to the crease confident he would continue to build our total but alas he was dismissed for 2 where upon his return he advised us that he thought he had a sweep shot in his bag of tricks but then realised why he had never played it before as it brought about his downfall!
Trevor Worland had a short stay at the crease only managing 3 runs which brought the skipper for the day,Steve Kish to the middle where he and Ken Yardy saw us reach a total of 7-144 after our 40 overs. Ken compiled a very well made 19*not out and Kish 3*not out.
It was now ourturn to take to the field. With such a small total we knew we had to be on song with our bowling otherwise our younger opponents would devour any bad ball presented to them. Soren Hughes opened the attack and bowled well taking 1-17 with John Wise opening from the other end and going wicketless with the figures of 0-26. Tony Wood took 1-23, Paul Moorhouse 0-19, Trevor Worland 0-36 but the pick of the bowlerswas Robert Bevilacqua who varied his pace and flight finishing with 2-24 but the majority of our deliveries didn’t hit the mark and the Anuradhapura batsmen had a field day and chased down the target after 19.3 overs and running out comfortable 6 wicket winners finishing 4-146.
Once againC.C.N.S.W.conducted itself in the highest manner. We have shown a great deal of sympathy and compassion to our opposition and the local community. We have shared in their pain and suffering after thesenseless Colombo attacks. Our support has been greatly appreciated and acknowledged which is something of which this tour group should be very proud.
The Team was (playing 11):- Rob Bevilacqua 9, Tom Robertson 34, Tony Wood 9, Paul Brandon 1, Dave Stewart 40* ret not out, Soren Hughes 2, Ken Yardy 19*, Paul Moorhouse 2, Trevor Worland 3, Steve Kish (c) and (w) 3* and John Wise dnb
The Result was: –
C.C.N.S.W.: – 7-144 (D. Stewart 40*) (40 overs)
Anuradhapura District XI: – 4-146 (19.3 overs)
By 6 wickets
FoW: – 1-48 (R. Bevilacqua); 2-50 (T. Robertson); 3-53 (.P Brandon); 4-71 (A. Wood); 5- 74 (S. Hughes); 6-131 (P. Moorhouse); 7- 135 (T. Worland);
The Bowling was: – S. Hughes 3-0-17-1; J. Wise 3-0-26-0; A. Wood 3-0-23-1, P. Moorhouse 4-0-19-0; R. Bevilacqua 4-1-24-2, T. Worland 2.3-0-36-0
The Fielding was: –
Stumpings: – One to S. Kish
Catches: – One to substitute (Ezekiel Hughes)
Run outs: – Nil
MATCH No 3 v RAJARATA C.C. AT THE ANURADHAPURA DISTRICT GROUNDS ON WEDNESDAY 24 APRIL 2019: REPORT BY GWEN BALE AND SOREN HUGHES
SWELTERING HEAT, HUMIDITY AND TWO INJURIES (From l to r):Ian Wright (Scorer), Ken Yardy, Dave Stewart, Trevor Worland, Paul Moorhouse, Antony Wood, Paul Brandon (w), Bruce Pendlebury, Craig Fletcher, Tom Robertson (c), Ezekiel Hughes and Soren Hughes (v/c).
Deep in the lush thick dense forest of Kandalama lies our luxurious hotel. Our second night there and another peaceful sleep, waking up to the sounds of nature and monkeys on the trees outside our balcony. Another hot and humid day dawns and only 11 tourists braving this second hour and a half bus ride to the same battle ground at Anuradhapura.
We arrived at 9.30 am for a 10.00 am start and the temperature was well over 30 degrees; with the added humidity we were in a sauna. Our captain won the toss and elected to bat. Tom Robertson having smashed the fast bowlers of the previous team for a quick 30 odd was sent in with Soren Hughes.
Little did we know, word had gone around the district that “David Warner” (‘Tommy’) was in town – his nemesis ‘spin’. The local team opened with spinners from both ends. Eight minutes in Soren was caught playing a piss weak drive to mid-on having only made 5 runs. In came Tony Wood, two fours later Tommy was out, detoured by some superb spin bowling. Loud cheers could be heard from the opposition as the ‘danger man’ was out for next to nothing.
In came Ezekiel Hughes who was eaten alive by humidity after only eight minutes, not before two beautiful cut shots that went for four which that meant the spinner was soon replaced by a fast bowler that took the top of the off bail.
Craig Fletcher walked to the crease and quickly walked back with a fifth ball (wooden) duck. The fast bowler Pasindu struck again by hitting middle. In the tenth over at 4-42, we were in trouble.
Wood was on 13 when Paul Brandon walked out to the crease. Both batsmen saw Pasindu off and their other fast bowler Heratu. ‘Woody’ hit three successive fours to see off Heratu. A patient innings of singles, twos and three 4s quickly brought up 30 plus runs for Woody. He exhibited a master class on the fourth and fifth bowler before they brought on another crafty off spinner, Yapa. A short ball had Woody charging down the pitch, which he missed and was stumped. A great innings from the English man who was out there for more than an hour in the sweltering heat.
Brando on the other hand started off with three quick singles before hitting seven fours. His loud calls of ‘yes’ and ‘no’ could be heard miles away. He kept his cool in the searing heat, playing mind games with the bowlers. His superb on drives and a few cut shots saw him scoring 41* retired not out.
Dave Stewart came in after Woody fell, and was quick off the mark with a quick single down leg. A four and running three – yes three in the heat and twisting his ankle running for the third! He was out caught and bowled in the next ball, making only 9 runs. Very unlucky as he was just starting to see the ball. Paul Moorhouse was in next.
Moorhouse came in just after 11am with the weather at its hottest and with ten overs to go. We looked to be trouble with not batting through our overs. But a superb innings by Moorhouse saw him casually score the quickest 41*, which was attained in well under an hour. Moorhouse hooked, cut and cover drove and hit puncturing pull shots. Five 4s and seven 2s with a few singles made up his 41* runs. His ability to bat on the hottest part of the day was an incredible feat.
After retiring the next batter, Bruce Pendlebury was next. Two quick singles but then a loft shot to mid-on went straight to a fielder’s safe hands. Out he goes, at least not a duck!
Trevor Worland and Ken Yardy were the last two batsmen. By this time we only had two overs to go. Trevor hitting three 4s to quickly make 14 runs and ‘Kensta’ was off the mark with a run.
We were 7-190 our highest score so far in the three games we have played.
Lunch was a piece of three times cooked (fried, fried, fried) chicken, three vegies, potato salad, yogurt all washed down with sweet milk. The hosts were generous and thankful for our attendance in the first capital of Sri Lanka and promised new toilets, air conditioning and a better spanking next visit.
By the end of lunch we were informed that the young team had almost won the second district and were using the match as a trial for their must-win match later in the week. If they won that game, the team would be promoted to first (state level) district.
Pressure was on everyone to field well; however the combination of heat and a new team of trialling Sri Lanka state cricketers was potentially an issue.
Opening the bowling for the team was Soren Hughes and Paul Moorhouse. Soren’s first ball was outside off to the left hander and swung in late, and in the words of Tommy Robertson, ‘boogaloo’-bails went flying – they were 1-0. The opening batsman was out for a platinum duck (subcontinent expression) and England royal duck. In came the third batsman who looked quite solid with his defensive shots. Moorhouse also bowled tightly in his first over which only went for one. Soren struck again in his second over, hitting middle stump. The other opener was out for a duck, looking uncertain to Soren’s new round arm Malinga style massive overtop out-swinger. Yeah!
Soren’s third over commenced with a torn hamstring (initially a cramp). ‘KenstaYardstick’ putting his hand up to finish Soren’s over and thinking he only had to bowl one or two balls. The five balls he was to bowl went for 17 runs while Soren received a massage, retaking the field before the agony ended. Paul Moorhouse bowled his third over and his finger was almost broken on attempting a return catch.
Tom was tasked with finishing one ball of Paul’s over which took three balls, technically going for two but probably seven while Paul put ice on his injured finger which was quickly turning purple and bleeding.
Their third batsman making quick work of the limited number of fielders, scored 42* in less than half an hour. Our players. feeling the heat, and a bit dejected with a few players short on the field, tried their best to contain the batsmen.
But the opposition was here to trial out their team and their players brought their ‘A’ game trying to impress the selectors.
Trevor Worland bowled 2.2 overs which went for 26 runs. Bruce Pendlebury was given an over to bowl which went for 15 runs. In came Tony Wood who got a wicket in his first over, the batsman hitting the ball straight to Moorhouse who was at deep mid-on. His figures after three overs was 1-13 – another great spell from the Englishman.
The opposition on the other hand were retiring their players, each player was given 20 mins each to go out and score quick runs. None was retired at the agreed 40 runs but within the 20 mins they did a lot of damage. Averaging 25 runs in 20 mins.
In came Craig Fletcher to bowl after Worland and Woods, and he bowled three overs which went for thirty runs – Fletch unfortunately still found his mojo. Our leggie Ezekiel Hughes bowled three overs which went for 26 runs.
Running out of bowlers the captain brought on the injured Dave Stewart who bowled two overs finishing off with 1-12. The opposition at this stage needing less than 10 runs to win the game. Soren and Ken Yardy quickly did a rock, paper, scissors and whoever won, was next in to bowl. Soren having won, bowled spin coming off three steps. His last over went for 10.
The agonising game finished in less than 22 overs – our players relieved. C.C.N.S.W lost by 6 wickets.
The Team was (playing 11):- TomRobertson (c) 8, Soren Hughes 5, Tony Wood 36, Ezekiel Hughes 8, Craig Fletcher 0, Paul Brandon (w) 41* ret not out, Dave Stewart 9, Paul Moorhouse 41* ret not out, Bruce Pendlebury 2, Trevor Worland 14 and Ken Yardy 1
The Result was: –
C.C.N.S.W.: – 7-190 (P. Brandon 41*; P. Moorhouse 41*) (40 overs)
Rajarata C.C.: – 4-193 (21.2 overs)
By 6 wickets
FoW: – 1-13 (S. Hughes); 2-17 (T. Robertson); 3-32 (E. Hughes); 4-32 (C. Fletcher); 5-81 (A. Wood); 6-104 (D. Stewart); 7- 137(B. Pendlebury);
The Bowling was: – S. Hughes 3.1-0-29-2; P. Moorhouse 2.5-0-19-0; T. Robertson 0.1-0-2-0; T. Worland 2.2-0-26-0; K. Yardy 0.5-0-17-0, B. Pendlebury 1-0-15-0, A. Wood 3-0-13-1, C. Fletcher 3-0-26-0, E. Hughes 3-0-30-0 , D. Stewart 2-0-12-1
The Fielding was: –
Catches: – one to S. Hughes and one to P. Moorhouse
Run outs: – Nil
MATCH No 4 v PERADENIYA UNIVERSITY AT PERADENIYA SPORTS GROUNDS ON FRIDAY 26 APRIL 2019: REPORT BY KEN YARDY
C.C.N.S.W. batting at Peradeniya University Grounds
With all the dramas of the Negombo/Colombo area and the shellacking that we got from a u/21 representative side during our stay in Dambulla, it was good to go to the old throne city of Kandy. This place celebrates its high position in Buddhist philosophy because it houses the “Tooth Relic”which is apparently the tooth of Buddha, and the museum is more like a fun park. But I suppose that is what Buddhism is all about. We were still under curfew at night and a number of terrorist threats were being bandied about so we stayed a few miles out of the old city in a very nice hotel where we were basically the only patrons. It is nice to have to have the pool to one’s self, even if it is in the midst of civil decay.
Our first opponent in Kandy was the Peradeniya University side at the University ground on an overcast day. Tom Robertson won the toss and we were batting. Of course Tom opened with his holiday grandfather Steve Kish and they put together a terrific opening 50 partnership when Tom retired at 40, but later came back to be 59 NO. Scott Wells looked in fine form, but he quacked like a duck for zero. Kishy (13) got us to 85 with Paul Brandon (35), who bats better without all the kids hanging off him. Craig Fletcher belted a few good balls for 12, as did Trevor (Axeman) Worland for 13. After 35 overs were 9-186… The locals could still not get us all out, and they never did on tour.
The University side were quite good batsmen and they started well, Craig Fletcher got the yips and was smashed for 33 runs off two overs. All the other bowlers were taken to as the ball didn’t move and the pitch had no life in it. Again, we were trying to bowl too hard and not smart enough. Our fielding was a bit lack lustre. Our only catches were taken by those who made easy ones look difficult (Yardy and Worland). But we were watching the clouds and after 20 overs they were 4-172 when the heavens opened. We thought we had a draw, but on the ‘Parabola Method’, we were adjudged by our international scorer Ian Wright to have lost by 48 runs, which was probably far enough.
The Team was (playing 12):- Tom Robertson (c) 59*, Steve Kish (w) 13, Scott Wells 0, Paul Brandon 35, Greg Ballarino 7, Dave Stewart 11*, Craig Fletcher 12, Ezekiel Hughes 0, Bruce Pendlebury 0, Ken Yardy 3, Trevor Worland 13 and Paul Moorhouse dnb
The Result was: –
C.C.N.S.W.: – 9-186 (T. Robertson 59*; P Brandon 35) (35 overs)
Peradeniya University C.C.: – 4-172 (20 overs) rain stopped play
By 48 runs (calculated under the Parabola Method see Footnote below)
FoW: – 1-58 (S. Wells); 2- 85 (S. Kish); 3-113 (G. Ballarino); 4-133 (C. Fletcher); 5-133 (P. Brandon); 6-134 (E. Hughes); 7-139 (B. Pendlebury); 8-140 (K. Yardy); 9-164 (T. Worland);
(NB 1st wicket partnership of 58 comprises 56 between Robertson and Kish, and 2 between Wells and Kish; 3rd wicket partnership of 28 comprises16 between Ballarino and Brandon and 12 between Stewart and Brandon).
The Bowling was: – C.Fletcher 2-0-33-1; P. Moorhouse 5-0-50-1, T. Worland 4-0-21-1, S. Wells 5-0-34-0, G. Ballarino 2-0-20-0 and E. Hughes 2-0-11-1
The Fielding was: –
Stumpings: – Nil
Catches: – One to T. Worland and one to Ken Yardy
Run outs: – Nil
Footnote 1: Parabola (PARAB). This method, by a young South African (do Rego8), calculates a table of `norms’ y, for overs of an innings, x, using the parabola y. 7:46 x ÿ 0:059 x 2 to model, rather inappropriately since it has a turning point (at about 63 overs, the `diminishing returns’ nature of the relationship between average total runs scored and total number of overs available. The method is an improvement upon Average Run Rate but takes no account of the stage of the innings at which the overs are lost or of the number of wickets that have fallen. From “A fair method for resetting the target in interrupted one-day cricket matches“ by FC Duckworth and AJ Lewis (pub 1997)
For a more detailed explanation the reader is referred to the full paper which may be found at https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/dfe5/600c60199249f490eb84b27d3a21626a0236.pdf
MATCH No 5 v AKURANA CRICKET BOARD AT PERADENIYA SPORTS GROUNDS ON SATURDAY 27 APRIL 2019: REPORT BY JOHN WISE
“Cricket has No Boundaries and No Borders”
The 2019 C.C.N.S.W. Tour of Sri Lanka for me has been one that has proven without doubt that the game of cricket has no borders nor boundaries in the way it draws people together in times of need and in times of devastation.
Our opponents in Game 5, the Akurana Cricket Club, exemplified exactly that when as they arrived at the ground, they were so humble and apologetic for being late. As we were to find out much later in the day they had no need to apologise. It was we who should be grateful for the lengths they went to in order to simply arrive at the ground.
We were advised that their Captain Razan travelled from India just to take part in this match and every other player had to sneak out of their Muslim village to get to the game as it was frowned upon that they would be out playing and enjoying a game of cricket after the events that had occurred in Colombo.
Basically all the opposition had to tell their families that they were going shopping and dressed in sarongs to exit the area and then got changed into their whites. Cricket trumps all!
As Captain for the day I won the toss and elected to bat in a 30 over match as the umpires had concerns that thunderstorms may prevent the full game being played.
Rob Bevilacqua and Greg Ballarino opened our innings and produced an opening stand of 13 before Greg was adjudged to be LBW for 3 with the score at 1-13. Scott Wells joined Bevilacqua at the crease to build a great second wicket partnership of 57 runs before Rob Bevilacqua was bowled for a well compiled 27 runs.
Soon after Scott Wells retired not out on 42* after playing some magnificent shots to all areas of the ground. The foundation had been set for a big target to be made with the score moving along to 2-80. Tony Wood and Paul Brandon were both a little scratchy before Tony Wood lost his wicket being LBW for 17 and the score moving along to 3-105 as Brandon was joined at the crease by in form batsman Tom Robertson who put on a small partnership of 18 before Paul Brandon was bowled for 9 and the score sitting at 4-123.
Our hotel manager and cricketer Ruwan Dharmapala played in this game as we had a few players who were sore and carrying niggling injuries which prevented us from being able to field 11 tourists in the game. Dharmapala joined Tommy at the crease and they would only manage to put on 13 of which Ruwan managed to contribute only 1 but his contribution would be felt later in the game.
At 5-136 that brought the two big guns together at the crease Soren Hughes and Tom Robertson who took the score to 166 before Tommy became our second retirement not out for a great knock of 40* taking the score to 5-166 and he was greeted by applause by the crowd upon his return and he quickly advised us that he had hit 7 sixes at the ground.
A few things that a player needs to check he has in his kitbag to play this great game are a bat, pads, protector, cap, gloves and most importantly your whites. Alas Ken Yardy didn’t seem to tick off the whites part of the gear but fortunately Tony Wood had a spare pair for Ken as he strode to the crease like a bride in something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.
Ken joined Soren and the partnership grew to 36 with Soren absolutely dominating the bowlers and dispatching them to all parts of the ground and becoming the third retired not out player making 40* Ken Yardy was not out again for 4* and Crag Fletcher not out 3* taking us to our highest total on tour after our allotted overs to be 5-208.
As we took to the field, the message was simple: bowl line and length and hold your catches and we will win the game. I opened the bowling with our import Ruwan whose first couple of deliveries ventured down leg side but once he found his line and length we knew the breakthrough would come and so it did in his second over and he finished with 5-0-15-2.
I opened the bowling from the other end and finished with the figures of 4-0-22-2. We had our hosts 4-23 after 7 overs before their skipper Razan began to form a handy partnership with the second highest run scorer, Rishkan who made 36 to take the score to 5-81. Then we saw a steady procession of wickets to have them 8-123 before a late rally from their tailenders as we finally dismissed them for 163 and recorded our first victory of the tour.
Robert Bevilacqua bowled brilliantly as the batsmen struggled to play him finishing with 6-0-31-1, Scott Wells 3-0-26-0, Tony Wood toiled hard 3-0-13-1, Greg Ballarino 2-0-15-0. The pick of the bowlers was young Ezekiel Hughes who bowled solid leg spin and finished with the good figure of 4.4-0-35-3 which finished off a solid performance by the bowlers.
One notable highlight where we all would’ve liked to be a fly on the wall in the Hughes’ accommodation is when Soren spilt what can only be described as a soda of a catch off his son Ezekiel, only to incur the wrath of his wife Gwen who made a loud but polite enquiry to her husband about said catch.
Finally, we are very grateful for the opportunity to have played and be hosted by an amazing group of men and their club under such extreme circumstances and we will be forever in their debt
The Team was (playing 12):- RobBevilacqua 27, Greg Ballarino 3, Scott Wells 42* ret not out, Tony Wood 17, Paul Brandon (w) 9, Tom Robertson 40* ret not out, Ruwan. Dhamapala 1, Soren Hughes 40* ret not out, Ken Yardy 4*, Craig Fletcher 3*, John Wise (c) dnb and Ezekiel Hughes dnb
The Result was: –
C.C.N.S.W.: – 5-208 (S. Wells 42*; T. Robertson 40*; S. Hughes 40*) (30 overs)
Akaruna Cricket Board: – 10 – 163 (E. Hughes 3-35) (27.4 overs)
By 45 runs
FoW: – 1-13 (G. Ballarino); 2-70 (R. Bevilacqua); 3-105 (A. Wood); 4-123 (P. Brandon); 5-136 (R. Dhamapala)
The Bowling was: – R. Dhamapala 5-0-15-2 ; J. Wise 4-0-22-2; R. Bevilacqua 6-0-31-1, S. Wells 3-0-26-0, A. Wood 3-0-13-1, E. Hughes 4.4-0-35-3 ; G. Ballarino 2-0-18-0
The Fielding was: –
Stumpings: – Nil
Catches: – 3 to S. Wells; one to P. Brandon
Run outs: – One to E. Hughes
After our first win on tour in game 5, and then two days off from cricket, the tour party was refreshed and upbeat as the bus rolled out from ‘little England’, Nuwara Eliya. Even more so after we had checked in the night before to the magnificent Grand Hotel, Nuwara Eliya, which was reminiscent of an English manor house, with magnificent gardens including the best topiary this correspondent has ever seen. Nuwara Eliya sits at about 4000 feet above sea level, in the ‘up country’, and it was in light rain that the bus rolled up and down the green hills covered in tea plants. Queries about the weather were second to where there might be a flat patch of ground big enough to fit a cricket field. After about 45 minutes the bus stopped on the road, by a sign pointed to the Dimbula Athletic and Cricket Club. After a short walk along a concrete path through the Radella Tea Estate we emerged at the pretty but little ground, which was largely surrounded by tea growing up the side of the surrounding hills, and was complete with a small club house. The keen eyes of Ezekiel Hughes soon noticed the 2003 C.C.N.S.W. Sri Lanka tour plaque on the clubhouse wall, along with plaques from other touring sides that had played at the ground.
Cricket has been played at the Radella ground since at least 1892, when Lord Hawkes XI played an up country XI. The only first class game at the ground was in 1984, when New Zealand played the SL President’s XI. Sir Richard Hadlee reported that the altitude and overcast conditions meant that the ground was good for swing bowling. In 2000, four U19 world youth cup games were played at the ground, although the facilities are now probably below what is expected for such games. The ground is also well known for rugby, which has been played here since 1880 (there were rugby posts on the ground while we played).
Skipper for the day, Tom Robertson, went out to toss in C.C.N.S.W. blazer, shorts and hotel thongs, but not even that sartorial splendour could save him from losing the toss. C.C.N.S.W. was asked to field first for the first time on tour. Fortunately, the cooler climate in Nuwara Eliya meant that was not nearly as daunting as it would have been in the earlier games. A 30 over match was agreed.
Paul Moorhouse and Soren Hughes opened the bowling, with Hughes starting with a cheap over, and Moorhouse then getting an LBW shout upheld on the first ball of the second over. Hughes then took wickets in his 2nd and 3rd overs, to have the Planters 3-10 by the fifth over. Our best start to a bowling performance on tour. Hughes was replaced after 4 overs by Trevor Worland, who proceeded to put in a few good overs. The ‘warlord’kept the ball full and straight, and wobbled it around a bit in the overcast conditions, and was rewarded with wickets in his 1st, 3rd and 4th overs, including two clean bowled. The Planters batsmen were coming hard at the bowling, as Sri Lankan batsmen tend to do, but by the 15th over we had reduced them to 6-60. Unfortunately from that point things went downhill a bit, as first Fletcher, then Worland and Ezekiel Hughes lost their radars and were given some tap by the Plantation batsman. Rain intervened after 18 overs, by which time the opposition had reached 6-104. Upon resumption skipper Robertson spread the field in order to regain control, and Ezekiel Hughes got an LBW. Then we saw Plantation CC batsmen 8 and 9 build a solid score, with Mr Gamage getting to 36 before he was caught of the bowling of Dave Stewart, and Mr Fernando retiring at 40*, after initially not wanting to leave (although apparently this was because no-one had told him that the playing conditions included retiring at 40*). A couple of good overs from S. Hughes to finish at one end kept the opposition below 200. Plantation C.C. ended their 30 overs at 8-197, which was gettable on the small ground, but a bit disappointing after we had them 6-60.
Bruce Pendlebury and Rob Bevilacqua were sent out to open for C.C.N.S.W. under overcast skies. ‘Pendles’was a controversial choice to open (at least in his mind), and he was back in the clubhouse a few balls later having been bowled by one that skidded on. But once Scott Wells joined Bevilacqua C.C.N.S.W. took control, with ‘Beva’striking some boundaries down the ground and Wells showing his class by clubbing some short balls to the point boundary. Beva was bowled for a well made 16 off 17 balls, and Greg Ballerino joined Wells for a few balls before the rain came and the covers were called out again. C.C.N.S.W. were 2-41 from 6 overs, and the game was evenly poised. The rain continued to fall and about 30 minutes later the umpires called the game off. As a minimum of 20 overs had not been bowled, the result was a draw. Another game played in excellent spirit. Presentations and a drink with a few of the Plantation CC players followed, and again we were told how appreciative the locals were that we had continued our tour notwithstanding the troubles.
The Team was (playing 12):- RobBevilacqua 16, Bruce Pendlebury 0, Scott Wells 16*, Greg Ballarino 5*, Tom Robertson (c) dnb. Soren Hughes dnb, Paul Moorhouse dnb, Craig Fletcher dnb , Ezekiel Hughes dnb, Dave Stewart dnb, Trevor Worland dnb and Steve Kish (w) dnb
The Result was: –
Plantation C.C.: – 8-197 (30 overs)
C.C.N.S.W.: – 2-41 (6 overs) – rain
FoW: – 1-1 (B. Pendlebury); 2-35 (R. Bevilacqua);
The Bowling was: – S. Hughes 6-1-18-2, P. Moorhouse 6-0-31-1, T. Worland 5-0-33-3, C. Fletcher 6-0-56-0, E. Hughes 3-0-30-1, D. Stewart 3-0-18-1, R. Bevilacqua 1-0-6-0
The Fielding was: –
Stumpings: – Nil
Catches: – One to S. Hughes and one to T. Robertson
Run outs: – Nil
MATCH No 7 v THE FOUNDATION OF GOODNESS XI AT THE SRI SUMANGALA MCC LORDS CRICKET GROUND, HIKKADUWA ON FRIDAY 3 MAY 2019: REPORT BY GWEN BALE AND SOREN HUGHES
HEAT AND 92% HUMIDITY – ‘Steamed Cricketers’
L-R: Ian Wright (Scorer) Tony Wood, Trevor Worland, Tom Robertson (c), Soren Hughes, Craig Fletcher, Ezekiel Hughes (vc), Steve Kish (w), Paul Moorhouse, Bruce Pendlebury and Scott Wells. Still in the dressing room – Paul Brandon.
After relaxing over night at the Jetwing Yala Hotel and waking up at 5.00am the next morning for our safari tour, many were exhausted. However, the thought of seeing leopards and elephants in their natural habitat, saw all the eager visitors up and bright early that morning. There were six of us in a jeep and our lunch packs were provided by the hotel consisting of fruit, pastries, sandwiches, water and orange juice. This ensured there were many happy tourists.
Brunch was near the beach where remnants of a restaurant once stood reminding us of the devastation caused by the tsunami on 26 December 2004. All that remained was a plaque commemorating those that had died and sculptures of the devastating waves.
A quick dip in the pool and off we were on the long bus drive to Galle. After the early morning start in Yala and an hour walking around the Galle Fort, the cricketers who were playing the first match the next day in Hikkaduwa were eager to rest.
Lightning and thunder, and a bit of rain greeted us the next day, on match day. The thought of being in a bus for another 45 minutes to get to the venue for the possibility of a cancelled game did not excite our players. However as the morning wore on, it was apparent that the sun was going to show itself.
We arrived early at the Sri Sumangala MCC Lords Cricket ground in Hikkaduwa an hour before the game was due to start. The players were in awe of the three, two metre scrolls of overseas cricket clubs, schools, work places and universities that have played at this ground:- Australians, English, Thai and South Africans to name a few.
The players went out to inspect the pitch and for the first time in this tour there was consensus amongst the group that if we won the toss we would consider bowling first. The pitch was soft and our wicket keeper Steve Kish called it ‘an old fashion sticky wicket’. The ground is surrounded by lush forest about 20 metres high. With no breeze and with the overnight rain and sweltering sun, we were in for a long day. Within twenty minutes, we could feel the heat; you have heard of ‘dust bowl’well this was ‘steam bowl’– apparently there was 92% humidity on the day! Glasses fogged up, sweat ran down our masculine bodies, sunscreen was a waste as nothing would stick! The ladies were keener than ever to watch the game.
Soren Hughes and Paul Moorhouse opened the bowling again. Each bowler was allowed to bowl a maximum of six overs. Not a great first over from Soren who opened with three wides and finished off being hit for six. He bowled all his overs in one spell. The more he bowled, the better he became, varying the pace of the ball and some cutting back in late. He kept the openers guessing and, excluding the first over, they did not score many runs off him. He was rewarded in his last over, the big man running in and bowling one of the best balls he has bowled so far in this tour – the ball landing on the deck on the batsman’s off side and then cutting back, hitting the batsman low on his pads in front of middle stumps. ‘Howz that!!!’could be heard around the steam bowl, which turned into jubilation as the umpire slowly lifted his finger – giving the batsmen his marching order. A well-deserved wicket for Soren as he bowled so well finishing with 1-36 off six overs but wetter than a fish in water.
Moorhouse on the other hand was very economical in his first two overs, averaging 2 runs. Both openers initially struggled against him. His fifth ball of his second over rewarded him with a wicket. Another textbook dismissal, his accurate bowling deceived the opening batsman with changes in the pace of the ball and hit middle – both bails flying in the air. A beautiful sight. The other opener had his eye in, Moorhouse’s third over going for 20 runs. In came Trevor Worland to replace Moorhouse.
Trevor bowled line and length in his first two overs. The batsmen saw little variation and his third over went for 20 runs. Another 12 runs in his fourth over, Trevor was getting frustrated as he was bowling well, the batsmen however were timing the ball well and scoring easy boundaries. His finished his five overs 0-58. Scott Wells replaced Trevor.
Craig Fletcher replaced Soren. Struggling with his bowling all tour – he started with a wide, four runs and another wide before he struck gold – his first wicket on tour! The ball bouncing just around the waist for the batsmen to hit the ball with a pull shot and straight into Moorhouse’s safe hands at deep square. He finished off with 1-15 off one over.
Captain Tom Robertson brought on Bruce Pendlebury to replace Fletcher. Bowling – one wide, two no balls, a four, a six and many more runs later, he was relieved to finish his one over spanking, which went for 20 runs. Their third batsman retired at 40*.
We needed fire power so in came our left arm spinner, Pom Tony Wood replacing Pendlebury. A wicket in his first over, luring the batsmen down the pitch only to missing the ball by a Sri Lankan mile. The ball sailing straight to Paul Brandon for a stumping. Averaging four runs an over, Wood was bowling magnificently. A bit of Groundhog Day in his fifth over, their sixth batsman chasing a short ball down the pitch but edging straight to Brandon. Bowling his last sixth over and getting a wicket on the first ball was a crème de la crème for Wood. He had been varying the pace and length of his bowling all day. His first ball was a ‘floaty’ one which hit the deck fast and skidded into middle stump, bails flying in the air and the tourists were back in the game. His figures were an impressive 3-28 off six overs.
Ezekiel Hughes replaced Wells. His first two balls went for six and four respectively. His first over went for 13 runs.
Moorhouse came back for his second spell, replacing Wood. His second last over went for only four runs and got two wickets. The eighth batsman fished for a wide ball and hit it straight to Fletcher at deep mid-on. The new batsman at the crease lofted the next ball short of Soren Hughes at cover point. Soren running forward as the ball was in the air, both feet skidded; he lost his balance and did the splits as the ball hit his hands. Sounds of groans from the players and his wife’s sledge from the side line could be heard around the ground. Deserved recipient of the ‘Glove Award’for the dropped catch.
Moorhouse not feeling dejected, bowled the new batsman with his next ball, the batsman, out for a duck. Moorhouse’s figures were 3-33 off five overs.
Ezekiel Hughes had a bad first over and not wanting to take home the ‘tennis ball award’for worst bowler in the game, came back in his second over. His second ball was a bit short and the batsman hit the ball straight to Wood at long-on.
Their third batsman came back and having hit the bigger boys for sixes and fours, he tried to resume belting the ball over mid-on. Fortunately for us, he was less able after his earlier retirement. His fourth ball he swept for four. Ezekiel then pitched the ball up and excited the batsman who tried to cover drive but the ball went straight up in the air to Soren who was at cover point and took an easy catch for the father son combination. Ezekiel finished with 2-19 after 2.5 overs to end the home team’s innings all out for 260.
Lunch was delicious fried rice, chicken, boiled egg, three vegies and yoghurt. We ate in a little room with fans and tables set up for us. A treat for us after fielding in the humidity.
We started again at 1.00pm, by this time we were racing against the black clouds looming in the background. It was dark as if it were 5.00pm back home.
Captain (Major) Tom Robertson and Steve Kish opened our batting. FOG bowled 1.1 overs before it bucketed down and every one ran for the covers. This was followed by lightning and thunder.
After more than an hour the rain stopped and back we went. By this time we had four cows on the field – literally at cow corner! Play resumed with four bovines at deep fly slip. Tom, perhaps more concerned with the possibility of BBQ, resumed the game on strike and had forgotten that Kish was on strike before the rain. This earned him a fine – well spotted by our illustrious scorer, Mr Wright who also pointed out that there were only five balls in that over.
The batsmen faced the final four balls without incident although the last ball in the darkness was a beamer that hit Kish in the ribs. The game was called off as no one could see the ball and the onset of monsoonal storms was imminent.
Another draw for Tom as Captain.
A quick presentation and we were invited to visit the Foundation of Goodness academy at Hikadduwa the next day. We were also going to play a T20 match as there was a possibility of rain after lunch the following day with a cyclone hanging around just north of Sri Lanka.
The Team was (playing 11):- Tom Robertson (c) 3*, Steve Kish 2*, Scott Wells dnb, Paul Brandon (w) dnb, Soren Hughes dnb, Tony Wood dnb, Paul Moorhouse dnb, Craig Fletcher dnb, Trevor Worland dnb, Ezekiel Hughes dnb and Bruce Pendlebury dnb.
The Result was: –
Foundation of Goodness XI: – 10-260 (29.5 overs)
C.C.N.S.W.: – 0-12 (2.1 overs) rain
The Bowling was: – S. Hughes 6-0-36-1, P. Moorhouse 5-0-33-3, C. Fletcher 1-0-15-1, T. Worland 5-0-59-0, B. Pendlebury 1-0-20-0, A. Wood 6-0-28-3, S. Wells 3-0-37-0, E. Hughes 2.5-0-19-2
The Fielding was: –
Stumpings: – One to P. Brandon
Catches: – One to each of P. Brandon (w), C. Fletcher, S. Hughes, P. Moorhouse and A. Wood
Run outs: – Nil
MATCH No 8 T20 v THE FOUNDATION OF GOODNESS XI AT THE SRI SUMANGALA MCC LORDS CRICKET GROUND, HIKKADUWA ON SATURDAY 4 MAY 2019: REPORT BY SCOTT WELLS
THE SRI SUMANGALA MCC LORDS CRICKET GROUND, HIKKADUWA
The day had come for “Rumble in the Jungle II“ at Hikkaduwa.
In a rather sombre yet inspiring start to the day, we first visited the local Foundation of Goodness centre which is funded in part by the MCC Centre of Excellence. “Committed to improve the lives of people in the rural community” is their mantra. There is a plaque at the entry listing those locals who lost their lives during the 2004 tsunami which devastated the town. A rather large plaque.
The recorded water mark is high on the wall. Inside they have children’s elocution classes, memorabilia displays and other educational facilities along with information on the tsunami. The tour was conducted by their director, Anura De Silva. The F.O.G. has a strong cricket connection with the likes of Kumar Sangakkara, Muttiah Muralitharan and Mahela Jayawardene as its trustees. Well worth a google to see the great work they do.
Onto the ground where the previous day we had lost 5 balls and chased leather (not very far) for 30 overs in extreme heat and humidity. The team had to pick themselves up, dry off and prepare for what was expected to be another tough day.
The cows had manicured the smallish outfield in the wee hours of the morning, just finishing off as we arrived. The monkeys, goannas, squirrels and plovers again surrounded in anticipation of another local pasting. With expected rain in the afternoon it was agreed to hold a 20/20 and if weather permitted, a 10/10 afterwards Not too many disagreeing that was a good idea.
C.C.N.S.W. under its EEO policy again appointed a foreign (Editor’s note: In this case meaning living outside NSW)skipper to do the tossing. Who better than John (Daniel) Wise. He strode to the centre square confident and animated with arms and moustache in motion. The call was successful and he quite rightly chose to bat first in already sweltering conditions. As a note, to describe the humidity in this place would be similar to playing in drizzling rain.
The pitch today was glass like without yesterday’s stickiness. Rolled mud and well prepared.
Rob Bevilaqua and Greg Ballarino (B1/B2) opened up for the first time. looking to create a solid start. B2 was the first to go after being clean bowled by a Malinga like slinging bowler, bringing Scott Wells to the crease. Soon after B1 provided a simple catch to point after scoring 10 in even time. This bought one Tom Robertson to the crease.
In a setting and conditions not dissimilar to their native land of Borneo, the two ‘rangas’ looked to provide a platform for a decent score. That they did after getting used to the pitch – dispatching the bowlers to all parts with R1 stroking the ball along the ground and R2 preferring the aerial route.
At drinks (10 overs) the score had progressed to 2-93. R1 and R2 were sweating as if they had just had a bath so it was agreed to limit the running and increase the boundaries. First ball after drinks R2 smashed one to backward point and called through for a single. R1 run out for 37 (23) and the score now 3-93. In strode Soren Hughes.
In what was a cunning move by the skipper, there was no retirement limits set today. Even after begging to come off after each over, Tommy was told to remain at the crease. It was only after Soren started to get on top of the bowling as well that mercy was granted with Tommy retiring on 74*(44). Another solid partnership with 200 in our sights.
Soren continued smashing the ball to all parts with one memorable over bringing up 28 runs (4×6 and a 4). He eventually was also granted mercy retired on 58* of 24 balls.
Tony Wood, Ken Yardy, Paul Moorhouse and Ezekiel Hughes finished off the innings in style bringing the total to 5 for 212. A formidable total but not to rest on our laurels based on what happened the previous day.
After the break, S. Hughes and Moorhouse opened the bowling. The F.O.G. opening batsmen S. Mohan and T. Wasantha wasted no time in setting off, with both being 19* not out when the rain began after 20 minutes batting. This left the home side on 0 for 41 off 5 overs. With 5 overs being the minimum amount for a result, our scorer Ian Wright had every mathematical theory and invention at his disposal to calculate the final winner. After posting 200 plus we were feeling pretty confident but with maths and statistics at play who was to know.
C.C.N.S.W. was declared the winner by two runs under the ‘Parabola’ (Editor’s note: See Footnote 1to Match 4 above ), and also the ‘Duckworth Lewis’, net run rate: – abacus, Pythagorean, Rock Paper Scissors method.
A formal presentation and pleasantries were made at the ground. Tiger and lion drips were administered on the bus followed by what was one of the best nights of the tour with a beach party with superb food and drinks until the early hours.
The Team was (playing 11):-Rob Bevilacqua 10, Greg Ballarino 0, Scott Wells 37, Tom Robertson 74* ret not out, Soren Hughes 58* ret not out, Tony Wood 4, Paul Moorhouse 6*, Ken Yardy 3, Ezekiel Hughes 1*, Paul Brandon (w) dnb and John Wise (c)dnb
The Result was: –
C.C.N.S.W.: – 5-211 (T. Robertson 74*, S. Hughes 58*) (20 overs)
The Foundation of Goodness XI: – 0-41 (5 overs)
On run rate/Duckworth Lewis
FoW: – 1-11 (G. Ballarino); 2-15 (R. Bevilacqua); 3- 93 (S. Wells); 4-185 (A. Wood); 5- 211 (K. Yardy).
The Bowling was: – S. Hughes 2-0-14-0; P. Moorhouse 2-0-22-0; R. Bevilacqua 1-0-5-0
The Fielding was: –
Run outs: – Nil
MATCH No 9 v COLOMBO MASTERS XI AT THE MOORS SPORTS CLUB, COLOMBO ON MONDAY 6 MAY 2019: REPORT BY CRAIG FLETCHER
Sri Lanka, in particular Colombo, turned on yet another beautiful, yet stifling, day. Somewhere around 35 degrees and 150% humidity. Sweating was the order of the day.
We were captained by an Englishman, Tony Wood and as all good first time captains do, he promptly lost the toss and we were sent in to field.
The opposition appeared to be well matched to our team with their average age somewhere in the fifties. We were feeling confident.
Before a ball was bowled Trevor Worland was dive bombed by a rather cranky plover, with the mistaken belief he was there to pinch its eggs. Having already had his breakfast, this thought was misplaced and Trevor used his extensive diplomatic skills to smooth over the misunderstanding.
The bowling was opened by Soren Hughes, who had been on a run of good form picking up consistent wickets throughout the tour and we were expecting a strong start. That strong start, however, came from the opening batsman. He took a liking to Soren’s bowling and dispatched him for ten in the first two deliveries. This did not bode well. Soren responded by throwing a couple wide of off stump and the Umpire duly called him for wides. Soren questioned this as they were well within the tram tracks and was told he needed to bowl where the batsman could hit him!?!? First over went for 20 and we were worried we would be chasing 300 in 30 overs.
Having had a poor tour with ball so far, Craig Fletcher was graciously given yet another chance to redeem himself and somewhat surprisingly finally found his length and started well with only a handful of runs coming from his first over.
From there things improved quickly for C.C.N.S.W. Robert Bevilacqua took a very sharp chance in gully off Soren’s next over and then ‘Fletch’bowled the hard hitting opening batsman. Across the next 7 overs the runs dried up and Soren picked up another 2 wickets, with the skipper, Tony Wood. taking a good outfield catch and ‘Beva’cleanly snaffling a low, fast flying cut shot, again in gully.
It was now time for the spinners to shine and shine they did. Paul Moorhouse bowled with flight and guile, reading the mood of the pitch and the batsmen well to slow up his deliveries and was rewarded with 3 wickets, including a very well judged catch from our youngest touring player (Ezekiel Hughes) deep in the outfield.
At the end of 30 oversthe opposition were 9- 160, after their numbers 9 and 10 consolidated well to eke out 30 runs in the last 7 overs with some clever and patient batting.
After a much needed rest in the shade and a quick lunch, C.C.N.S.W. opened with Rob Bevilacqua and Tom Robertson. ‘Beva’started very strongly, taking a liking to their opening bowling and quickly moved to 20 odd runs. At the other end, however, Tommy struggled scratching around and finding it difficult to hit the middle of his bat. Beva powered on and before we knew it he was retiring on 41* with the score at 71.
Steve Kish entered the fray and Tommy, despite his struggles, continued to doggedly defy the opposition bowlers (and their fielders), mishitting his way to 40* retired having been dropped three times and perhaps very fortunately surviving a strong LBW appeal.
C.C.N.S.W. were looking good with two batsmen in the shed and around 100 on the board. ‘Kishy‘ was now joined at the crease by Scot Wells. The two of them continued the flow of runs with Kish striking one particularly glorious straight drive before being bowled a ball that kept low. 1 for 113 with 2 in the bank.
Wells, who has been in great form all tour, kept ticking over the runs, but unfortunately Greg Ballarino went back to another ball that skidded through and kept low and was out LBW. Bruce Pendlebury came and went for 4, batting soundly before being caught looking to drive down the ground. From there, Wells and Soren Hughes quickly racked the remaining 40 odd runs with a mix of big hitting and good running.
Another win for the touring C.C.N.S.W. team and I believe the first one under a foreign residentcaptain (Editor’s note: from memory since 1989,C.C.N.S.W. touring teams have won under the captaincy of non Australians before such as Craig Kitson, Adrian Hawkes, John Rothnie-Jones and Stuart Ridge but at the time they were all resident in N.S.W.. Australia)
The post-match wind down was graciously held at the Nondescripts Cricket Club just down the road. It was a great honour to be able to attend their ground, the home of illustrious players such as Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene. They weren’t there of course, but it was still a thrill to be there.
After an hour or so, we wrapped up our day and returned to the hotel with memories of another fantastic tour day in Sri Lanka etched in our memories.
The Team was (playing 12):- Rob Bevilacqua 41* ret not out, Tom Robertson (c) 40* ret not out, Steve Kish (w) 16, Scott Wells 32*, Greg Ballarino 1, Bruce Pendlebury 4, Soren Hughes 19*, Tony Wood dnb, Craig Fletcher dnb, Trevor Worland dnb, Paul Moorhouse dnb and Ezekiel Hughes dnb
The Result was: –
Colombo Masters XI: 9-160 (30 overs)
C.C.N.S.W.: – 3-163 (R Bevilacqua 41*; T. Robertson 40*; S. Wells 32*) (26.4 overs)
By 7 wickets
FoW: – 1-113 (S. Kish); 2-115 (G. Ballarino); 3-121 (B. Pendlebury);
The Bowling was: – S. Hughes 6-0-35-3; C. Fletcher 4-0-22-1; P. Moorhouse 6-1-20-3; T. Worland 2-0-28-0; A. Wood 6-0-21-1; R. Bevilacqua 2-0-7-0: E. Hughes 3-0-13-1 and S. Wells 1-0-9-0
The Fielding was: –
Stumpings: – one to S. Kish
Catches: – 2 to R. Bevilacqua; one to each of E. Hughes, T. Robertson and A. Wood
Run outs: – Nil
MATCH No 10 v STALLIONS C.C. AT THE PAIKIASOTHY SARAVANAMUTTU STADIUM OVAL (ALSO KNOWN AS THE P. SARA OVAL), COLOMBO ON TUESDAY 7 MAY 2019: REPORT BY PAUL BRANDON
P Sara Oval: The only Asian ground where Don Bradman played
The Cricketers’ Club of N.S.W. had the honour and privilege to play the final match of our 2019 tour of Sri Lanka on the historic P. Sara oval in the nation’s capital. P Sara is an oval rich in Sri Lankan cricketing history. Sri Lanka’s first ever Test Match was played on this oval against England in 1982. The oval also hosted the Australian 1948 Invincibles team as they took on the All Ceylon XI. A great photograph, hanging in the bar and copied below, illustrates Don Bradman striding out to bat, dressed splendidly in a pith helmet. (Editor’s note: There is an article on Bradman’s 1948 innings in Ceylon in the Tour Brochure)
C.C.N.S.W. was greeted with a typical steamy Colombo morning, a flat deck and fast outfield. Losing the toss, C.C.N.S.W. had first use of the ball. Soren Hughes (0-47) and Craig Fletcher (2-25) started very tightly. This was ‘Fletch’s’best performance with the ball for the tour, which set the tone for the session. Ezekiel Hughes (0/-30), Trevor Worland (0-25) and Paul Moorhouse (2-8) guided us through the middle overs. This match was probably Paul’s strongest performance with the ball on tour too and he bowled with great guile. John ‘Sparkles’Wise (2-11) and Tony Wood (2-38) bowled strongly and guided the innings to a close. The key today was that our opponents, never obtained dominance with the bat, nor did the run rate get ‘out of control’- despite 1 retirement (Dharnushka 40*). Stallions posted a competitive 8-193 from 30 overs.
In reply, C.C.N.S.W. started solidly. Tom Robertson made 22 and had a strong tour with both the bat and the ‘Old Arrack’. Greg Ballarino struck form when it counted and retired with a solid 41*. Scott Wells continued his strong tour with a chanceless 40*. Probably the proudest moment of the day was having father/ son Soren and Ezekiel Hughes bat together on a Test venue in a 51 run stand before Zeke was run out for 17. Soren retired with 41* from 19 balls, an innings that created great impetus. Putting the team first, Craig Fletcher (4) was run out in the final over as the game came down to the wire. Paul Brandon (13*) and Tony Wood (0*) saw C.C.N.S.W. chase down the runs with 4 balls to spare. C.C.N.S.W. 3-196 in 29.2 overs.A pleasant post game ceremony was held with the Stallions C.C. The Stallions’ players were a lovely bunch of guys who played cricket as it should be played. An enjoyable win, a great win on a fantastic venue.
The win allowed C.C.N.S.W. to claim a ‘double header’, the ‘Colombo Crusade’with victories in games 9 and 10, meaning that the Club had more wins than losses on tour- an unlikely possibility after Game 4. More importantly, the tour proved a social success with experiences gained and friendships built. Despite the tragic events of Easter Sunday, our tour group showed unity, resilience and great solidarity for local businesses and their communities. Our tour group and the Club are stronger for it.
The Team was (playing 11):- GregBallarino 41* ret not out, Tom Robertson 22, Scott Wells 40* ret not out, Soren Hughes 41* ret not out, Ezekiel Hughes 17, Craig Fletcher 4, Paul Brandon (w) 13*, Tony Wood (c) 0*, Paul Moorhouse dnb, Trevor Worland dnb and John Wise dnb
The Result was: –
Stallions C.C.: – 8-193 (30 overs)
C.C.N.S.W.: – 3-196 (29.2 overs)
By 7 wickets
FoW: – 1- 31 (T. Robertson); 2-167 (E. Hughes); 3-192 (C. Fletcher);
The Bowling was: – S. Hughes 5-0-47-0, C. Fletcher 6-0-25-2, E. Hughes 4-0-30-0, P. Moorhouse 4-0-8-2, T. Worland 3-0-25-0 , J. Wise 3-0-11-2 and A. Wood 5-0-38-2
The Fielding was: –
Stumpings: – One to P. Brandon
Catches: – Nil
Run outs: – Nil
Don Bradman, Australia vs Ceylon, 27 March
Sidarth Monga, courtesy of cricinfo.org, 23 July 2010
P Sara Oval, the venue for the third Test of this series, is the only ground in Asia where Don Bradman played. He did so on a 20-yard pitch. In Brightly Fades the Don, Jack Fingleton writes: “It is possible one of her male assistants (the round had a lady curator) measured the pitch and not she. The Australian batsmen found the going rather tough in the morning. It was hard to get the ball away, and it was Ian Johnson who discovered largely why. “He had his doubts about the pitch, measured it and found it was only twenty yards. From that point onwards the Australians bowled from two yards behind the crease and everybody was happy.”
An 18-year-old who saw the match live from a crowd of 20,000 which, according to The Janashakthi Book of Sri Lanka Cricket, occupied every inch of space right up to boundary line, has a slightly different account. That 18-year-old was Chandra Schaffter, of the Tamil Union Club, who played three first-class matches in the fifties and also hockey for Ceylon. “Bradman, I think with all his experience, realised it was short, and he was the one who pointed it out,” says Schaffter. “He mentioned it to the umpires, they measured it again, and then rectified it.” Take your own pick, Fingleton’s realism, or Schaffter’s romanticism.
Regardless of what happened and how it happened, the match – a “whistle-stop tour”– was a huge event in Sri Lanka. “It was like Michael Jackson coming,”says Schaffter. Bradman had passed the country on three previous tours without playing, but this time he was supposed to play, making March 31, 1948 a landmark day in Ceylonese cricket. Sri Lanka had an advantage, vis-à-vis India, in that teams had to pass through the country when going back home from long tours. The ship would stop here for a day, and the cricket board would entertain the sea-locked cricketers with a day of cricket.
When the Invincibles were on their way back from England, the Ceylon team put behind them the huge controversy surrounding the captaincy, between F.C. de Saramand Mahadevan Sathasivam. “There wasn’t a hint of tension or dissension in the Ceylon ranks,” writes SS Perera in the Janashakthi Book. “It was a chance for Sri Lanka to see the foreign players, and for our players to play against those cricketers,”recalls Schaffter. “We didn’t have any other international cricketers playing here. We had a Gopalan Trophy, the odd Holkar side coming, but no international team at all. So this was full house, all tickets were sold.”
The visiting team was of course allowed to bat.They came to watch Bradman bat, not Ceylon. Of the match itself Schaffter remembers this:“Bradman didn’t score very much. Neil Harvey didn’t play. Sid Barnes played, but he started vomiting after too much of beer the last night. Arthur Morris also played. Keith Miller also played. “Something happened, somewhere maybe in so much of excitement, maybe they measured it [the pitch] two yards too short. Unlike nowadays, those days the umpires never measured the pitch. Genuine mistake. You don’t prepare a 20-yard pitch to face Keith Miller.”
The excitement that Bradman’s visit brought, Schaffter says, is rivalled only by the West Indians’ trip in 1967, when Garry Sobers, Clive Lloyd and Basil Butcher scored centuries. “I don’t think anybody today will draw that kind of crowds,” says Schaffter. “Maybe people nowadays have other priorities.”
The Don and Satha at the toss.
Sathi Coomaraswamy beats Bradman.
SP Foenander gifts Bradman a replica of the Dalada Maligava — now in the collection of memorabilia in the Mortlock Library, Adelaide