SOCIAL v NSW POLICE XI AT BRADMAN OVAL, BOWRAL ON FRIDAY 22 APRIL 2022 : REPORT BY SOREN HUGHES
The CCNSW team above left was:
Back row: PeterBuruma, Paul Witherly, Peter Rolls, Harry Bridge, Stuart Ridge, David Craig, Martin Speiser
Front row: Richard Clark (w), Andrew Dadswell, Michael Carman, Ben Stanic, Soren Hughes (c)
The Umpires in blue in the middle were: Brian Breakspear and Tom Cooper.
The NSW Police team above right was:
Back Row: G. JAMES, P. BURNS, W. BARGE, M. BURSA, M. EDWARDS, R. ALLINGTON, P. MORGAN, R. NINOVIC
Front row: H. MURPHY B. SAGDIYEV, R. MCMAHON, D.LEGGE-NICHOLLS
Absent: D. STEPHENSON and A MCBRIDE
Rumours were apt pre game of a formidable opponent, a strong team who would be using the game as a selection trial for higher duties. We hadn’t been involved in a State selection trial since our game at Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka where the trial wad been a test of all abilities in every facet. This game was on home turf (and thankfully 20 degrees cooler and without the intense humidity), played at the most prestigious Bradman Oval, Bowral; a cricket ground of international standard and designed for fair play between teams.
\We had not played the NSW Police previously; however the fixture was played in such good spirits that rumours are now abound of an annual fixture, perhaps to be called the ‘Brooks James Cup’ in honour of honourable men. May that be so; however we may well need to commit all our resources to this game before we conquer ex and current first graders and cricketers with current professional contracts to play in the BBL. The script may have been written before the game began, although it would be written in four quarters and two innings (4 quarters of 25 overs and a cumulative total).
Bradman Oval was looking a picture, though slightly damp after months of rain. Despite good cloud cover, it was a pitch to bat first on before the pitch crumbled and while the outfield was still wet. We lost the toss. Stuart Ridge and Ben Stanic gave us a strong start with two early wickets, a classic caught behind by Richard Clark and an athletic and agile catch from Paul Witherly who I hope to see occasionally next year around the Masters (or C&S) circuit if his duties captaining St George 5ths let him do so.
The Police pairing were quick to dispatch almost anything, reliably scoring in all areas off almost every ball. The change to spin with Martin Speiser, Andrew Dadswell (“Tex”) and David Craig however slowed them down somewhat, ‘Tex’ rewarded with a wicket. Holding them to 168 from their first 25 was a seemingly good result as we just couldn’t break the 100 run partnership between Murphy and McBride until both men retired on 50 each. Perhaps we might stand on the rope instead of 10m inside it next time as there were a couple of chances that bounced just inside the rope that might have changed things.
Our first batting quarter was pleasing. Peter Rolls and Richard Clark were obviously up against a quality fast bowling attack and were given almost nothing loose to enjoy. Watching them survive was thrilling. Admittedly we needed almost 7 an over to keep pace but neither threw their wicket away and kept at it. I’ve not seen ‘Rich’ bat so slowly ever. When Rolls fell, Harry Bridge lasted only one ball with one that shaped away but yorked him on off stump for a golden. Peter Buruma held them out for 3 runs before Edwards removed both in his 4th over. Michael Carman and Andrew Dadswell then formed a nice partnership of resistance and resilience before Michael got a good one from Morgan just as they began to accelerate towards the break. Paul Witherly accelerated from ball one, he and ‘Tex’ building a fine 50 run partnership into the halfway mark at 5 for 89, though 80 short of the target.
The Police batted sensationally in their final quarter, ticking off the wagon wheel and spraying the ball anywhere and everywhere. To quote David Craig, “They smashed it everywhere, then bowled us out cheaply but it was a nice venue The End.” but our readership deserve more. They smashed it everywhere and we ran after it and retrieved it and kept coming back for more of the same. Stuart Ridge bowled magnificently, as always, picking up another couple of wickets from edges. Unfortunately the sun was setting; we were tiring and Garry James kindly declared with 6 overs to go. It could have been worse, but almost 200 from 20 overs is fair game these days, especially considered the tour opportunity and need to justify selection for higher duties at stake for the Police batters.
So needing 11 an over from 25 overs with 5 wickets in hand in the setting sun on a crumbling pitch (or 266 from 20 in the circumstances) against the foregoing attack was not an unremarkable task. Witherly and Dadswell had grand plans and set about it with vigour. Both however were undone by Stevens in successive overs despite solid resistance. Martin Speiser put up some resistance too. However the running of successive twos appeared to get the better of him, run out by a direct hit from the boundary. In came David Craig who put the reverse sweep aside for a few balls but was caught out chasing the target LBW. Ben Stanic had a crack too but came up short. With Soren Hughes swinging madly at the odd loose one, Garry James decided on the fall of the tenth wicket that Harry Bridge should get another crack and so Soren and Harry formed a short partnership with the sun setting on a lovely day out at Bradman Oval.
CCNSW came up well short against a very strong, notably armed and well mannered NSW Police side in hitting 189 from 43 overs chasing 355 from 44 overs. We will need to rally to beat them next year as they certainly bring a 1st class outfit with the 1st grade premier cricket leading run scorer and a Sydney Thunder recruit waiting on the sidelines for their opportunity for selection. They might even might make an appearance next year and give us bragging rights if we can conquer the Goliath.
The Team was (playing 12): Peter Rolls 5, Richard Clark 9, Harry Bridge 0 (and 13*) #, Peter Buruma 3, Michael Carman 17, Andrew Dadswell 31, Paul Witherley 29, Martin Speiser 6, Soren Hughes (c) 42, David Craig 1, Ben Stanic 3, Stuart Ridge (dnb) and S. Ridge dnb
# NB Bridge permitted to bat twice as he had scored a first ball duck (and Ridge did not bat)
The Result was:-
NSW Police: – 5-355 (44 0vers) (S. Ridge 3-61) [NSW Police 3-168 at 25 overs]
CCNSW 11-185 (S Hughes 42) (43 overs) [CCNSW 5-89 at 25 overs]
By 170 runs
FoW: – 1-17 (P. Rolls); 2-17 (H. Bridge); 3-25 (P. Buruma); 4- 30 (R. Clark); 5- 51 (M. Carman); 6-110 (P. Witherly); 7- 117 (A. Dadswell); 8- 127 (M. Speiser); 9-132 (D. Craig); 10- 161 (B. Stanic);11-185 (H. Bridge);
The Bowling was: –: S. Ridge 10-1-61-3; B. Stanic 7-0-77-1; S. Hughes 3-0-30-0; M. Speiser 5-0-53-0; A Dadswell 7-0-33-1; D. Craig 6-0-46-0; P. Witherly 1-0-4-0; M. Carman 1-0-8-0; P. Buruma 4-0-42-0
The Fielding was: –
Stumpings: – Nil
Catches: – 2 to R. Clark (w); One to each of M. Carman A. Dadswell and P. Witherly
Run outs: – Nil