LMS T20 (8-a-SIDE) EASTERN SYDNEY MIDWEEK DIVISION 2 ROUND 14 v ‘JOHNNY CASH MEMORIAL’ AT MP 5 ROBERTSON ROAD, MOORE PARK ON WEDNESDAY 22 FEBRUARY 2023
Cancelled by rain
C&S ROUND 14A v YARALLA AT GODDARD OVAL, CONCORD ON SATURDAY 25 FEBRUARY 2023
Pitch unable to be prepared by groundsman because of rain the previous Thursday
C&S ROUND 14B v REG BARTLEY XI AT REG BARTLEY OVAL, RUSHCUTTER BAY ON SUNDAY 26 FEBRUARY 2023: REPORT BY JAMIE MURTHA
It was a stunning late February day for our match against the RBXI at their home ground in Rushcutters Bay. As you turn down Waratah Street you see the picturesque oval, lush green grass surrounded by a cream picket fence, with large trees scattered around the perimeter, a similar feeling to Camperdown. On the North side of the ground is Sydney harbour, home to hundreds of sail boats floating there in the still deep blue water.
It was a warm afternoon, as the teams got ready, the captains tossed a coin, falling against CCNSW this time and we were sent into field.
James Murtha took the new ball from the Paddington end, the conditions produce some inswing in the first over, but the assertive opener looking to capitalise on anything slightly short managed to start well getting a few runs on the board. Andy Durant took the new ball from the harbour end and delivered a quality maiden over, beating the bat a couple of times. In his second over, Murtha found his line and length removing the opener with a sharp cutter that hit the batsman in front (playing on the back foot), after a long appeal the umpires fingers went up! 1 down.
Durant kept toiling and bowled economically without luck, his bowling suited the conditions and made the batters very uncomfortable! A quick change from the Paddington, Toby Forbes too made good use of the conditions, bowling short of a length; the batters couldn’t find their timing on the back foot as Mick McGrath prevented any opportunity for runs at cover.
Henry Davis the leg spinner on debut replaced Durant and was unlucky not to take a wicket, several balls in his 3 over spell going either side or just short of the fielders. A double change at around 1-60 after 14 overs: McGrath bowled from the harbour end and Rhys Longbottom from the Paddington end. Both produced exceptional spells. Longbottom was fast, full, and providing real problems for the batters. McGrath was superbly accurate in his spell of 6 overs 1-6, including the critical wicket setting up RBXI’s No.3 batter in his first over, getting one to nip away and take the edge, with Declan Thomas taking a great catch with the gloves moving to his right.
With the end of the innings approaching, Aaditya Mahata, Luke Holman and Toby Forbes bowled well, creating half chances, it was a good contest, with the batters continuing to tick the scoreboard over. Longbottom returned to bowl the final over of the innings with devastating effect. 2 wickets and a run-out from cover by McGrath assisted by Thomas behind the stumps, to restrict the score to 8-132.
— Innings Break —
As we know, anything above 130 is a tough score to chase at this ground, made tougher by being effectively one down as a result of losing previous John McDonald Medal recipient Forbes to work commitments.
Our openers Michael Carman and James Bonkowski went out to get us underway. The opening spells were tight. Our first run didn’t come until the fourth over, ‘Bonkers’ with a tidy flick of the legs for one; unfortunately he fell only two overs later to a sharp return catch by the bowler. 6 overs 1-5.
Rhys Longbottom was positive from the outset but was forced to run ones and twos against his natural game due to the long boundaries, Carman was solid in defence at the other end. Longbottom’s luck ran out after being struck right in front moving across the crease for 16. 13 overs 2-32. Followed shortly after by Carman, caught for 15 and Holman caught for 1 (another excellent return catch.)
We were reeling at 4-45. Henry Davis dug in to try and stabilise the innings, while debutant Aaditya Mahata counter attacked effectively from the other end. He too was forced to run ones and twos but did manage to hit three particularly clean fours towards the square leg boundary. The pitch unfortunately had his number when a mistimed pull shot was skied and comfortably taken, out for an attractive 30. Declan Thomas was dismissed without troubling the scorers. It took a good catch, hit hard and flat. 6-70 after 25.
Henry Davis was out for 10 trying to pick up the scoring; he got decent hold of a pull shot in front of square straight to the fielder. Durant and McGrath boxed the ball around with good intent. They put pressure back on the bowling with a quick-fire 20 run partnership. Durant felt hard done by to be adjudged lbw for 12. Perhaps he got a tickle on it? Few could corroborate his feeling on the day.
Murtha was the last batter in, and solidly negotiated the final ball of the over back down the pitch to the bowler. The equation was 21 runs to win off 12 balls, McGrath on strike loaded up for the big pull shot, which had been a feature of his innings so far, but unfortunately picked out the man right on the boundary, out for 21 and closing out the innings. Murtha stranded on 0* entertained with a tongue in cheek request to bat alone, smiles all round.
Despite the outcome a good time was had by all at the beautiful Reg Bartley oval, the game was played in excellent spirit against a good side. Post-match underneath an orange sky the teams shook hands and shared beers and recollections of the enjoyable match and the hopes for even more fixtures in the future.
The Team was: – Michael Carman 15, James Bonkowski 1, Rhys Longbottom 16, Luke Holman 1, Henry Davis 10, Aaditya Mahata 30, Declan Thomas (w) 0, Mick McGrath 21, Adam Durant 12, Jamie Murtha (c) 0* Toby Forbes absent
The Result was:
Reg Bartley XI: – 8-134 (35 overs) (R. Longbottom 3-18)
C.C.N.S.W.: – All out 112 (33.1 overs) (A. Mahata 30)
By 22 runs
FoW: – 1-4 (J. Bonkowski); 2- 32 (R. Longbottom); 3-38 (M. Carman); 4-43 (L. Holman).5-93 (A. Mahata); 6-93 (D. Thomas); 7-105 (H. Davis); 8-108 (A. Durant ).; 9-112 (M. McGrath);
The Bowling was: – J. Murtha 3-0-19-1, A. Durant 6-1-25-0, M. McGrath 6-3-6-1, H. Davis 3-1-13-0, A. Mahata 3-0-20-0, R. Longbottom 7-2-18-3, T. Forbes 5-1-24-1, L. Holman 2-0-11-1
The Fielding was: –
Stumpings: – Nil
Catches: – 2 to D. Thomas (w) and one to A. Durant
Run outs: – One to M. McGrath
Player points (awarded by captain): – 3 points to M. McGrath; 2 points to R. Longbottom; one point to D. Thomas
MASTERS ROUND 10 v LINDFIELD AT CAMPERDOWN PARK, CAMPERDOWN ON SUNDAY 26 FEBRUARY 2023: REPORT BY ROB LAWTHER
Another hot humid day at Camperdown Park. No one was looking forward to running around in the heat so Andy Dadswell winning the toss and electing to bat was well received by all. Lindfield only had 9 players (including one child filling in) so we agreed to lend them a fielder. A late withdrawal due to illness from CCNSW meant it was 10 v 10 in the field – game on.
The opening partnership of Rob Lawther (16) and Ed Cross (14) was steady if relatively uneventful. The pitch was a bit slow with the odd ball keeping low, with batsmen wary of going on the back foot. Eventually both openers were removed lbw (both adamant it was sliding down leg, obviously), bringing Dan Turner and Paul Nash to the crease. Some solid batting brought us to 2-80 at drinks – a “solid platform” as described by the skipper.
From there Nash and Turner continued their great partnership, accelerating the scoring and each retiring at 40* in style. Dadswell had a swashbuckling innings, featuring some lovely drives over cover, finally undone being bowled for 39 going for one big shot too many. Some big hitting by Michael Johnston in the final overs saw him to a quick-fire 21* not out, and brought the team to a very respectable 5-215 off our 40 overs.
After a few too many ‘twisties’ and ‘choccy bikkies’ it was time to take the field. Ben Stanic and David Abreu opened the bowling knowing we needed a good start to apply some pressure to the Lindfield openers. They did just that, keeping the runs down and watching the required run rate slowly creep up. Abreu got one of the openers to play across the line and pinned him lbw (smashing middle, obviously). Stanic then had the perfect set up the next over – first a long hop which was smashed for four through midwicket. Then a length ball just outside off which was back-foot cover driven with ferocity to the pickets. Finally one just short of a length that didn’t get up and cannoned into the base of middle stump. Classic.
With the Lindfield openers gone and the run rate going up, some great tight bowling from Jose Poothokaren and Johnston meant Lindfield were never in the hunt. Pick of the bowlers was Poothokaren with 3-11 off 6 including a one-handed ‘speccy’ by the keeper, rob Lawther diving to take an under-edge that wouldn’t have carried to first slip. Special mention also for Johnston’s miserly spell of 1-4 off 6, including some of the best long (and lone!) lbw appeals you’ve ever hear. Eventually Lindfield limped to be all out for 74 after 32 overs.
Thanks to Lindfield for a good day of cricket played in the right spirit, and good work to the CCNSW boys on a good win.
The Team was (playing 10): – Rob Lawther (w) 16, Ed Cross 14, Dan Turner 40* ret not out, Paul Nash 41* ret not out, Sanjeet Bhandari 1, Andrew Dadswell 39, Michael Johnston 21*, Jose Poothokaren 4, David Abreu 6*, Ben Stanic dnb, Peter Constantinou dnb (absent ill)
The Result was: –
C.C.N.S.W.: – 5-215 (40 overs) (P. Nash 41* ret not out; D Turner 40* ret not out; A. Dadswell 39)
Lindfield CC: – All out 74 (9 players) (32 overs) (J. Poothokaren 3-11)
By 141 runs
FoW: – 1-26 (E. Cross); 2-37 (R. Lawther) 3-111 (S. Bhandari); 4-191 (A. Dadswell); 5-195 (J. Poothokaren).
The Bowling was: – B. Stanic 6-1-22-1; D. Abreu 6-1-21-1; M. Johnston 6-2-4-1; J. Poothokaren 6-0-11-3, E. Cross 4-0-8-0, A. Dadswell 4-1-4-1
The Fielding was: –
Stumpings: – One to R. Lawther
Catches: – One to R. Lawther (w)
Run outs: – Nil
Player points (awarded by umpire): – 3 points to A. Dadswell; 2 points to P. Nash; one point to D. Turner
VINTAGE ROUND 9 v CENTRAL COAST AT ROGERS PARK OVAL No 1, WOY WOY ON SUNDAY 26 FEBRUARY 2023: REPORT BY PETER ROLLS
A performance for the ages by the Prez!
A hot 32°C and humid day with plenty of sunshine and only a slight breeze. No rain in sight or forecast.
A top of the table clash with the Central Coast only a couple of points behind us and only two losses like us and two teams in third and fourth place only a few points further behind.
The pitch was well grassed but a bit soft in patches where there was no grass after 40mm rain mid-week. Phone calls were made by Central Coast reassuring us that the wicket would be ready and covered the night before but they failed to inform the groundsman. No covers but luckily no rain overnight and the groundsman had an hour to prepare. Luckily there was a game played on the same wicket on the Saturday so it did have some preparation on the Friday. Even though the wicket looked dodgier than a vindaloo left out in the sun, the groundsman said 200 runs were scored on the Saturday and with the current stifling heat and humidity the decision to bat was made after winning the toss.
It was apparent after a few overs that this was going to be a difficult wicket to bat on and we were to be told, half way through the game by a local, that 100 runs is a good score in 40 overs and typical of many Vintage games here. CC took advantage of the seam and slow bounce by bowling on a good length and letting the ball do the work. As nothing was coming off the bat we had to work the singles and the thick kikuyu outfield meant aerial was the only way to get boundaries.
The CC fielding was sublime when Frank Baliotis (2) smashing a rare loose ball hard to mid-on and was snapped up.1-2 off 3 overs. There followed a bizarre run out of John Finucane (4) initially turning back for a second run after his good aerial shot over mid-on but then deciding not to go, His bat appeared to get stuck in the grass, while he was trying to slide it into the crease. 2-16 off 10 overs.
CC’s fine fielding continued with finger tips scraping the grass diving forward to get Gerry O’Shea (16) cutting a short ball that popped on him. 3-26 off 16 overs.
Peter Rolls (10) and Greg Brooks were starting to get some momentum when Peter flicked a ball hard off his pads towards mid-wicket when the 70 yr old CC Captain Grieg Buscombe stuck his right hand out at full stretch at short mid-wicket for it to stick. 4-50 off 25 overs.
Mick McCormick (0) tried to go aerial too early off a ball that bounced slowly off the pitch which meant his off drive went straight up in the air and was caught. 5-57 off 26 overs.
Greg Brooks threw his quality willow at anything slightly full or short for five boundaries including a mighty 6 and soon retired not out at 30. A much needed one in the bank with smart aerial play on this “tennis ball” bounce wicket.
Mel Lucas (0) replaced Greg and had no choice but to throw the bat as soon as he entered the fray with only 11 overs remaining in a fine show of team spirit. A good cut shot but straight to point who held it. 6-71 off 29 overs.
Ajoy Roy(4) in his first game for 12 months (after having long Covid and other health issues) looked in command until a poor umpiring decision had him caught behind hitting the ground with an attempted drive. Even Garry James at the non-striker’s end, saw a 4 inch gap between the bat and ball as it went past the outside edge. 7-76 off 32 overs.
Garry James (17) had combined well with Greg Brooks, then Ajoy Roy and then Stuart Ridge until he got one of the occasional massive off cutters that skittled his stumps. 8-92 off 37 overs.
Paul Georgiadis (0) was a gracious team man again (like against Southern Highlands) in throwing his bat at the onset and was bowled off the second ball he faced. 9-92 off 37 overs. Paul’s great team spirit allowed the return of a recycled Greg Brooks for what would be the finest display of big hitting I have ever seen in Vintage cricket. With three overs to go Greg and Stuart ridge put on a show for the last wicket that was cheered every ball. Even when Stuart blocked the last ball of an over he got a cheer as we knew Greg would get to face the next over. Over 38 went for 19 runs; over 39 went for only 3 runs but over 40 went for 18 runs with balls dispatched in all directions for a total of 9-133 and a score with “hope” for our bowlers. Greg 64* (including a further two 6s and four 4s) and Stuart 10*, both unconquered.
At tea, a well earned breather for all from the humidity and then we took the field with a spring in our step with the wicket still doing a bit. CC needing 3.3 per over.
Stuart Ridge fresh from representing Australia in Overs 60’s ODI tournament in Barbados (and voted the second MVP for the tournament) was on song (even though congested with a cold from the flight back) and picked up our first wicket in his second over courtesy of a stunning reflex one handed catch at first slip by Greg Brooks when the ball was edged between keeper and first slip. 1-6 off 3 overs.
Paul Georgiadis opened at the other end and bowled a good line and length except for the odd short ball which CC pounced on as they knew they would get nothing from Stuart who took our second wicket in his fourth over bowling their number 3 with an in-swinger. 2-18 off 7 overs.
Both Stuart and Paul bowled only 4 of their max 7 overs due to the humidity and saving them for later. Greg Brooks replaced Stuart Ridge and kept it tight with a great line and length and Garry James came on after Paul Georgiadis to great effect with two wickets in his first over (one bowled and one caught Ridge at cover). Wickets 3 and 4 for 33 off 10 overs.
Garry James then bowled their dangerous swinging left handed opener on 20 with an ‘offie’ he pushed through quicker. 5-40 off 14 overs.
Greg Brook’s fine spell was rewarded in his fifth over with an lbw. 6-48 off 17 overs. He was rewarded again in his sixth and seventh overs with a wicket in each (bowled middle peg and caught by a superb outstretched one handed grab from a snick by keeper John Finucane). 8-57 off 21 overs.
Then in the next 12 overs, a partnership developed between their numbers 6 and 10. Our fielders were throwing their bodies around like Greco-Roman wrestlers (which is not easy at our age) but Frank Baliotis, Gerard O’Shea and Mel Lucas saved many runs with their acrobatics. This CC partnership got them to 100 in the thirty third over by smart cricket just waiting for the odd loose ball from Mick McCormick, Gerard O’Shea and Ajoy Roy who all put in sterling efforts under tense pressure. Even Stuart Ridge came back for one over to try to get a break through. Hopes were fading with only 35 runs required off 7 overs. (5 per over).
Enter partnership breaker Paul Georgiadis and in his second returning over, he had their number 10 hole out to Stuart Ridge at mid-wicket with a good and important catch. 9-100 off 33 overs.
The CC number 11 could also hold a bat and was feeding the strike to their number 6 who had reached 30 but continued batting as the last wicket was in. Over 34 went for 5 runs; over 35 went for 3; over 36 went for 5.
Stuart Ridge returned for over 37 and on his second ball CC number 6 made a strong cut shot that flew behind square. Greg Brooks fielding at deep fly slip, launched like NASA, diving to his right to take a spectacular one handed catch to win us the game. Euphoria erupted from the team with hugs to Greg, lifting him off the ground which is some feat for this massive man.
A win by 18 runs but it felt like a win by one run so the beers went down well with Greg the stand out man of the match winner with 64* not out, 3 wickets and 2 excellent catches to get a bottle of red he knows his wife will love. (Ed note: Greg is a teetotaler) An individual performance I have not seen before in Vintage cricket but still also ten other players that all contributed in different ways to make this a special team effort.
A tough final match against Northern Stars on Sunday 12 March to finish the season. Let’s hope we can all put in a big effort to finish on a high to stay on top with what has already been a special season of good sportsmanship and fun camaraderie.
The Team was: – Frank Baliotis 2, Gerard O’Shea 16, John Finucane (w) 4 , Peter Rolls (c) 10, Greg Brooks 64*, Mick McCormick 0, Garry James 17, Mel Lucas 0, Ajoy Roy 4, Stuart Ridge 10*, Paul Georgiadis 0
The Result was:
C.C.N.S.W.: – 9-133 (40 overs) (G. Brooks 64*)
Central Coast: – 10-115 (37.2 overs) (S Ridge 3-8; G. James 3-9; G. Brooks 3-21)
By 18 runs
FoW: – 1-2 (F. Baliotis); 2-16 (J. Finucane); 3-26 (G. O’Shea); 4-50 (P. Rolls); 5-57 (M. McCormick); 6-72 (M. Lucas); 7-76 (A. Roy); 8-92 (G. James); 9-92 (P. Georgiadis).
The Bowling was: – S. Ridge 5.2-1-8-3; P. Georgiadis 7-0-33-1; G. Brooks 7-1-21-3; G. James 7-3-6-3; G. O’Shea 5-0-15-0; M. McCormick 2-0-14-0; A. Roy 4-0-14-0
The Fielding was: –
Stumpings: – Nil
Catches: – 2 to G. Brooks; 2 to S. Ridge and one to J. Finucane (w)
Run outs: – Nil
Player points (awarded by umpire): – 3 points to G. Brooks; 2 points to S. Ridge; one point to G. James
SOCIAL GAME v VICTORIA BARRACKS XI AT VICTORIA BARRACKS, OXFORD STREET ON THURSDAY 2 MARCH 2023
Game cancelled by Army as ground not available; being used for other military purposes.