As told by Lenny Volkov, who was there. (Ed note: and playing!

Sunday afternoon cricket, what could be better, we ten men of the Cricketers Club assembled to take the covers off, the grass was shorn and itwas humid and still. The air was thick and warm like the remnants of a Macca’s strawberry milkshake that had been left in a late eighties, pale blue  Commodore only to be found after three days of free parking five clicks out of town. 

Beavers had a full eleven Beavers (large rodents, most of whom had English accents and pink hats) so they made us field hoping to gain an advantage before our eleventh turned up. They didn’t and he didn’tCaptain Soren Hughes (“Big Sooz’) and Avinash Bhandari opened the bowling making the breakthrough in the fifth over. Hughes set it up with a well directed bumper followed by a slower ball yorker that left the batter politely asking Hughes what the ball had done. (1-26) Beavers next batter, Mr. J. Shoeffers came out with a ‘GoPro’ strapped to his helmet no doubt to later rub one out over a scratchy looking start interspersed with a few clean shots before Avi got him lbw having changed ends for his second spell. If you are ever invited to J. Shoeffers’ lodge for a home movie night, my advice would be to politely decline. They were 2-72 in the sixteenth over. Avi finishing with 1-31 off his 7 overs; it was time for spin.

Adam Khamis bowled something unplayable to the new bat who had clearly been watching the recent Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Rather than being beaten again, he decided to play the reverse sweep. Also lbw, player review would have shown he was fired by his own team mate for stupid shot selection as much as the fact as it was cannoning into middle. 3-77 and Beavers called for an early drinks to help slow down the rot. 

It worked with a handy little partnership but then In his first game for the Club, his first ball even, Bhandari’s mate Sumeet Kudal, making his debut for the Club, struck with his leg spin. He put a very juicy one loose, full and wide and the new batter chased it all the way to me at point. Two balls later he struck again: Gerry O’Shea  pouching it nicely low down. 5-112 in the 24th. Khamis declared it a spinners’ paradise. 

Sumeet Kudal got 2 more wickets both caught by his mate Avi  Bhandari at mid and later  at long on  to have figures  of 4-40 off 5 overs.

Matt Leong who had kept until drinks,  was now unleashed from the shackles of borrowed keeping pads; he bowled with good pace and zero luck beating the bat or the ball ballooning to exactly where Captain Hughes would have had an eleventh  fielder placed. If we had had one!

At is at this point I feel I should mention we were not only a player down but we also had no specialist keeper. Matt Leong kept till drinks. After drinks Mike Beergah kept, playing his first game for the Club for three years, since Perth  in 2020. They worked hard given the conditions and lack of familiarity, but a specialist keeper would have helped.

Young Harry Walsh also in his first game for the Club wasn’t going to be the only leg spinner not getting wickets; he bowled some great nuts, went for a bit of stick coming on late in the day when they were going for quick runs and got two great spinners’ wickets in  one over to finish on 2-23 after 4 overs  plus a dropped catch and one that fell agonizingly short:  could have easily been four wickets for not many.

Captain Big Sooz brought himself back on to finish off the innings with their opening batter finally holing out for 86 to Matt Leong who took a good catch at deep square. Hughes finished with figures of 2-20 and Beavers all out for 182 in the thirty fourth over.

Mike Beergah and I opened the batting. Beergah looked me square in the eye and said “Mind if I take the first one” I did not. He fell to the one bowler that managed to swing the ball for the day for 1 in the third over and we were 1-3. Adam Khamis came out and started swinging just as the ball stopped doing the same and helped himself to 14 of the finest before a rush of blood to the head took out his middle stump. 2-18 now. Gerry O’Shea walked to crease like a man that thinks about his cricket; the bowling was tight and so was our defence. Gerry worked away for 5 before being undone playing one of his usually very dependable cut shots. We were 3-29 in the 14th. Those of you playing at home will have no doubt have done the maths and worked out that not only was I still in, but I hadn’t been scoring at a click either. ‘History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it’, said Churchill. I kept out a lot of very good balls from the openers and found the fielders with frustrating regularity.

Beavers first change bowler was probably the pick of their lot, easily a yard If not more faster than the openers and accurate with a little movement off the pitch to make you worry. He bowled an absolute peach to Harry Walsh who did everything right only to have it find the outside edge for a well placed single between the keeper and first. 3-31 at drinks.

Those assembled around the score book suggested to the skipper it might be time to retire me. As a team player I didn’t really have a problem with that, but nobody said anything further so I hydrated as best as I could in the heat and HW and I strode back to the middle where my sweat dripping, hand-me-down, Sydney Thunder helmet was waiting. Harry was out not long after to the offie for 3 in that typical Camperdown way of a shorter pitched one staying low and finding the stumps at ankle height. Tom Robertson, not opening because of the Volkov/Beergah experiment, came in and opened his account second ball with a four. Captain Big Sooz was now a lot more serious about dragging me, I negotiated as much out of pride than out of stubbornness to hit out or get out this over. A man of my word my next two balls had a strike rate of 50 and I was finally on my way for 11 caught at cover off a nothing ball. “Must be a day for ironic helmets” chirped the Beavers keeper.

Matt Leong came in and got moving including a lovely cover drive that Gerry O’Shea declared shot of the day. He and Robertson put on a 20 run partnership before he fell for 9. 6-64 in the 29th

Now Bhandari joined Robertson in the task of quick scoring (Ed note: CCNSW needed 112 off 6 overs), getting off the mark with a 4 first ball and scoring 12 runs off his first 5 balls received, These two with some power hitting, a never say die attitude and also some great running including a couple of threes, quite heroically almost got us there, putting on 84 runs in a little over 5 overs. Tommy finishing on an unbeaten 50* and Avi on 45*. After 35 overs,  Cricketers’ Club ended 34 runs short at 6-148.

Likely if we had that 11th fielder or held our catches or a specialist keeper or I had negotiated to ‘hit out or get out’ a few over earlier we might have got across the line but it was not to be. We are playing them again in three weeks time; history will not repeat itself.

The Team was (playing 10): – Michael Beergah (w) 1 (9 balls), Lenny Volkov 11 (54 balls), Adam Khamis 14 (28 balls), Gerald O’Shea 5 (15 balls), Harry Walsh 3 (14 balls); Tom Robertson 50* (35 balls), Matt Leong (w) 9 (16 balls), Avi Bhandari 45* (36 balls), Sumeet Kudal dnb, Soren Hughes  (c) dnb 

The Result was: –

Beavers CC: – 10-182 (33.3 overs) (S. Kudal 4-40)


C.C.N.S.W.: – 6-148 (35 overs) (T. Robertson 50*; A. Bhandari 45*)

By 34 runs

FoW: – 1- 2 (M. Beergah); 2-18 (L. Volkov); 3-29 (A Khamis); 4- 42 (H. Walsh); 5-44 (L. Volkov); 6-64 (M. Leong).

The Bowling was: – A. Bhandari 7-0-31-1; S. Hughes 5.3-0-20-2; G. O’Shea 2-0-11-0; A. Khamis 7-1-26-1; M. Leong 3-0-19-0; S. Kudal 5-0-40-4; H. Walsh 4-0-23-2

The Fielding was: –

Stumpings: – Nil

Catches: – 2 to A. Bhandari; one each to M. Leong, G. O’Shea and L. Volkov

Run outs: –   Nil

Player points (awarded by captain): – 3 points to T. Robertson; 2 points to A. Bhandari; one point to S. Kudal


A lovely sunny day greeted us at Weldon Oval home of Warringah CC. The pitch was well grassed with previous ball marks evident from another game so it could have proved quite difficult to bat on.

The match itself was 4th vs 5th on the table with the winner to secure a semi spot in the last game of the regular seasonThe toss was won by Warringah who elected to bat. From the opening spell with Mike Tarrant and Stuart Ridge, every ball was asking questions of the batters. In the blink of an eye after 10 overs Warringah was on the ropes with Tarrant picking up three plumb lbws with some great outswing and off cutter bowling and Ridge from the other end hitting the right length to secure three very sharp catches to Andrew Dawson (one hander), Paul Nash at Gully and a caught and bowled one hander. Warringah was 6 for 28 after 10 overs.

After that over, Warringah batted and batted and batted defending anything of danger and putting away the loose one plus popping some into gaps where three fielders seemed to converge plus a couple of sharp and one simple catch were put down. This went on for another 20 overs until another wicket fell – 7 for 92. The remaining overs for the openers, Greg Brooks, Andrew Bachelard, Ed Cross and David Craig could not penetrate the Warringah defence. It was only Nash who could find the way through with two clean bowled to leave Warringah on 8 for 152 after their allocated 40 overs. A great comeback by them.

CCNSW went to lunch thinking what just happened – talk about a game of two (uneven) halves. 6 for 28 in the first 10 overs and 2 for 124 in 30 overs.

Perhaps the pitch had demons when the ball was new so it was important to see of the first 10 overs. But with a very solid batting line up and power to burn at the end 150 should be well achievable.

The innings started well with Mike Pinter off to a flier picking off cover drives at will and Dawson at the other end watchful. However in the 4th over Pinter fell to an ‘Akram like’ inswinging yorker and Dawson adjudged lbw almost straight after bringing Nash and Scott Wells to the crease. Both batted watchfully until the 11th over when Wells went for a widish ball catching an outside edge to cover. Nash and Andrew Davis consolidated until the 16th over with Nash caught. Ed Cross then soon followed lbw leaving us in an unfamiliar position with the top order failing for the first time this year. But still plenty of talent with the bat to come. 

Unfortunately we just lost constant wickets giving us no momentum throughout the innings seemingly every 10 runs one wicket or 20 runs two wickets. Our power trio of Tarrant, Brooks and Bachelard then forced to play unfamiliar roles anchoring the innings. A handy partnership at the end between Ridge and Craig got us to 120. This score at the start was unthinkable but in the end we seemingly overachieved getting to 120.

It was our day then not our day – It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

In all we had a very good side and had a very good season with most importantly a great bunch of blokes.

Thanks to all for making it enjoyable.

The Team was: – Andrew Dawson 2, Mike Pinter 10, Paul Nash 22, Scott Wells (c) and (w) 9, Andrew Davis 29. Ed Cross 0, Greg Brooks 5, Mike Tarrant 10, Andrew Bachelard 2, David Craig 9, Stuart  Ridge 8*

The Result was: –

Warringah CC: – 8-152 (40 overs) (S. Ridge 3-25; M. Tarrant 3-26)


C.C.N.S.W.: – 10-120 (34.3 overs)

By 32 runs

FoW: – 1-15 (M. Pinter); 2- 22 (A. Dawson); 3-44 (S. Wells); 4-55 (P Nash). 5-64 (E. Cross); 6-80 (G. Brooks); 7-93 (M. Tarrant); 8-97 (A. Davis); 9-99 (A. Bachelard); 10-120 (D. Craig).

The Bowling was: – S. Ridge 9-0-25-3; M. Tarrant 9-3-26-3; G. Brooks 5-1-13-0; A. Bachelard 6-0-30-0; E. Cross 1-0-11-0; D. Craig 5-1-26-0; P. Nash 5-2-17-2

The Fielding was: –

Stumpings: – Nil

Catches: – One to each of A. Dawson, P. Nash and S. Ridge

Run outs: – Nil

Player points (awarded by umpire): – 3 points to S. Ridge; 2 points to M. Tarrant; one point to A. Davis.

See: https://www.playhq.com/cricket-australia/org/sydney-masters-cricket-association/classics-summer-202223/classics/game-centre/7a3968ff

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