SOCIAL GAME v XXIX CLUB AT THE ALBERT GROUND, ST KILDA, MELBOURNE ON WEDNESDAY 1 5 MARCH 2023: REPORT BY GREG BROOKS
One of the highlight fixtures of the season resumed Wednesday 15th March in Melbourne after a 2 year Covid induced hiatus.
What was most pleasing was the appetite of club members to get to Melbourne and enjoy all that the XXIX Club provide. With Victorian CCNSW member Bill Blair moving his work schedule to play for the club, Victorian CCNSW member Stuart Stockdale putting up his hand to play and Victorian CCNSW member Steve Kish arranging a young wicket keeper, the other 8 club members all made the trip from Sydney.Indeed your President along with Stu Ridge, Joe Scarcella and Garry James drove to Melbourne including a 2 night farm stay outside of Cootamundra along the way to further build team spirit!
On to the game.
As there was only one scorer I have asked for the details of the book to be shared but it has not arrived yet so some of the details are missing…yes I should have taken a photo!
The Albert Ground in St Kilda is the first grade oval for the Melbourne Cricket Club. The MCC play in the Premier Cricket competition which is the highest level grade cricket in the city.
The oval is in magnificent condition with a carpet like out field and a well grassed square even this late in the season.Along with perfect autumn weather the day was well set up. The XXIX club kindly provided two grade umpires, a scorer and large electronic scorebook showing the good, the bad and the ugly. We lost the toss and were sent in with young wicket keeper/ batter Jake Rothnie paired with Tom Robertson.Tom clipped the first ball off his pads for 4 and then was plumb LBW the second ball ! Not the start we were looking for! Jim and Soren came and went quickly leaving Bill Blair and Jake to rebuild.And rebuild they did with a fine partnership at a good clip. We reached 3/70 from 11 overs before Bill fell for a well made 20 odd.Jake is a fine young player and produced a solid innings of 74 with three sixes and several boundaries as the total moved past 120.From here on we failed to kick on and were eventually all out for 152.
Following a short break we opened our attack with Stu Ridge and Bill Blair who both bowled accurately against quality opening bats. With the score past 50 Soren Hughes gained the breakthrough and followed it up with another shortly after. Garry James bowled a good spell from the tennis court end and was rewarded with a wicket as the XXIXs approached our total.
While it was a tough ask to defend a small total against a strong side on a good batting deck and fast outfield, we stuck at our task and everyone fielded really well.
After the presentations and short speeches we enjoyed good food, cold beer and quality courtesy of the wine writer Jeremy Oliver with our hosts and plenty of stories from both sides.
While not the result we had hoped for all players agreed it was a terrific day out in Melbourne.We look forward to hosting the XXIX club next season in Sydney and returning the hospitality shown to us.
The Team was (in batting order): – T.Robertson, J.Rothnie, S.Hughes, J.Hadley, B.Blair, S.Stockdale, G.Brooks, J.Scarcella, G.James, M.Henwood, S.Ridge.
The Result was: –
C.C.N.S.W.: – 10/152 ( overs)
MCC XXIX club:- 3/157 (overs)
by 7 wickets.
FoW: – 1- (); 2- (); 3- (); 4- (). 5- (); 6- (); 7- (); 8- (); 9- (); 10- ().
The Bowling was: –
The Fielding was: –
Run outs: –
C&S ROUND 17 v THE PRIMARY CLUB OF AUSTRALIA AT CAMPERDOWN OVAL, CAMPERDOWN ON SATURDAY 1 8 MARCH 2023: REPORT BY JAMES MURTHA
There was a real buzz of excitement around the ground for the CCNSW vs PCA grudge match, it’s always competitive! It was a warm day reaching approx. 32 degrees. PCA skipper Damien Langley (former CCNSW member) won the toss and elected to bat on a rather flat looking wicket.
Soren Hughes and ‘Jonno’ Shaw bowled extremely well early, PCA were 10 overs in for as many runs when the first wicket fell: ‘C .Brown out lbw to J. Shaw’. There was a collective groan and a loud call from Tom Robertson:“Why’d you get him out, knucklehead!?” followed by a few laughs.
Our bowlers continued to threaten in the first session without much luck as the PCA batters were happy to deal in dots and singles. We were on top at drinks with the score around 1-50, on a pitch that wasn’t offering a lot for our seamers.
After drinks, Aaditya Mahata was brought on from the Rotunda End and had an immediate impact. The pitch complemented his left arm finger spin as he took 3 wickets in his tidy spell. Jamie Murtha building good pressure at the other end and bowling full at the stumps was hard to get away early on.
PCA knew they had to get a move on and started playing some risky shots, balls were flying around the park and falling everywhere except the fielders’ hands for a while!
Paul Nash and Jim Hadley grabbed three important wickets and looked good, but one over of slogging and good fortune for the batters boosted their total significantly in the last 10 overs. Adam Khamis chipped in with an important wicket too which likely saved a couple of runs.
The catches that were taken on the day were particularly challenging with a lot of power behind them, but regular boundaries and naked aggression saw the PCA batters score a very competitive 8-184 off their 35 overs.
The team gathered in the shed for a 10 minute change over and much needed drink!
The Tom (Robertson) and Gerry (O’Shea) show got underway and threatened to provide us with another solid start. Gerry took on a risky single which required a direct hit, unfortunately for him there was a direct hit! Tom was clearly rattled after the loss of his opening partner and was bowled for 15 trying to hit a yorker out of the park. Nash copped a good ball and ended up on the wrong side of a 50/50 lbw decision, not a good start to the chase with CCNSW 3-37 after 9.
Jamie Murtha and Harry Bridge dug in for a while trying to ensure there were no further wickets lost, both played some nice shots as the afternoon sun started to bite, they made it to drinks with the team score on 3-71.
After drinks the pair came out positively and moved the score onto 94 before both losing concentration and getting out caught in consecutive balls.
Soren Hughes fell soon after to a ball that slowed off the pitch while Aaditya Mahata in his second game for the club was at the other end and took on the bowling with a rapid 29; it would take a good catch on the fence to remove him, but that’s exactly what happened.
Mike Weaver started out positively, and hit a nice boundary behind square, but unfortunately tried to work an offside ball to the leg side and was bowled through the gate taking the score to 8-145 with 5 overs remaining.
It was a tough task to win from here, but the team still had a lot of belief with Jim Hadley and ‘Jonno’ Shaw at the crease, Jonno was happy to rotate the strike while Jim looked in superb touch. Shot of the day went to Jim, slapping one off the back foot over the pavilion for 6, the pair scored at around 7 an over and brought the equation down to 10 runs off the last over. Jim looked to take the bowler downtown and middled a lovely straight drive only to be outdone by the bowler who stuck his hand in the path of the ball which regrettably stuck.
Mike Pinter (“Punter”) the last man played and missed, and an eager Jonno called him through for a single, but the keeper’s throw was on target and again regrettably Punter was run out at the non striker’s end to end the match 7 runs short.
A disappointing loss for the team in blue who believed the entire time a win was possible. A little more discipline from the top/middle order could have seen the result go in our favor, but credit to PCA who fielded well and took any chances that came their way. In any case, some positives could still be taken away from the match and we will go into the next one a better team for it!
Spirits were still high at the end of the match and both clubs shared a drink together and discussed highlights from the match overlooking the beautiful Camperdown oval under a gold and orange sky.
The Team was (playing 12): – Tom Robertson 15, Gerald O’Shea 4, Paul Nash 5, Jamie Murtha 34, Harry Bridge 25, Aaditya Mahata 29, Soren Hughes 1, Michael Weaver (w) 9, Jonno Shaw 14*, Jim Hadley (c) 23, Mike Pinter 0, Adam Khamis dnb
The Result was: –
The Primary Club of Australia: – 8-184 (35 overs) (A. Mahata 3-28)
C.C.N.S.W.: – 10-177 (34.3 overs) (J. Murtha 34)
By 7 runs
FoW: – 1-12 (G. O’Shea); 2-31 (T. Robertson); 3-37 (P. Nash); 4-94 (H. Bridge).5-94 (J. Murtha); 6-102 (S. Hughes); 7-138 (A. Mahata); 8-145 (M. Weaver); 9-177 (J. Hadley); 10-177 (M. Pinter);
The Bowling was: – S. Hughes 7-1-16-0, J. Shaw 7-0-26-1, J. Murtha 7-0-36-0, A. Mahata 7-0-28-3 P. Nash 3-0-23-1, J. Hadley 3-0-39-2, A. Khamis 1-0-10-1
The Fielding was: –
Stumpings: – 2 to M. Weaver
Catches: – 2 to A. Mahata and one each to S. Hughes and J. Murtha,
Run outs: – Nil
Player points (awarded by captain): – 3 points to A. Mahata; 2 points to J. Murtha; one point to S. Hughes