LMS T20 (8-a-SIDE) EASTERN SYDNEY SUNDAY DIVISION 3 FINAL v ‘AVIN A SLAP AT ROBERTSON ROAD, MP5, MOORE PARK ON SUNDAY 13 AUGUST 2023: REPORT BY JAMIE MURTHA
The Team was: – James Bonkowski 51*, Mick McGrath (c) 23, Rhys Longbottom 40, Wade Butler (w) 38*, Avi Bhandari 1, Jonathan Seifman 10, David Craig 0*, Ming Heng dnb
In a high-stakes showdown under overcast skies, cricket enthusiasts around Moore Park were treated to an exhilarating clash between CCNSW and ‘Avin A Slap. Our opposition had the wood over us in close encounters during the regular season, 0-2, The sun assisted our batters early, but as the game progressed the rain clouds started looming for the two evenly balanced teams. The spectators were in for a treat as this match promised to be a spectacle of skill and determination!
CCNSW lost the toss and were sent in to bat first. James Bonkowski and Mick McGrath opened and looked solid, both were forced to respect some good bowling early as it took nearly 5 overs to find the first boundary,
James scored an unbeaten 51* runs and anchored the innings, he also produced a very memorable lofted cover drive for six with some sweet timing, Rhys Longbottom (40) and Mick (23) both contributed to the scoreboard with some clean strikes; Rhys was dropped twice and made them pay, proceeding to smash five sixes to all parts!
Avi Bhandari looked to play positively but got a good ball that hit the top of off, and Wade Butler (38) continued his fine form while launching balls deep into the other field, he was kept on strike by ‘Jono’ Seifman (10), our innings progressed steadily and after 20 overs we raised a sizeable total of 168 runs for 4, entirely defendable’
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Pressure was on ‘Avin A Slap to chase down our challenging target, and our guys were ready after receiving a quality high ball catching practice session, led by Rich ‘Berry Boy’ Clark who was only too happy to bomb a few up. Rhys Longbottom led the bowling attack, and seemed to beat the batters outside edge every ball during a great opening four over spell, conceding just 23 runs without luck,
Mick McGrath opened at the other had a two over bumper burst at the other end, unlucky not to take a wicket, one falling just short of a diving Avi at deep-square, and another really special effort from David Craig at long-off , covering several metres, dove full length and nearly took a screamer, both fielders saving boundaries too with great commitment . David bowled excellently, his leggies proving difficult to score off in the first three overs and getting an important breakthrough bowling the opening batter! Some rain started to fall which made both fielding and batting more difficult, however no time was lost!
Avi Bhandari bowled accurately despite the damp conditions, he ensured the required run-rate climbed and finally the other opener succumb to pressure, skying one for Mick McGrath to take a great mid-field catch, all the more impressive because the ball’s seam had cut Micks hand and was bleeding significantly. Mick had to leave the field for medical attention, kindly provided by the opposition. Stitches do seem likely to be needed, however! Jamie Murtha didn’t hesitate to join in the field at fine leg despite nursing a broken thumb, even managing to return a rather limp left handed throw in towards keeper Wade!
Just as one of the batters started to get a hold of some boundaries Ming Heng entered the attack and bowled an exceptional four over spell for just 19 runs, in gloomy conditions he had the ball swinging, hitting the stumps on one occasion and very nearly a couple more, Ming deserved a second wicket but an edge was unfortunately not picked up by the umpire, who had done a great job all game. Still very much either team’s game at this point!
Mick opted to finish the game with a wrapped hand before going to hospital, his two remaining overs kept momentum with us and was called on the field several times before the end! But it was Avi, Ming and Dave bowling dots at the death who finished the job; not even an impressive 58 from Oscar Jamieson including a home-run could keep them in it. Through an excellent team performance against a good opposition in tough conditions, we beat the previously undefeated ‘Avin-A-Slap by 6 runs to win the competition final.
The match showcased good spirit of cricket, sportsmanship and skill, credit to the team on the day as well as all 33 players who contributed to the team this winter season, this was a well deserved victory!
Thank you to all our report readers and wider CCNSW club-mates! Particular thanks to Adrian Hawkes for his diligent administration behind the scenes! And finally, well done to all of the 33 players this season! Jim Hadley, Wade Butler , Mick McGrath, Minh Heng, Jonathan Seifman, James Bonkowski, David Craig, Rhys Longbottom, Avinash Bhandari, Richard Clark, Nicholas Kochanowicz, Jamie Murtha, Joel Uddstrom, Scott Williams, Gerry O’Shea, Shahzeem Ajani, Declan Thomas, Shivam Agarval, Sanjeet Bhandari, Brendon Clarke, Toby Forbes, Sherville Hall,, Dan May, Charles Sharpe, Tom Sterrett, David Waldron, Phil Anderson, Liam Broughton, Yair Edinburg, Craig Fordham, Will Jacobs, Aaditya Mahata, Gurav Jain.
The Result was:-
CCNSW: – 4-168 (20 overs) (J. Bonkowski 51*; R. Longbottom 40)
‘Avin A Slap: – 4-162 (20 overs)
By 6 runs
The Bowling was: – R. Longbottom 4-0-23-0; M. McGrath 4-0-36-0, D. Craig 4-0-49-1. A. Bhandari 4-0-35-1, M. Heng 4-0-18-1
The Fielding was: Stumpings: – Nil Catches: – One to M. McGrath Run outs: – One to R. Longbottom
Player points (awarded by captain): – 3 points to J. Bonkowski ; 2 points to M. Heng ; one point to M. McGrath.See: https://www.lastmanstands.com/leagues/scorecard/live?fixtureid=389044