Premiers sneak into T20 Semis on the back of some Huyser Heroics

Our Premier Mens team have a shot at some silverware with a pending semi final date with St Albans on Hagley 5 this coming Thursday night (31 January) in the Metro T20 competition.

That looked a lot less likely prior to Saturday’s double header of rounds as they languished outside the top 5 and would need 2 wins and some other results to go their way.

1st up on a soft and ugly Redwood 1 they restricted Marist Harewood to 84/8 from their overs – Matt Farrant (3/11 off 4) dominating the home side while we snared two run outs and 3 others each grabbed 1 wicket.

Net run rate was always going to be the theme for the day and JJ Naude (33 off 28) and Joel Williams (19 no off 11) were the primary contributors as we reached the target 6 down in the 14th over.

The afternoon game was back on Burnside 1 against fellow semi contender’s Sydenham. Farrant repeated the dose almost identically with 3/13 off 4 and Jackson Latham (3/18) bowled genuinely rapidly downwind to harass the Sydz batsmen who lost wickets regularly.

Faz also took a screamer off the boundary in a diving effort to continue to embellish the suggestion that “nobody” in fact perfect.

Matt “Faz” Farrant refuses to rub his scraped elbow just after taking a diving screamer at 3rd man to dismiss danger-man Chris Harris

The seemingly ageless Chris Harris at No: 5 held the innings together with 49 (just a couple more than his actual age) while his more Senior partner Kelvin Scott (aged 52) posted 16 as Sydenham hobbled to 102/8 from their overs.

No one knew just how quickly we needed to get the runs but, thanks to a Pythagoris Theorem type / logarithm based spreadsheet from Coach Paul O’Brien, the lads knew how quickly they were going to try and get them – very! The 1st wicket, that of Mitch Hay for 17 (off 10) fell at 31 and brought the in form Naude to the crease. But he was able to sit back and watch the fireworks at the other end as Premier Captain Carl Huyser started to fire off a few exocet rockets.

Just a couple of weeks ago Carl Huyser was ticking off a bucket list item with a round of golf at St Andrews. Saturday saw him carting Sydenham to all corners of Burnside Park.

Carl belted 7 fours and 3 sixes – including a 90+ metre effort towards the tennis club – in a violent 60 run rampage off just 32 balls. Apart from the lusty blows he and JJ’s running between the wickets was remarkable – forcing several twos from what looked to be tight singles!

When he was dismissed at 90/2 (after just 8.4 overs) JJ (17 no) steered the side home despite a couple of 1st ballers in the middle order as the fence was swung for.

105/5 in a mere 11.1 overs was the perfect equation as Burnside appear to have squeezed East Shirley out of the top 4 by a single 0.01 of a batting point.

CHAIRMAN’S CUP FINAL:

Another looming clash comes this Sunday when Burnside’s Chairman’s selection plays Heathcote in the Cup final at Burnside 1. This competition sees clubs select a playing XI from across all grades except Premiers – with only 4 players from morning grades able to be selected – so it is a genuine test of the collective strength of players in the club.

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Who doesn’t like a bit of lazy silverware around the house – Can BWCUCC win the Chairman’s Cup for the 1st time this Sunday?

Heathcote will be a worthy opponent, having beaten Sumner in the semis, so get down to Burnside from 12pm this Sunday to take in the action.

The playing XI is just being finalised and will be named soon.

CHAMPIONSHIP:

The 2nd’s continued their habit of 1 win / 1 loss results from T20 double headers and as a result finished just outside the top 4 in their grade.

1st up was St Albans at Hagley & despite a trio of 15’s (from Heenan, O’Brien & Buchanan) they fell away fairly limply to end 85 all out with a ball or 2 to spare.

Saints needed just 13 overs to mop that up, despite – yes it’s Hugo again – Howard taking 2/16, but at least that gave the lads some extra time to pack their kit bags and drive out to Sumner for their afternoon encounter. But at least Buchanan was able to make the start of the President’s game at Sydenham 3 as fellow Pressie’s man Dan O’Keefe replaced him in the 2nd’s.

Batting 1st on a picturesque St Leonards Square – Alex Heenan smashed a quickfire 70 off a mere 34 balls (7 fours and 5 sixes will do that!) while Will O’Brien (25 off 10) and Mike Allcock (44 off 31) aided in the posting of a very handy 183/9.

In reply Sumner were very positive but no one batted long enough to really threaten the large total – ending 154 all out in the last. Yes – Hugo chimed in again with 3/33 while McDuff and Will Kennedy each grabbed 2.

Our 2nd’s have a narrow lead in the 2-Day comp, which they resume next week, and will be looking to repeat last season’s Grade win in that format.

DIVISION 1:

Continuing good performances from the 3rd’s in T20 action over the day with 2 wins over the 2 different Sydenham sides that lurk in that grade.

1st up at Burnside I got my 1st opportunity to see their batting sensation Scott Finlayson take strike at the wicket after Suddenly Sydenham could only manage 85 all out in their innings.

Finlayson struck some beautifully timed cover drives on the up – including one that burst through the hands of a fielder at deep cover – as the Div 1 lads got the runs in a canter 6 down.

“Give yourself a couple” might be good advice for the Sydenham fielder in the foreground as “Scotty Too Hotty” Finlayson takes strike on Burnside 2.

The afternoon game followed a quick drive to Sydenham 1 where our men posted a competitive 140/5 against the Sydenham 2nd’s. No details in Cric HQ scoring wise but Sydenham ended 132 all out in reply to gift Burnside their 2nd win of the day. Great effort lads!

DIVISION 3 – WHANGAPAROA PONY CLUB CANNONS:

A late default by the Halswell Norsemen left the Cannon’s with the afternoon off and no tickets to the Beerfest – just as well El Capitan Peters was holidaying in Oz and couldn’t vent his frustration 1st hand.

At least that allowed Chris “Taser” Bradley to make his Foxes debut in the President’s Grade clash at Sydenham 3.

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El Capitan Peters is currently somewhere in this picture and missed several efforts to contact him to advise his side had been defaulted to late Saturday morning.

DIVISION 4 – BOOMERS

I don’t know what has happened to the normally reliable Boomers in terms of performance and entering full scorecards in Cric HQ – but the short scorecard makes rather alarming reading following their clash with OBC Team Boon at Elmwood.

Team Boon appear to have posted a fairly useful 206/9 off their 40 (no doubt Ben Blair probably tonned up again) and the disconcerting score for the Boomers in reply reads 19 all out in just 13 overs….

DIVISION 5 – STRIKERS

Our Striker’s returned to winning ways after recent mixed results (including a game abandoned when the sprinklers came on, and stayed on, at an unidentified away venue) posting 166 all out against Merivale Pap LBJ.

Ramandeep Singh (34) well supported by 25’s from Binny Patel and Harish Sharma. In reply MP were 125 all out inside 38 overs as Skipper Gaurang Pandya, usual keeper Bhardwaj, & Rahul Joshi each claimed 2 wickets.

PRESIDENTS FOXES:

The “Fail Bail” trophy – which is awarded to the team that comes 2nd in matches between the Foxes & Sydenham Cardinals during each season. Hand crafted in the Redwood studio of designer Robertson & engraved by some 85-year-old mate of Chris Kennedy (with a shaky hand by the look of things) this much-treasured relic has actually been missing for a season or 2… Have you seen it?

Not sure quite how we managed to beat the Cardinals in round 1 (no doubt the 15 catches they dropped helped!) the Grade leading Foxes were determined to get the job done again on Sydenham 3.

Despite Skipper Robertson still out following elbow surgery he chose to participate in the toss and promptly lost – to see Sydenham initially under pressure at 13/1 off 6 overs.

But that just brought Matt Loose to the crease, hot off his 94 last time we met, and he played positively along with Hardy to see them 77/1 and well placed at the 20 over drinks mark.

But Kember (reverting to left arm orthodox) and Wheeler (has never turned one) were tightening the screws and the breakthrough came in the 23rd over when Hardy fell for 38. Loose departed soon after for a typically bullish 43 and despite a couple of 20-somethings in the middle order they largely fell away – collapsing from 123/3 to be 149 all out in the last over.

Fill-in Skipper Sergeant Major Roy did the damage with 4/28 plus 3 catches while Buchanan chimed in with 3/17 off 7. Wheeler was better than his 2/40 off 8 suggests as he dismissed both set batsmen.

In reply Cannon’s recruit “Taser” Bradley was bowled for a duck and Kennedy fell for 4 bringing Graeme Turner and Matt Everest together. The pair added 40 before Everest nicked out for 13 – but Turns was in a dominant mood and continued to play freely all around the park, striking 4 sixes & 6 fours in his 72 before finally succumbing at 116/4.

No need to panic though as Buchanan – who has the dirtiest whites in cricket history – played freely and matching Turns’ boundary count in a whirlwind 55 no.

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These whites could be described as “pristine” compared to the set that Jordan Buchanan rocks out in the field every Saturday…

Despite the wily leg-spin of Dave Fleming grabbing a 2nd wicket, in dismissing Roy at 136, Boo Boo saw the Fox & Associates sponsored crew home with a little more than 6 overs to spare.

The Foxes play closest rival St Albans in a top of the table clash next week at Burnside 4.

T2O CAVALIERS RESULTS:

So confidant were the GhettoHustlers of a dominant win against their Experience No: 4 opponents that they booked a leaner at No: 4 Bar, who sponsor the OBC linked team, for later in the day – in a cheeky move designed to rub salt into a yet to be inflicted wound.

Nothing in Cric HQ to date but Brad Reid was seen shaking his head in disbelief and Cruiser sales were down across the city as they fell to a heavy loss.

There was plenty of space at No: 4 Bar on Saturday after the GhettoHustlers had engaged in some pre-game counting of unhatched chickens….

The Dubai Diamond Traders appear to have racked up a win over the St Albans Super Swingers, while The Believers result against Heathcote is yet to come in.

Lastly the Holstein’s Boys were set 125 to win by Hornby’s Hawks and fell short – ending 103/6 after their overs with no further details available.

Good luck to our Premiers for their pursuit of T20 glory – and to our Chairman’s Cup Team for the big final at Burnside on Sunday….

Yours in cricket….

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