Winter is coming… but not for a while yet!

Blue skies and Northeast breezes were the constant for cricket across both Saturday & Sunday this week – on the park and around town…

Cricket continued in hot weather on Saturday and, for our 3 morning grade teams, Sunday as well.

Each of them completed a 2-Day match on Saturday and started another one somewhere else the next day…

Our Prem’s faced some stiffer opposition from Riccarton on day 2 of their match at the latter’s domain. Declaring overnight with a lead of 119 on the 1st innings our bowlers toiled for nearly 90 overs as Riccarton posted 264 all out in their 2nd dig. Scott Inglis had a quiet day at the office, taking just 2 wickets after his marvellous 9 last week, as Matt Hay sent down 26 overs of his off-spin to claim 3/63. Peake & Carlaw also claimed 2 each.

Riccarton’s effort to salvage a draw was in vain however as the Premier batsmen all scored at a run a ball or better – chasing down the 138 required in under 19 overs. Alex Heenan’s quickfire 26 kicked things off before last week’s century maker Winn (27), Naude (38*) & Matt Hay (35) all chipped in. An outright victory for the loss of just four 2nd innings wickets just the tonic leading into the 1st day of their next match, against OBC, the next day.

And Sunday saw them back on Burnside 1 and, asked to bat on a green tinged belter, they posted a useful 245/9 declared. Tinus Huyser struck 69 & Liam Winn continued his solid form with 49. The middle order of Matt Hay (26), Joel Williams (33) and Mitch Hay (42 off 34 balls) countered the regular loss of wickets.   

In reply Latham struck early as OBC struggled initially. A 3rd wicket partnership of 44 brought some stability before 2 quick wickets saw them delicately poised at 76/4. Jeff Case at 4 for OBC wrestled some momentum back their way with a patient 59 not out – and he appears the key wicket for the lads next week as they look to set up a shot at outright victory.

The Championship side also had what Skipper Alex McDuff described as “a hard day in the field” in pursuit of victory over the Merivale Papanui 1st team. Quickly wrapping up the last wicket to take a 117 run lead on 1st innings Burnside were made to toil significantly harder in the summer heat as MP, following on, managed to post 227 all out at just over 3 an over. Alex Tait grabbed 4 wickets but was, of course, slightly outdone by Hugo Howard’s 5/70 off 24 overs.

A long day in the field but at least this happened a lot on Saturday – our Championship men get set to welcome a new MP batsman to the crease as another departs

Requiring 110 for the W they coasted home all rather comfortably though as Tom Dunlop struck 49 from as many balls & Scott Finlayson ended 28 not out.

Backing up on Sunday they travelled to Garrick to take on the strong Lancaster Park 2nd’s. Skipper McDuff took 4 wickets, Alex Tait 3 & Hugo 2 as they restricted Park to 173 all out inside 50 overs. T20 player Kane McRoberts took 2 good catches filling in with so many players unavailable across the 3 top grades.

In reply Alex Tait, at 3, decided to enjoy himself – striking a magnificent 103 (18 fours & a six) to get the lads past the park total. Quinn Angus played the support role with a patient 46 and skipper McDuff was 22 no at the close of play – 230/7 providing our men a 57 run 1st innings lead for now.

The Division 1 lads met at Burnside 2 on Saturday to continue their uphill battle against the Sydenham 2nd team. Facing a 138-run deficit on the 1st innings they weren’t able to stretch the bus driver’s – only Henk Huyser (46) and Felix Mendoca (25) offering significant resistance as they tumbled to 104 all out and an innings loss.

Division 1 Skipper Jason McKenzie wasn’t downcast at the result against Sydenham’s 2nds on Saturday – perhaps his crystal ball had told him Sunday would be quite different against their 3rds

But Sunday’s a new day and boys went into day 1 of their match, this time on the No: 3 block, against the other Sydenham team in the division, in good spirits. No scorecard in Cric HQ just yet but I watched a fair bit of this and, bowling 1st, our lads dismissed ‘Suddenly Sydenham’ for just 97 in 37 overs – despite the “brown road’ nature of the pitch. Skipper McKenzie took 3/13 and Connelly 2/14.

In reply Liam Clarke belted 48 in good time – including a cover drive he moosed on the up that rolled all the way over to the artificial nets by the pavilion. Others chipped in to build a lead of 40+ and Jason chose to have a 2nd crack at the Sydenham batsmen later in the day. 

There appears to be some pending changes in their personnel for next week as, despite Burnside claiming 2 early wickets, a bury left-hander played like it was his last innings for a while and struck a few boundaries to almost wipe the deficit. Sydenham 40 odd for 2 in reply….

Interesting 2nd day ahead as our 3rd’s look to build on their recent T20 results with an outright victory. 

Presidents grade Day was held at Warren Park Saturday with all games on artificial pitches there or nearby. We played a Sydenham Hospital side who were weakened by the absence of 2-3 of their better players.

The Foxes batting scorecard was short, but to the point, following a dominant display over Sydenham Hospital on a rock hard green one…

Batting 1st we put them to the sword reaching 280/3 in our 40 overs – with Josh Allan scoring a vigorous 102 (his 1st century in any form of cricket) and former Premier skipper Matt Everest stroking a classy 100 no (his 1st in this grade but one of many).

Josh Allan celebrates his 1st ever century – eclipsing his previous high score of 92 against brother Ben (up the driveway on Boxing Day 1993)

Sydenham didn’t have the technical ability to worry that score and finished 147 all out, after some creative bowling options and long periods of boredom in the field. Mark Harding grabbed 3/15 in a rare appearance and Gibson & Kember claimed 2 each.

Ton Club members (from left) Matt Everest & Josh Allan after their efforts on Saturday

I don’t know what happened to El Capitan Peters on Saturday (there’s a rumour he got married – but he wouldn’t schedule that for the cricket season surely!) but he was absent from the Whangaparoa Pony Club Cannons line up which took on Richmond on Burnside 4 in the weekend.

Media shy El Capitan Peters & his lovely Fiance Kelly last update Facebook with some engagement news nearly 2 years ago. But where was he Saturday?

No cause for concern though as the Cannons rolled their opposition for 128 in the 35th over – wickets shared around with all 6 bowlers claiming at least 1. Keeper Bradley chipped in with 2 catches.

In reply openers ‘Terror’ Foote (not the same person as ‘Footie’ Foote), with 43, & Shifty Finlay, with 53, did most of the damage before Tom Batty tidied up the crumbs with 28 no. A win by 8 wickets achieved in the 20th over.

The Boomers similarly made light work of the LP Chestfield Warriors over on No: 3. Ajay Rana dominated with the ball for the home side – taking 5/21 and, with support in Tony Edlin’s 3/20, ensured Park were dismissed for just 89 in the 21 overs.

In reply Sunnie Gogia top-scored with 28 no while McCracken (13) & D’Obbly (15) trailed Extras (19) in supplying the bulk of the remaining required runs. All over inside 22 overs & pitches on both 3 & 4 won’t require too much attention from Grounds Staff this week.

The Strikers match isn’t in just as yet but hopefully they got the win over the Sunrisers (LP – not Hyderabad version) at Woolston Park…

Dave Warner did not make an appearance for the LP Sunrisers in the weekend – his international ban having been extended to Metro cricket

In T20 action the Holsteins boys (who largely attend university in other part of the country) defaulted to the Believers – giving the latter a day off. The good news is an influx of students into our city will see a new entity take their place in the grade from next week – welcome newcomers….!

Luke Moore has sent through an overview of the DDT’s game against OBC Fine Legs at Nunweek Park – and it reads like a bit of a Greg Knowles highlights reel.

The former Marlborough & more recently Buller Hawke Cup all-rounder has had most of his major joints replaced with bionic ones in recent years, and now bowls with a walking frame. But he still generates good pace off 2 shuffles forward and claimed 6/2 to lead the decimation of OBC – who were all out for just 20 in the 10th over. Luke himself tidied up the rest with 2/2. 

Greg Knowles in his hey day – playing his trademark “eyes closed leg glance” shot…

Greg further advanced the game to its conclusion with 20 not out – leaving his opening partner Fisher with just 1 run available for consumption. Best result ever for the DDT lads who no doubt celebrated appropriately…

Taylor Reid struck a 25-ball 50 for the Ghettohustlers as they batted 1st against the Richmond New York Porkers at Centennial Park. With no Hills or Neutze in the line-up this week others took the opportunity on offer – Reddiford (31) & Eathorne (24) most readily as the Ghetto-men posted 174/8 in their 20 overs.

Both openers appear to have opted to retire for Richmond, with 40 & 58 respectively, and it was left  to Eathorne to drag things back (3/18 off 4) against the rest of the batting list – Richmond ending 163/5 and coming up short in the run chase.

I thought T20 grades were 8-aside but both teams fielded 9 batsmen, so something suitably amicable appears to have occurred there…

Yours in cricket…

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