THIS WEEK IN COVIE LAND
With Dempsey deciding to take a sabbatical to write up lists of former and current first grade and first class players to help with the defence of the premiership, he handed the reigns to Southcott knowing he would be restricted to bowling himself for just the 10 overs. A team was eventually put together after Peter Cross, Matt McKenzie, Luke O’Connor and Brett Lee all declined to answer the call up, and Ricky Ponting had some other commitments.
A win was crucial to stay in touch with sixth place Pennant Hills, and despite rocking up to an oval surrounded by parents living vicariously through their children, the boys were fired up and ready to go at the adjusted guaranteed start time of 11am. Unfortunately, Pennant Hills Cricket hadn’t told Pennant Hills Little Athletics about this, and after everyone had ice creams and BBQ’s, the high jump mats were removed from the ground, allowing play to commence at the ungodly hour of 11:40am.
The change of captain brought about the same result with the coin, however, no damage was done as the Covies thought that chasing any score would be preferable to trying to defend whatever they could muster prior to being bowled out while fielding restrictions were still in place.
Xavier got off to a flying start, contributing the first 6 or 7 runs before the opener spooned a ball to Dindayal, taking a good catch at point. Enter the square leg umpire, who couldn’t wait to enter the game… “I couldn’t really see it but I wasn’t convinced” …. Um, who asked you?. Eventually a breakthrough came as the other opener skied one, while the next 22 overs were spent watching balls being taken from a foot outside off stump to land somewhere between square leg and the two mid wickets. Anything over this was clearly too wide to play this shot to, and as such was added to Xavier’s tally. Winning the toss and bowling would have been much worse at 1/171. A moral victory perhaps?
Following the second drinks break, the boys really picked up, and good spells from Darren Delaney and Rafe Aman saw the wickets tumble, in between the third man boundary being peppered. 45 overs and 7/245 was a far better target to chase than the 300 plus it could have been.
During the break Sundstrom mentioned that he was rather sick of being at Pennant Hills, especially after being made to wait in the line for Mr Whippy earlier in the day. With every intention of getting off to a quick start, he unfortunately played out 2 dot balls in the opening over, which was restricted to just the 10 runs. With Southcott looking like a genuine fourth grade passenger at the other end, Sundstrom decided to show off some actual cricket shots he’d learnt, taking the score to 28 after 3 overs, and 43 after 5.
Clearly bored with this hit and giggle, Geof decided to put his head down and grind out a meaningful innings. The 10 deliveries from the next over went for just the 30 runs, bring up Geof’s half-century from a painstakingly and uncharacteristically slow 21 deliveries.
Cotty, Skinny and Bremner departed in quick succession, as the run rate slipped under 10, with Dindayal pointing out slow loopy full tosses should not get anyone out. Two balls later – pack ‘em, don’t count your chickens, bat the overs, you know the drill, out for 22. We were only half way there, and four down.
Reigning fourth grade batsman of the year Aman and his season batting average of 5.8, and new young recruit Max Westacott were tasked with the job of continuing the chase. Rank full tosses were no match for Max, who has a liking for bottom handed cross bat shots that prevent much running between the wickets. Three into the fence and one over it, before being caught on the fence at very, very long odds.
Enter Darren Delaney, still fuming from the earlier umpiring efforts, and determined to see the side home. In between the disputes about the back foot no-ball rule, he and Rafe batted very well, keeping the good balls out while despatching the bad deliveries to put on an unbroken 92 partnership in 13 overs. Rafe was unluckily stranded on 49 not out, as Daz finished on 36, with a flurry of boundaries.
This was a great win, under difficult circumstances, and sets a platform to charge into sixth place by round 14. Well played to all the boys, and let’s make sure we repeat the dose in the T20.
Has anyone heard from Dempsey? Last I heard, he was enjoying the sea breeze.