The clash against Western Suburbs was another interrupted encounter, which caused the 1st Grade side to play 120 overs on the second day of Round 14. Although this format provides more of an opportunity for play during the day; the players themselves tend to struggle to adjust to the early due in the morning and the fading light in the afternoon.
Crawford looks to make the most of the short boundary on his way to his maiden ton
Not to mention some strange tactics, that can often result in no one going home happy. However, let’s talk about some fine performances before we delve into the outcome of the match.
With a much better preparation indoors, alongside Elyse Perry in the SCG nets, the 1st Grade boys were in a better mindset than the previous week to take the field. The morning lacked the “cinnamon” of last week but the warm up was a much improved effort considering the soaked outfield and a soapy rock.
The toss was won by the skip and confidence was shown by electing to bat on what looked to be a deck conducive to runs. Harry “HIV” Evans once again stepped up to open the batting alongside Steve “jockey” Colley.
Repaying the foresight of the selectors, Tym Crawford notches up his first 100 in the premier side
Unfortunately for both, they were dismissed behind the wicket by the respective openers and another disappointing start in the first hour of play was on the cards.
Reece “love guru” Bombas managed to make double figures before also edging a ball to be caught in first slip by the opposition captain.
Enter James “vintage” Packman. The old boy must have found some confidence when returning to the familiar indoor nets that he once called home. With his signature and picture on the wall, he must have remembered the glory days where he used to score 100s. I admit that before I played my 1st Grade debut, I was buying the latest EA Sports cricket game just so I could play for NSW and score a hundred with Jammer.
The last time he had scored a first grade hundred was in November 2008. Throughout my five seasons in 1st Grade I have loved watching a classy 30 or a powerful 50 but never have I seen him destroy an attack. It is just a shame that I had to be teased for five years and only now, on what seems to be his nearing retirement witness a James Packman hundred.
James Packman... this is what so many of us love to see.
Let's hope the next few weeks brings more.
It wouldn’t be a “Vintage” Packman innings without some drama, as he was bowled off a no-ball in the early stages of his innings. This was the turning point in the game, as this chance gave him the opportunity to free his arms and play the powerful strokes down the ground and through the covers like we are used to seeing. He first began his partnership with Elliot “future” Richtor (20), however felt comfortable with the newest member of the team Tym “cockroach” Crawford.
As the name suggests Tym can be a sly pest, always managing to put up a fight with a sly comment here and there. I am not sure what was exchanged out in the middle, but as the teams were coming off for lunch a few words were shared by the competitions perennial stirrer.
Josh Poysden tries to impose himself on a good batting track
After lunch these two started where they left off with some glorious shots from James and some powerful hitting by Tym. The partnership of 172 between these two ensured we reached a competitive total that we could defend against any threat that the Western Suburbs could offer. With James reaching his elusive milestone he then pushed to increase the run rate. With one lusty blow too many he left Tym out there searching for his maiden first grade ton.
Iain “team America” Beverley was looking the goods and showed his true potential with the blade wrenching balls to all corners of the ground. It was a shame that he didn’t have more time as he played a good cameo innings while Tym approached his milestone.
I’m not sure whether it was nerves, or something else, but Tym slowed down his scoring rate as he got closer to the ton which annoyed the opposition. Frustrated by the overs used they turned on Tym saying that we weren’t making a game of it.
James 'Mantis' Kennedy tries to blast through the Western Suburbs line up
However, with their slow over rate, we were not ready to hand over an advantage to them. Tym in due course passed his 100, which to us was more important than any thing else. We need blokes in 1st Grade knowing they have the ability to score big totals and scoring runs is contagious. Well done on hopefully your first of many hundreds for the club!
With a total of 330 on the board we were confident that the game was there to be won only by us. However the threat of Di Bartolo was known to all who played in the fixture last season. It was only 12 months ago that Di Bartolo hit me for my most demoralising over in Sydney grade cricket - along with Michael Clarke.
However cricket can be a game that squares up the ledger and luckily for me Di Bartolo was claimed without troubling the scorers. With a few quick wickets after tea the Stags had their opponents at 4/35 due to impressive spells by Scott “take me on” Heaney and Chad “buffalo” Soper.
Josh “smitten” Poysden was introduced into the attack when the wests players had decided to park the bus. However he struggled to find his length with his better half watching on in the stands. The poor bloke just can’t impress and bowl his best in front of his many female fans. For a period of time the Stags couldn’t make a break through. The love guru Bombas was asked to bowl, for some reason, and to everyone’s surprise he picked up a wicket with his first ball … shock me.
However with not many overs remaining the Stags struggled on a pitch that was providing no support for the bowlers. The game ended after 55 overs of bowling, with only 6 wickets taken.
Scott Heaney tries to break the lower order of Wests
Another opportunity missed with some very impressive performances. Another fixture we add to the list where chances were not taken; resulting in competition points not acquired. Many questions need to be asked and answers addressed come the end of season for the 1st Grade side. Ultimately we are judged as a club by the success of this side.
All the best to everyone seeking points for the finals series and I look forward to celebrating the successes this season will bring to the club over the next month.