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3rd Grade vs Sydney - Round 5 - Day 1 - 2014/15

Dan SticklandClear blue skies and scorching heat would have swayed any captain’s decision to immediately choose to bat first. Perhaps the opposition captain forgot to check the wicket, failing to notice the many craters forming beneath the grass covering. I’m thankful Damon ‘Reg’ Livermore does not win tosses - batting first may have been a problem. 

Dan Stickland looks hopeful as he seeks confirmation from the umpire 

The first session was vital in setting the tone for the day. The opening bowlers Matt ‘The Cockatoo’ Keevers and Patrick Effeney did just that by putting the top order under pressure. Keevers controlled one end by shaping the ball in all directions, feeding catches to Max ‘Smear’ Papworth behind the stumps. Matt definitely did the job with figures of 4 for 9 off 8 overs.

Whilst Keevers went about business, Effeney bowled with a fierce ambition to deliver the ball as sharp as he could targeting the batsman’s chin. This furious bowling could well be linked to Patty’s recent anger in not being allowed to open the batting the last two rounds. ‘The Eff’ has signed a batting sponsorship deal with an unknown source, entitling him to several bats free of charge. It’s a real shame as Patty really feels he’s the right man for the job. However Effeney’s bowling was unplayable and should have been rewarded with more than 1 pole.

With the momentum truly heading in the Stags direction, Dan Stickland and Nick Miller came to join the party. They both bowled consistent lines and length, showing that if you stay patient on a bowler’s paradise the reward is not far off. ‘Sticko’ managed to grab 4 wickets with Max continuing to show what an easy game it is, finishing with 6 catches. To be fair Papworth could have had 8 catches; however being the modest man that he is, he chose to put the other two down.

Max PapworthA big mention must go out to Ben ‘fresh cut’ Leighton for bringing what was quite possibly the biggest tub of hummus ever to be brought to a cricket match. Although he didn’t get a chance to bowl he knows how to pack a good Eskie.

Long story short the Tigers had little to show for in the batting department with 111 seeming a very approachable target. Perhaps a good toss to lose in the end. 

Papworth tries to get Reg involved in this dismissal 

This seemed to be the case until the 3rd Grade boys found themselves at 3 for not many in the third over. As another wicket fell the left arm opening bowler looked as if he were about to take the game away. The Stags slowly were managing to steady the ship with Reagen Klemt and Tom Carruthers doing their best to fend off some ferocious chin music by the left arm bowler. 

A change in the bowling attack saw a sigh of relief on Gordon’s behalf. The momentum began to change and the Stags managed to bring the score up to 79 before Klemt was dismissed for a much needed 18.

Just over 30 runs to win and 5 wickets in hand seemed a highly possible task. The main obstacle was to counter the spontaneous ball which would roll down the pitch after hitting one of the many depressions in the wicket. This did not pose a problem for Nick ‘Millsy’ Miller who calmly, scored at just under a run a ball and assisted Carruthers in surpassing the total. 

The tail end wagged as much as they could given the conditions, adding a few bonus runs before being all bowled out. Well done lads, we will take 6 points. The Stags stand with a lead of 20 runs at the end of Day 1. 

Everyone will know exactly what to expect from the wicket on Day 2. The Stags have every reason to do it all again next week as an outright victory is up for the taking.

Tom Carruthers 


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