Day 2- Stand in Skipper Sutton reports:
After pressing maybe too hard late on day 1, we had no choice but to move on solidly from 5/85 towards the 125 needed for six points. Hughesy’s characteristic presence at the crease prompted some serious reminiscing about forward defensive shots of old from Wick and the returned Linus on the sidelines: the blithe youngsters on the scorebook may not be able to repeat the details of their history lesson, but at least one was noted developing his concept of time by realizing that one day he too would be boring future team-mates about the great days of 2005/06.
Against more tight bowling we reached the target with few alarms, losing only Tosolini – fresh from his band’s first big pub gig ever the night before – and Hughes, both for 21. With the 4th-grade leadership hotly disputed between Auburn, Burwood, and ourselves, we declared at once to keep the game alive. The Covies had played very fair and were willing to think about setting a target. But even with our joyfully attacking fields and the Northern freeway as flat as ever, most of their batsmen struggled to get going. The quicks again braved the conditions well: a hostile spell from Jessop (1/17) picked one up to Skinner’s sharp slip catch, and Schiller (2/20), who found his rhythm again with yet more top-order scalps, could have had 4 or 5. For the first time this season, though, catchable chances went down, and at tea they were 3/71. Chapman then terminated the middle order efficiently. Only Lane Cove’s captain Owen Fisher briefly took the game to us with some glorious hitting before the Chapanator’s flight and guile did him on the mid-wicket fence. With overs running down and the moment for an adventurous declaration vanishing we realized we’d have to pick up all ten again. Wick stepped up with 2/19 to add to Chapman’s outstanding bag of 5/53 as they made 156. Anstiss put in another excellent display behind the stumps and now has 18 victims from his 6 games.
The equation was ugly: 153 off 14 at 11/over. With the odd old hand advising an early beer to protect the quotient, and others ruing the missed catches and suggesting some helpful batting practice, stand-in skipper Sutton was swayed to have just a sniff at it by the memory of our past chases, his gorgeous new bat (well what better 40th-birthday present could a boy want?), and a wee spirit of mischief. He took three boundaries off each of the first two overs, and the rate was suddenly dropping as we reached 36 off 2 and 48 off 3, aided by an effortless straight six off the strike bowler from Tosolini (15 off 10 balls - another new bat involved here, though this one had something to do with a 20th birthday …!). The welcome group of home supporters saw some more ferocious hitting take us to 2/76 off 6, with Sutton reaching 52 off just 19 balls (1 six and 7 fours). Depressed by then allowing his first dot ball, Sutton soon went for 56, but Chapman and Gissing continued to play proper shots and run like fury, keeping up the tempo well, and we needed ‘only’ 47 off 5, well down under the original rate. Although picking up only 3 runs from the 10th over almost did for the absurd run chase, Giss and the Chapanator still got it down to 21 off 2. But with Gissing (20 off 14) and Skinner (8 off 6), like Jessop before them, unselfishly giving up their wickets for the team’s ludicrous cause, we needed just too many off the last, and came up 5 runs short at 6/149 off 14, Chapman’s blazing 42 off 29 balls rounding off yet another man-of-the-match performance. An agonizingly close finish to a hard-fought game, greatly enhanced by the excellent spirit of the Lane Cove side, for whom 4 men walked over the two innings: we wish them well for the season.
No side has made more than 160 against us yet this year, a record we’d dearly love to maintain in the top-of-the-table clash with Burwood next week. As a team we’re enjoying our cricket so much because we have confidence in each other, and we’re raring for the challenge.
Day 1- Chappo reports
Only thanks to the efforst of Monty and Paul McInnes did we manage to get on at all. The groundsman was ready to call us off at about 9.30 due to water on the outfield. Not content to let fellow clubmen sit out another sunny Saturday afternoon, Monty and McInnes did some serious super-sopping to ensure that play got underway on time. Despite the overnight thunderstorm the pitch was looked a picture of perfection. So it came as a surprise to some that stand-in skipper, Sutton, chose to bowl first on winning the toss. Tosolini bowled a solid opening spell without reward whilst Jessop (2/32) cashed in with two early wickets, including a scorching catch by Watters at second slip. "Two-can" Schiller (so called because his remedy for insomnia is two cans of beer - puts him to sleep any time, any place) bowled a tidy spell, taking 1/12 from 7 overs. From 3/35 Lane Cove got away from us a little until an excellent second spell from Tosolini (2/18), supported by Sutton (1/8) reduced them to 6/64. Lane Cove again set about steadying the ship, reaching 6/95 at tea. We needed early wickets after tea and Gissing (2/27), who bowled very well without luck before the break, obliged with two quick wickets. After being held back to allow the other bowlers to share in the wickets, the writer (2/11) quickly polished off the tail to keep his average and strike rate in tact. Lane Cove all out 124. 23 overs to bat and instructions to get the runs on day 1. Sutton went early, before Chapman (25) and Jessop (28) added 48 in fairly quick time. At 2/76 we were well on track for first innings points however it was becoming less likely that the result could be achieved before stumps. In one final effort to lift the run rate, we lost three late wickets. It must be said that one Lane Cove bowler bowled exceptionally well in circumstances where batsmen were looking to manufacture scoring opportunities. Hughes and Tosolini saw us to stumps at 5/85. We have plenty of batting to come and should reach the target of 125.
This review was entered for MUCC by: David Smith
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