With the Toyota Yaris' boot packed full of the College’s kit, our kits on the back seat and a borrowed scoreboard wedged between the seats, we made the trek up to Beechmont. While the Yaris didn’t appreciate the steep, windy hour-long trip up Beechmont Road, we managed to arrive at Graceleigh Park, for a Cricket match... in June!
In typical social Cricket fashion, the game had to be pushed back an hour, with the majority of players showing up 10 minutes before the readjusted start time of 11.00am. After winning the toss and electing to bat, Somerset’s own W.G Grace (the W stands for Walther) and I opened the batting on a slippery syntho wicket. Having kicked off a decent start of none for 18 off the first three overs, we began to look at a score of 140 to 150. After I retired at 25 off 14 balls, Mr Brad Cates came out to the wicket and play his usual technically correct game, as he and WG managed to push the score to 63 after 8 with no loss. Mr Stephen Walther battled through a chest infection to push and nudge the ball around in an uncharacteristic display, at one point being 3 off 15 balls. After Mr Cates retirement at 25, Mr Troy Zernike took to the crease and played a power game against some of Beechmont’s slower bowlers, optimised by a huge six onto the clubhouse roof at mid-wicket.
When Mr Zernike was bowled for 22, Somerset were 1 for 92 after 11 with Mr Walther battling his way to 9 off 22 balls. Mr Michael Fenton and Ms Kate Griggs put on a partnership of 18 after WG was bowled by a half tracker. Ms Griggs was particularly impressive scoring 5 in her competitive cricket debut. James Guy and Mr Scott Walsh managed to add some quick late runs with 25 retired and 27 not out respectively. Fill-in Dean Guy managed to be run out for a diamond duck (he scored zero runs without facing a ball) having slipped over and lost his bat when turning for a second in the last over. Mr Walsh’s cameo included three sixes and a four, hitting the last ball of the innings for a six so big it should have been worth 12! At the end of our 24 overs, Somerset had managed a score of 6 for 172, leaving a big chase for the home team.
After the luncheon break, Dean Guy and Mr Cates opened up the bowling terrorising the Beechmont batters with pace and late swing. Both went wicketless in their two overs conceding 8 and 2 runs, respectively. They were ably supported by first change bowlers Mr Fenton who bowled a typically hard to hit length and Ms Griggs. When Lab Technician Mr Nathan Loh made the all-important double breakthrough with both openers removed by sharp catches, Beechmont were 2 for 57 after 12. Mr Loh was a late call-up into the team after the withdrawal of two players, in true social cricket style having not played cricket for ‘about 10 years’ but bowled like his last game was the weekend previous. I think we have uncovered another one of Mr. Walther’s ‘secret weapons’ for the Staff against Students match later this year.
James Guy came in and rolled over his economical, Queensland national title winning left arm orthodox with great effect. Able to extract the little turn offered by the slippery syntho wicket, Beechmont struggled to find the momentum required to chase the nearly 10 an over asking rate. Mr Walther’s fearsome off-breaks, zooter, doosera and fabled half-trackers managed to starve off any hope for Beechmont recording figures of 1 for 22 off 2. Mr Walsh’s wicket keeping was particularly impressive across the entire innings, proving to be Somerset’s answer for MS Dhoni with bat and gloves!
Wickets were shared around in the later stages of the innings with M. Guy (1/6 off 2), Mr Zernike (1/15 off 2) and Mr Walsh (1/7 off 2) all stifling the lower order. The match came to a tame end with Mr Fenton (1/13 off 3), James Guy (0/21 off 3), Mr Loh (2/27 off 3) and Ms Griggs (0/26 off 3) all being rewarded with third overs. Beechmont 9/153 after 24 overs, a Somerset victory by 19 runs.
Finally, I would like to thank Mr Walther and Mr Lunniss for assisting with the organisation of the match, the Beechmont Cricket Club for hosting us and providing lunch for both teams and all of the staff who participated and those who didn’t play but had an interest in the game.
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