After countless withdrawals, re-dates and organising behind the scenes, the Alumni and Students’ eight cricketers were confirmed. D’Arcy Doyle was booked, the kit packed and the whites were dusted off.
Game 1 of the inaugural Staff vs Student mini Tri-Series Challenge is always in readiness. With a handshake agreement that the Alumni would bat, there were no surprise as Alumni co-captain Sam Evans (or was he captain? You’ll have to ask Michael Guy) won the toss and elected to bat, kicking off the much-anticipated Tri-Series Challenge.
Tipped to take out the Challenge (mostly by themselves), the Alumni’s boastful confidence showed, as they came out all guns blazing against the young students' side. But when Sam Evans (3) and Andrew Goldie (1) hauled out early to Mohnish Chand (1/8) and Tom Halloran (1/18), the Alumni were left in a precarious position. Harris ‘Franz’ Franzmann (28) and Will ‘Gaz’ Stoten (26) put on a solid partnership through the middle overs, both going ‘bang’ to the thrill of the crowd. Co-captain, who in 2018 famously led Somerset to their first 1st XI premiership in 12 years, Michael Guy (14) hit two huge sixes before skying one off younger brother James Guy (2/16). The spearhead of the Students' attack Chester Whiting closed out the innings (2/12), with the Alumni finishing on an above par 6/80 off their 11 overs.
The Students in reply started shakily, with Sam Evans nearly removing James ‘Jim’ Guy off the first ball, which would’ve been a huge scalp in context of the game and Palm Beach Currumbin 2nd Grade bragging rights. Tom Halloran (12 retired) and James chipped away at the total, with the Alumni just edging in front moving into the middle overs. Channeling the lessons learned from years of playing with his older brother, James (37) perished in typical Guy fashion – 6, 6, out. With Jason Adams (1/15) taking the key wicket and subsequently running-out Noah Jay (1), along with tight overs from Will Davidson, Will Stoten and Nihal Bains’ ‘cheekies’, the game was left on a knife’s edge. Chester ‘Chewy’ Whiting (19) and Matt Goldie (7) showcased their all-round talents, taking the Students to 11 required off the last two overs and eventually two required off one. But when Chester faced up to spearhead Sam Evans off the long run, two off six balls to win quickly became two off three. A single was managed off the fourth ball of the final over, with the Students needing just one to win from the final two. A dot ball of the second last and run-out of the last over left the game as a tie – a thrilling end to the first game of the Tri-Series Challenge.
Big thanks go to the Alumni and Students who played with spirit and passion, Mr Whish who fought the urges to give everyone out from umpire and the sport department for helping organise the match. The Staff will take on the Alumni and Students on Thursday in Weeks 1 and 2 of Term Three, at D’Arcy Doyle starting at 3.30. All support is welcomed. Who will win the inaugural Tri-Series Challenge? Only time will tell.
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