SMCA Div 16 Round 4: 15 June 2019 vs. The Ponds B

Rocks and diamonds.

It’s the only cliche that can aptly describe today’s match.

Our opposition, The Ponds, came from the same club as The Miracle in Milperra, so we were confident of some high-quality and entertaining cricket today. We did… in patches.

Apaches elected to bowl first with the bowling of Brad Koch (0/9) and Bryan Seymour (0/31). Both had the ball moving beautifully through the air, with Bryan tailing it in, and Brad mostly moving it out. Edges were beaten, and LBWs turned down, but the opposition batsmen remained resolute. Brad was desperately unlucky to not have one of the opposition openers out LBW, and it was a decision we’d be ruing all day. The opener would go on to score 119.

Sammuri replaced Koch after three of his overs, as the plan was to save him for the finish of the innings due to his miserly economy rate. Immediately, the opener took a liking to Sammuri’s bounce and started to take him to town. Similar things were happening to Seymour. Fortunately, he retired on 40. Sammuri immediately took care of the #3 LBW, and soon after had the #4 caught behind by Smokey Hawkins. Numbers 7 and 8 fell the same way, LBW and caught behind to Sammuri (4/24).

In the mean time, Zac Abbott was bowling at the other end and making inroads. Not to be outshone, his first over yielded two wickets, one masterfully caught by John Wright, and the other by Bryan at full stretch at square leg. He took a further LBW to finish three overs 3/20. From getting absolutely pummelled, the Apaches were in the commanding position of having the opposition 7/85 at the break. The opener had scored 40*, the other opener 11, and from then on the opposition’s scorebook read a dismal 0,1,7,0,5,1.

However, as we know with winter cricket, we have to take all 9 wickets. And boy did we struggle to get the opener out. A few tough chances went down. One by Sammuri at slip, and the other by Cleaves at deep mid wicket. However, the opener was seriously impressive. While Smokey Hawkins(0/44) and John Wright (1/31) contained him, we couldn’t stop him reaching a masterful century. After John had earlier dismissed his lower-order batting partner for 16 by bowling his off stump, we eventually dismissed the centurion when Smokey ran out his lazy partner.

Apaches were left chasing 164, 119 of which were scored by one man.

Bryan and John opened the batting. The Ponds opened their bowling with a sharp bowler who liked to bowl short. The first ball off the innings was directed at Byran’s body, and took an unfortunate ricochet off his stomach into the stumps. Truly unlucky. Cleaves went out to bat at #3 and was keeping the sharp opener out with some courageous batting. Similarly, John continued to patiently hold his own and work it around. A change of bowling, to an in-swinger brought an end to Joe Cleaves for 4 runs, after he was bowled. Sammuri and John Wright set out to consolidate. It was a job partially done as we were 2/53 at the break.

Needing 6 an over for the rest of the match, John and Will took a few boundaries and risk-free singles. Both batsmen retired within a few balls for each other.

With two men retired in the sheds, and a score of 91 not long after the break, Apaches were confident. In a fashion similar to The Ponds, however, the middle order were part of a collapse. Brad (12) was looking superb, smacking a towering 6 and a belting a 4 before going for one too many and getting caught on the longest boundary of the field. Josh Mavin was unlucky to be given out caught behind for 2, while Surman was bowled for a duck. Abbott looked good for his 4 before being caught and bowled, which brought Sammuri back to the crease. He wouldn’t add any more to the score, caught first ball back by a sharp catch at silly mid on. Wright and Yap were the only hopes.

Unfortunately, John was run out for 42. Yap (6) made some picket-fence contributions, but was caught behind pushing the score, as by this point the run-rate had crept to 9 an over.

Apaches all out for 114.

Both teams will go home thinking the same thing: Happy with the bowling, but wondering how different the game could have been with more even contributions with the bat.

1st inns. – Apaches won the toss and elected to bowl
The Ponds B: 9/164
Will Sammuri – 4/24 from 6 overs
Zac Abbott – 3/20 from 3 overs

2nd inns. – Apaches: 9/114
Wright 42
Sammuri 40