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Groot Drak vs Gardens Old Boys – 03 November 2019

Having called off the previous weekend’s fixture due to foul weather, Groot Drak were chuffed to see clear skies on the morning of Sunday 03 November. After watching the Springboks’ famous World Cup victory over England in the final the day before, both teams were in high spirits and looking forward to a great day on the field.

Gardens Old Boys were sent in to bat and did well to survive the initial few overs with Liam Carruthers and Joubert Kotze bowling extremely well. Joubert (14/0 from 6) bowled better than his figures suggest and he deserved a couple of wickets. Liam picked up both opening batsmen in his 6 overs and went for just 15 runs.

The birthday Bruce was brought on first change to introduce some spin in to the game. While a touch expensive, Bruce Taylor took four important wickets, including a sensational caught-and-bowled, going through his seven overs for 30 runs.

Kudu Kotze bowled some very tidy leg spin for a change, also hanging on to a great caught-and-bowled for 18 runs in his 6 over spell.

Rob Frater was introduced in to the attack for just half an over before taking the final two wickets to see the innings closed out for 77 runs.

A short lunch break while re-watching the highlights of the rugby and Groot Drak openers, MC Uys and Gary Seaman, started the run chase.

MC (8 from 11) was dismissed early, while Gary (30 from 19) batted with uncharacteristic urgency to put the home side securely in the driving seat.

Thiery Milot, in his final game for the club, played a great knock, posting his top score of 24 from 25 deliveries.

The sports Gods were smiling on the birthday boy, as Bruce and his new bat put on 12 unbeaten runs from 14 balls.

Robbie Frater struggled for form, having been out of the fray for some time, managing a hard-fought single from 9, while Conrad Harley set up a hat-trick chance for the opposition by earning a golden duck. Skipper, Craig McNaught (1 not out from 3), did his best to oblige the visitors by edging his first ball straight to slip, but the chance went begging!

A few balls later and Bruce punched a ball to the boundary securing a comfortable win for Groot Drak after just 14 overs.

A quick drink to honour the pitch and the youngsters set up for fines. Some rather average performances were noted, while the exceptional performances were celebrated and a rather lengthy fines meeting was finally brought to a close.

Man of the Match went to Bruce Taylor for his heroics with both bat and ball, while TFC went to Conrad Harley.

While not the closest game ever played at the club, both teams thoroughly enjoyed each others’ company and we look forward to seeing the Gardens Old Boys very soon!

Groot Drak vs Citrusdal CC – 19 October 2019

The Groot Drak cricketers don’t play many away games, but when we do, we make it count. On Saturday the 29th of October, we headed 170kms North to the farming town of Citrusdal to take on the local cricket team there, in a bus kindly lent to us by long-standing member, Eddie Cloete. After checking in to our accommodation and smashing a breakfast at Kardoesie (aka Carduccio’s), the boys were ready for action.

Relishing the opportunity to toss for a change, we won the toss and elected to bat first – something that Groot Drak doesn’t get to do often.

MC Uys (33 from 32) and Thiery Milot (10 from 17) opened the batting for Groot Drak and started well, before losing Thiery, followed shortly by Danie van der Nest (0 from 4).

Claude Chantler batted for the majority of the innings and did extremely well to score his first ever fifty (55 from 65) for Groot Drak, while Morne Maritz (15 from 9), Jono Boulton (14 from 47) and Adrian Raisbeck (13 from 9) pitched in with some valuable runs before we were bowled out for 178.

Groot Drak managed 3 ducks in their innings and everyone felt that another 20 or 30 runs would have made for a par score.

A brief break after the innings and the bowlers were ready to make up for some below-par batting performances. Corrie Brand and Danie van der Nest bowled two of the more impressive spells of quick bowling that we’ve seen from them. Corrie bowled 3 maidens and only went for 9 runs in his 7 overs and picked up a wicket, while Danie took two wickets for 10 runs in his 5 overs.

Morne Maritz (13 for 2 from 5) and Adrian Raisbeck (6 for 4 from 4) continued the trend, bowling exceptionally well and taking wickets regularly.

Sean Petzer rolled his arm over with some rare leg-spin that actually turned – nabbing his first wicket for the club and ending up with figures of 11 for 1 from 4. Theiry Milot was not as fortunate, being hit for 38 runs from his two overs.

Claude Chantler bowled just one over, which was a maiden, before the innings was tied up, with Citrusdal managing only 88 runs, seeing Groot Drak log a comfortable victory in the end.

A quick beer and a shower and the boys took their places for what is always an epic fines meeting. Some understood the rules better than others, but a great time was had by all. The festivities went on well in to the night as both teams enjoyed an evening that will not be forgotten quickly.

Man-of-the-match went to Claude Chantler for his great knock. TFC went to Jan Hendrik. The Pacman award was awarded to Sean Petzer for his 1 run from 12 deliveries and Adrian Raisbeck claimed the lifesaver for his fantastic display of swing bowling.

Thanks to John Sinclair and Citrusdal CC for being amazing hosts as always – we look forward to returning the favour next season.

Groot Drak vs The Black Batts – 13 October 2019

The weather couldn’t have been better on Sunday the 13th of October, when Groot Drak hosted the Black Batts – a fixture that is quickly becoming a favourite among the club.

Honouring the tradition of batting first, the visitors were sent in to face the music on the oldest turf wicket in the country. Liam Carruthers was officially capped for Groot Drak before being entrusted with the new ball along with Andri le Roux.

Both bowlers kept it super tidy and picked up three wickets between them, with Andri ending his spell of 6 overs for only 12 runs and a wicket, while young Liam bowled his 7 overs for 17 runs, nabbing two wickets with some exceptional pace bowling. The openers managed a maiden and a wicket-maiden each in their outings.

Jono Boulton had a blinder behind the stumps, taking 4 sublime catches – one of which was off the brilliant bowling of Danie van der Nest (15/2 from 4) to dismiss the dangerous Steve Palframan.

At drinks, the Black Batts were in serious trouble, having lost 6 wickets for around 60 runs.

After the break, Morne Maritz (10/1 from 4) bowled very nicely, while the spinners, Angus Simmers (38/1 from 7) and MC Uys (25/0 from 3) did well on a wicket that didn’t offer much turn.

In the death overs, Kudu Kotze (18/1 from 4) was the stand-out bowler, while skipper Craig McNaught donated a whopping 24 runs from just 12 balls to tie up the innings, as the Black Batts put on a total of 168 from their 35 overs.

After a quick lunch break, while watching Japan vs Scotland in the bar, the Black Batts were ready to defend their total.

Debutant, Jacques Viljoen and seasoned opening bat, MC Uys were asked to see off the new ball for Groot Drak. Both did a great job, with Jacques (6 from 19) dealing with some impressive swing bowling, while MC accumulated runs quickly at the other end. Conrad Harley was promoted up the order to bat at 3 and put on a stylish 35 from 52 balls before being caught out.

MC went on to score a perfectly-paced 63 from 43 before making way for Jono Boulton (16 from 21) and Morne Maritz (16 from 14).

With around 30 runs required for victory, Craig McNaught (8* from 20) and Kudu Kotze (16* from 18) saw Groot Drak over the line with 3 overs still in the bag.

Both teams enjoyed a quick beer on the pitch, while reminiscing about the great day and then headed to the pool to cool off before fines.

Fines were dished out to all and sundry, punishing poor performances and celebrating the day’s heroes. Huge thanks to the Black Batts for their wonderful company and excellent spirit both on and off the field.

MC Uys: Man-of-the-match (honourable mention to Liam Carruthers)
Pacman & TFC: Jacques Viljoen
Best Fielder: Jono Boulton

Groot Drak vs MC Lions – 06 October 2019

The first touring side of the year traveled all the way from Mumbai, India. MC Lions arrived fully kitted out with branded bags and clothing, looking very much the part as they prepared to take on Groot Drak. Honouring the age-old tradition of allowing the visitors to bat first, the Indians kitted up and strode out to the middle to face the new ball.

Corrie Brand (21/2) and Danie van der Nest (29/1) opened the bowling and did a great job of limiting the runs and pitching in with a few wickets in their 5 over spells.

After a very impressive bowling performance in the previous weekend’s fixture, Adrian Raisbeck (24/0 from 5) was entrusted with the first-change bowling duties along with the off-spin of MC Uys. MC bowled a very impressive spell of 24 for 2 from his 7 overs and was easily Groot Drak’s best bowler for the day.

At drinks, the innings was nicely poised, with the visitors sitting on around 85 runs for the loss of 5 wickets.

Wynand Grobler (22/1 from 5), Kudu Kotze (13/1 from 2), Bruce Taylor (12/1 from 3) and Martin van der Merwe (12/0 from 3) bowled extremely well in the second half of the innings, bowling the visitors out for a very competitive 179 runs.

After a short lunch interval Groot Drak started the run chase.

The opening bowlers from MC Lions did some major damage upfront, dismissing the top 3 batsmen for only 12 runs. Kudu Kotze (68 from 49) and Jono Boulton (21 from 47) put on a partnership of just under 100 runs to put Groot Drak back on track after drinks. After Kudu was dismissed, another mini-collapse occurred, putting huge pressure on the lower order.

Corrie Brand came in at number 9 and scored a fabulous 41 not out from just 30 balls, taking the game in to the last over – Groot Drak requiring 3 runs to win, with MC Lions needing just one wicket for victory.

One might think that the match was scripted, as MC Lions dismissed Bruce Taylor with Groot Drak falling just one run short of the total. A wonderful end to a fantastic game of cricket.

After honouring the pitch with a few drinks as Richard von Hoesslin presented his history of the club, both teams headed back to the clubhouse for a well-earned fines meeting.

Corrie Brand was named Man of The Match for Groot Drak, while Kudu Kotze proudly wore the lifesaver award. Adrian Raisbeck was fined for his performances with bat and ball, earning himself TFC for the day.

Shayne Ayford, who did not play in the game, took on the braai-duties masterfully and both teams enjoyed a gourmet meal, courtesy of Lejean Pieterse, Sarah Boulton and Kudu Kotze who organised the protein portion of the dinner.

After dinner, the respective captains and chairmen exchanged memorabilia and everyone enjoyed some delicious wine from de Kleine Wyn thanks to Wynand Grobler.

Special thanks to all involved in making the day a massive success and well done to MC Lions on a great victory and a brilliant day of cricket. We wish them all the best of luck for the rest of their tour!

President’s XII vs Chairman’s XII

The weather on Sunday the 29th of September 2019 did not look good. Big clouds, heavy rain and gusting winds. Not what we expect from the Boland in the middle of Spring! Having garnered a huge amount of support (26 members making themselves available) – the Groot Drak lads were not going to allow the season’s first game to be cancelled lightly. As to not damage the turf wickets, our old Flicx wicket was dusted off and rolled out next to the square and, within an hour, we were ready to play.

The captains tossed and Chairman’s team were sent in to bat in less-than-ideal circumstances.

Wickets fell regularly from the start, with only Adrian Raisbeck (18 off 11) managing any significant runs as the Chairman’s team limped to 59 all out. Corrie Brand (3 wickets), Morne Maritz (2 wickets), Jannie le Roux (2 wickets) and Marco Bosman (3 wickets) performed outstandingly with the ball for the President’s team.

The President’s XII started very slowly, but saw off some dangerous bowling and knocked off the score with plenty of overs to spare. 5 wickets fell in the second innings, with most of the damage being done by Matthew Tracey, who bagged 3 wickets in his 5 overs. Mention needs to be made of the batting performances of Gert Uys (17 off 18), Christo la Grange (8 off 32), debutant Thiery Milot (8 off 23) and Claude Chantler (10* off 11) who saw the President’s XII over the line.

With plenty of hours of light left, both captains decided that a rematch was in order and the Chairman’s team was sent in to bat once again – this time with the batting order reversed.

A much better performance with the bat saw Shayne Ayford (13 off 20), Adrian Raisbeck (24 off 39) and Jono Boulton (12 off 42) get the Chairman’s XII to 91 before being bowled out again. This time, it was Conrad Harley (3 wickets), Craig McNaught (2 wickets) and Morne Maritz (2 wickets) who did the damage with the ball.

With the President’s XII also reversing their batting order for the chase, things were bound to be interesting as the light started to fade.

An impressive bowling spell from young Chad Ayford saw him nab the first 4 wickets for only a handful of runs! One has to question why he didn’t bowl in the first game. Things were looking bleak for the President’s team as their top 6 only managed 17 runs together, including ducks from Devin Whelan, Marco Bosman and debutant, Jannie le Roux. The innings was stabilized by Craig McNaught (29 off 49) and Conrad Harley (12* off 24) as their ‘timeless-test-style’ batting allowed a second victory for the President’s XII.

As the weather was still not ideal, fines were held in the clubhouse, with an inside braai warming the cold bones of all the players. Plenty of poor performances were punished, while a select few players were rewarded for their contributions for the day. The Groot Drak players showed that it takes more than bad weather to dampen the spirits and a wonderful day was enjoyed by all. A warm welcome to all the new players; Thiery Milot, Jacques Viljoen, Justin Sage and Jannie le Roux.

Cloudy with a chance of beer

Rainbow over Groot Drak

Chairman and Wicket Keeper, Jono Boulton with some rare in-swing!

Fines meeting about to get underway

Game 1 – Chairman’s XII Innings

Game 1 – President’s XII Innings

Game 2 – Chairman’s XII Innings

Game 2 – President’s XII Innings