Wednesday the 5th of Feb saw the club in action against The Southern Cavaliers – a touring team all the way from Washington DC. Fielding a midweek team can be challenging, especially in harvest time, so it was a good opportunity to get some new faces on the pitch. Debutant member, Hadro Slabber, did well and we were grateful to 1st Class Cricketer and Maties coach, Ryan Bailey, for helping us out as well. After having our traditions explained, the tourists padded up and Groot Drak took to the field. We were very quickly aware of the fact that these lads travelling 12,705 km meant business! All their batsmen contributed, but the feisty Kushal Reddy hit a classy 68 off 61 and veteran Keeper Harry Low finished off their innings with an impressive switch hit for 4 off the last ball taking the visitors to 239.The pick of Groot Drak’s bowling was Claudia Chandler who took 1 wicket in his 7 overs going for just 20 runs.
Everyone’s fielding and catching was actually faultless and mentions deserve to go to Darren Pilz whose efforts saved countless runs and Craig McNaught’s 3 great catches in the outfield.
After a little top order jitter that had whites being put back on quicker than was expected, Groot Drak’s batting settled down nicely. Solid contributions by Jaco Swarts 39 off 35, Ryan Bailey 33 off 22, Jono Boulton 37 off 46 and Jannes Mouton 48 from 53 had the total column looking good but overs left to reach the target not pleasing on the eye at all! With the required run rate creeping up all the time, the skipper, Craig McNaught (45 not out), headed out needing around 10 an over. Some brutal boundaries coupled with some clever strategic running between the wickets to keep the strike saw him hit the winning runs with just on ball to go – as they say, you cant write that stuff!
Fines as always was a hoot, the roast lamb at dinner made even better accompanied by several gasses of Stony Brook wine, and aching bodies and heads the following day signalling yet another hugely successful day of cricket at Groot Drak!
Match report by Jono Boulton