A decidedly gloomy and wet start to the morning had most thinking that play would be called off, but a zealous Villiersdorp CC put paid to that idea as the first official game of the season was going to be played, come hell or high water.
There were four debutants for the Groot Drak XI in Gert Uys, Ryan Stemmet, Joubert Kotze and Gary Seaman, who we all look forward to seeing more of at the club.
The damp pitch meant play was delayed by a little over an hour, and, the long-standing tradition of the visitors being put in to bat was ruled unfair as Groot Drak lost the toss and were promptly asked to pad up.
From the first ball, the pitch provided some rather unpredictable bounce, coupled with a good effort from the Villiersdorp opening bowlers meant runs were hard to come by and wickets fell at regular intervals. A stalwart effort from Ryan Stemmet, scoring 19 on debut for the club wasn’t enough as Drak stumbled to 74 runs all out, astonishingly, with no ducks on the scorecard.
After a quick lunch break, the opening bowlers, Roydon Adams (1 for 16 off 5) and Joubert Kotze kept things very tidy and put the squeeze on Villiersdorp for the first 10 overs, with debutant Joubert Kotze recording a phenomenal 3 wickets for only 12 runs off his 6 overs. The fielding was sharp with acrobatic work behind the stumps from Jono Boulton restricting the flow of runs. Colin Myburgh (19 for 0 off 6) continued the strangle as Villiersdorp looked in trouble at the drinks break.
With a few chances (and decisions) going abegging, Villiersdorp got over the line with 4 wickets to spare, in a surprisingly tense run chase.
After a quick drink on the pitch, fines were deservedly dished out and endured by the boys, who, even in defeat, thoroughly enjoyed the festivities after the game well in to the evening.
It was a disappointing start to the season, but the game was played in great spirits, leaving everyone looking forward to the rest of the 2016/2017 season at Groot Drakenstein.
MATCH REPORT FROM CRAIG MCNAUGHT