On Sunday 30 October, Groot Drak took a drive out to Somerset West for the first away game of the season against Somerset Oakes. After winning the toss, Groot Drak decided to bowl first on what looked like a pretty green and grippy track. The Kotze brothers (Joubert: 24/0 off 6 and Deon: 13/0 off 3) were tasked with opening the bowling and kept things very tight, preventing the opposition from scoring freely. Morné Maritz, who went for only 16 off his 6 overs, joined the attack with Roydon Adams (11/2 off 4) and both did a very good holding job until drinks.
Somerset Oakes had plenty of batters in the hut, but urgently needed more runs on the board. An inspired bowling change saw the introduction of Bruce Taylor, who, in his 7 overs, took 5 magnificent wickets for 32 runs, putting even more pressure on the home side. Phillip Lotter picked up 2 wickets in 2 balls and the batting side was looking in trouble.
Despite the good bowling, Somerset Oakes stabilised due to some below-average work in the field and plenty of chances going to ground (one forcing Rob ‘Freight-train’ Frater to retire injured). At the end of their 35 overs, Somerset Oakes had set Groot Drak a total of 146 runs.
Queue the run-chase.
A shaky start by Drak meant the highest score by a batsman in the top six was a meager 16 runs from Mark Kirstein. In need of a miracle, the tail-enders were charged with the almost impossible task of scoring nearly 100 runs at just under 5 an over.
It looked to be all over until Deon ‘Kudu’ Kotze and Roydon Adams put on a stunning display of hitting to get the Franschhoek lads within striking distance. With less than 3 overs remaining, Kudu Kotze reached 50 runs (58*) at better than a run-a-ball and Roydon Adams (18* off 18 balls) played a lofted straight drive to see Groot Drak cross the line with 2 wickets in hand, recording a hard-fought win over Somerset Oakes.
After the match, we were joined by the home team for a fines ceremony that punished and celebrated many performances from both camps. The game was played in a great spirit and we look forward to welcoming Somerset Oakes to Groot Drak next year for the reverse fixture.
MATCH REPORT FROM CRAIG MCNAUGHT