On Saturday the 5th of November, with a marathon of international rugby on offer in the bar, Groot Drak and Rondebosch Pumas elected for an early start to proceedings. Winning the toss, Groot Drak grabbed the opportunity to set a total on what looked like a fairly spicy pitch.
Quintin van der Westhuizen got going from ball one, with Rikus Walters (4 from 12) and Claude Chantler (8 from 17) both being castled cheaply with the new ball hooping around for the Pumas.
With two wickets down early on, Craig McNaught joined Quintin at the crease. The pair put on an 84 run partnership, with the batters each reaching half centuries at a decent lick. Quintin ultimately departed for a very well played 71 from 66, with Craig joining him in the clubhouse for 51 from 48.
Bruce Taylor, being elevated up the batting order, could only manage 8 from 14, while debutant, Ian Nel smashed a quickfire 40 from 30 to see Groot Drak over the magic 200 mark.
Zak ‘Snack’ Barnard (11 from 16) pitched in with a few valuable runs as Hugo Brink (0 from 2) was run out in the most spectacular fashion for a duck.
In at 9, Johann Agenbag was left stranded on 4 not out from 8 as Groot Drak posted a more-or-less par score of 227 for 8 after their 35 overs.
After a quick lunch, the boys from Rondebosch came out guns blazing, forcing Ian Nel (24/0 from 2) to be retired from the attack early on. Johann Agenbag took the new ball up the hill and had it on a string, dismantling the top order and pocketing 4 wickets for 37 in his 6 over spell.
Hugo Brink (0/48 from 4) came on first change and struggled to find a consistently good area (Possibly because of an injury that he alerted his captain about well in advance, which was promptly ignored).
At this stage, Rondebosch Pumas were well ahead of the required run rate and cruising towards what looked to be a comfortable victory, should they keep wickets in hand.
Zak Barnard (1/26 from 5) bowled in tandem with Bruce Taylor (3/22 from 6.1), both bowling superbly, putting the brakes on the scoring rate. Zak was unlucky to not pick up several more wickets, as no fewer than six catches were palmed during the run chase.
Pitching in with the bowling duties, Wessel (17/1 from 2) and Christo van Deventer (0/10 from 1) were a touch expensive, but some diving catches in the outfield from Rikus and Craig put Groot Drak in the driving seat for the first time in the game.
There was just one over from Claude Chantler (0/2 from 1) before Bruce came back for a single ball to pick up the 10th wicket and see Groot Drak victorious after a thrilling second innings.
Despite the 34 run margin, Rondebosch Pumas were ahead of the run rate for the entire match, but were bowled out for 193 in 27.1 overs.
A cold beverage was enjoyed on the pitch before a quick dip in the pool and a well-deserved fines meeting in the shade. Thanks to Rondebosch Pumas for what is always a great day out with exceptional company!
Scorecard: Rondebosch Pumas Nov 22
Man of the match: Johann Agenbag
Match report by Craig McNaught