It was an absolute pleasure to welcome back the Cheshire Seniors, with a lot of familiar faces piling out of the bus on a perfect summer morning in the Boland.
The visitors were asked to bat first and had a tough time against the Groot Drak openers Colin Myburgh (0/2 from 3 overs) and Craig McNaught (0/3 from 3 overs). Cheshire managed just seven runs from the first six overs, but without losing a wicket, largely thanks to two dropped chances off Colin’s bowling.
Mike Devine clearly felt the scoring rate was out of control and bowled a first change spell that began with 3 maidens and 2 wickets. Unfortunately Mike was hit for a boundary and completely ruined his figures: 5 for 2 from 4 overs. Making a welcome return, Nic Addison pitched in with 0/12 from his four over spell.
Introduced just before drinks, in a rare occurrence, Bruce Taylor failed to pick up a wicket and was carted for 22 runs from his 5 overs.
At the 17 over drinks break, Cheshire Seniors were 49/2.
A new face at Groot Drak, George Ware turned his arm over for the first time in many years. A number of extra’s saw George go for 31 runs from his 4 overs.
There was some tidy left-arm orthodox from Claude Chantler (0/13 from 4) and a mixed bag from Ian Nel, who seized the opportunity to pocket 3 wickets for 26 runs.
Looking to give the entire team at least one over, Jono Boulton (0/7 from 2), Mark Nel (0/1 from 1) and Hugo Brink (0/3 from 1) tidied things up at the end of the innings.
Thanks to a plethora of extras (34 of them!), the target was set at 130 for victory.
After a quick lunch break, the Cheshire lads toasted the flag and made their way out to the field with Hugo Brink and Mark Nel opening the batting for Groot Drak.
Mark managed a run-a-ball 26 before being caught and bowled, introducing Jono Boulton at number 3.
Having not had many opportunities to show off his batting talents, Hugo got stuck in and was brutal on anything short of a length. At a strike rate of nearly 200, Hugo got to his first ever half-century and had to be retired after a very well played 65 from 39 balls.
Jono was uncharacteristically aggressive with the bat, smashing 27* from 19, including a six into the clubhouse. George Ware needed to score just 2 runs as the home team coasted to a comfortable victory in the 16th over.
A quick 10 over game was orchestrated, with two sides made up of players from both teams heading out for a bit of fun. The game, oddly enough, ended in a tie, with James Boulton, Mark Nel and Colin Myburgh the standout performers for their respective teams.
Afterwards, everyone welcomed the opportunity to enjoy a refreshment on the pitch, while Richard von Hoesslin gave his rendition of the club’s history. A light-hearted fines meeting was held in front of the clubhouse before everyone shuffled inside for a lamb dinner, some local wine and a few presentations to cap off a lovely day.
Thanks to the Cheshire Seniors for their exceptional company and we wish them all the best for the remainder of their South African tour.
Man of the match: Hugo Brink
Match report by Craig McNaught