Cricket Results

Groot Drak vs WPCC – 03 December 2023 (Alfie Cupido Memorial)

Certain dates are sacred in the Groot Drak FCA cricketing calendar. Our annual December fixture against Western Province Cricket Club is arguably the most significant, as it honours our ex-club-captain, Alfie Cupido, who passed away during this clash back in 2010.

After much deliberation, Lew and the WPCC brains trust elected to bowl first, with some heavy cloud cover looking enticing for the seam bowlers. Starting to get quite comfortable with his role as an opener, Marko Combrink opened the batting with an unknown quantity – new recruit, Conrad Schultz on debut for Drak.

The two started sedately. The ball was swinging and seaming, which restricted the run-scoring, but Marko and Conrad gave up very few chances while they got accustomed to the conditions. They both found fluidity after a handful of overs and scored freely once Dutch international, Mikkie Zwilling’s initial bowling spell was completed.

Both Marko and Conrad notched up half-centuries, taking Groot Drak past the 100 mark after just 12 overs. Marko fell in the over before drinks, scoring a well-paced 53 from 49. Conrad at this stage was dealing largely in boundaries.

Having been given the perfect platform, Alan Sherratt cameoed with 22 from 21, bringing Jonathan Boulton to the crease at number 4.

Jono (14 from 36) did his best to give the bulk of the strike to Conrad Schultz, who very quickly converted his half century into a classy hundred.

With precious few deliveries left, Matt Hughes was only required to face 4 balls, putting Conrad on strike for the final ball of the innings.

Conrad, now on 146 with just one ball to go, punched a straight drive over the bowler’s head to bring up an unbeaten 150 on debut. A more impressive first outing had surely not been seen at Groot Drak for many decades.

At an imposing run rate of 7.5 an over, Western Province would need 263 for victory.

Opening the bowling with miserly Matt Hughes (0/13 from 4), Johann Agenbag (1/25 from 4) picked up a wicket in his first over. With eight legitimate bowling options, the changes were wrung quick and fast. Morne Maritz (2/26 from 4) removed dangerous batters, Nic Slabber and Adriaan Steyn, with Zak Barnard (0/20 from 4) pushing up the hill.

Leg spin was introduced just before drinks in the form of Bruce Taylor (2/26 from 6) and Mike Devine (1/19 from 4). Both bowlers took wickets and limited the runs, which pushed the chance of a successful run chase further and further out of reach for the visitors.

Despite bowling largely to the tail, Alan Sherratt (3/22 from 5) was easily the pick of the bowlers, working over three batsmen with his leggies. The FCA have since launched an official investigation, as there are allegations that the pitch was, in fact, prepared by Alan himself.

In a rare showing, Craig McNaught (1/9 from 3) turned his arm over and also took four catches during the innings, sneaking himself out of TFC contention for the day.

In the end, the runs were just too many, as Alan’s two wickets in two balls drew a close to the WPCC innings, securing an eighty five run victory for Groot Drak.

Both teams paid their respects to Alfie on the pitch, before heading off to the clubhouse for fines. The evening was topped off perfectly with a braai and a few fireside beverages before parting ways.

Special thanks to Alan Sherratt, Morne Landman, Bruce Taylor and Johann Agenbag for their efforts to ensure that the game went ahead as planned.

Man of the match: Conrad Schultz
Match report by Craig McNaught

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *