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Groot Drak vs Spin Doctors – 10 October 2021

Having the opportunity to bat first twice in successive games was one that Groot Drak cherished on Sunday, when they took on their good mates, Spin Doctors. With Vitalis having prepared a belter of a wicket, combined with one of the strongest batting lineups in a while, there were bound to be a few runs scored.

Settling in nicely to his role as an opening bat, Quintin van der Westhuizen got off to a flying start. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for his partner at the other end, Jaco Swarts, who lobbed a long hop to point without troubling Ken Lumb behind the scorebook.

Bruce Taylor was catapulted up the batting order to number 3, where he looked to “stabilize” the innings and enjoy some rare middle time. He managed to nudge 21 useful runs before lofting a leg glance to fine leg.

Rikus Walters joined Quintin at the crease and struggled to find the middle early on, but importantly, didn’t get himself out. Fortunately, Quintin was seeing it big and as his innings went on, he heavily favoured the boundaries over quick ones and twos. This stood him in good stead as he passed 50 with relative ease and went on to smash 76 from 57 balls.

Making his home debut for the club, Francois ‘Frenchy’ Vermaak came in at 5 and wasted no time, dealing in fours and sixes from the get-go. Rikus started to find some rhythm and became the second batter to pass 50. From there he decided to really kick on.

These two great friends were clearly feeding off of each other’s positivity, while simultaneously draining that of the bowlers. Some massive sixes were dispatched in to parts of the ground that haven’t been explored since the moon landing. Rikus was eyeing three figures and Frenchy was looking to cement his middle-order spot with his new team. Not to be left out, Francois also joined the half-century club as the run-fest continued and Groot Drak breezed past 250 with 3 overs to go.

An almighty pull shot into the car park for six had Rikus celebrating an incredible hundred, rubbing further salt in to the wounds of the Doctors, who had nowhere to hide on a flat track.

The last 18 balls of the innings went for 46 runs as Drak recorded a monster total of 297/3, with Francois not out on an exceptional 68 from 44 and Rikus not out on 114 from 77 deliveries. Sean Petzer, all dressed up with nowhere to go, had spent around 25 overs with the pads on and unfortunately didn’t get to face a delivery.

Both teams enjoyed a very welcome half-time break and some time in the shade before heading back out for the run chase.

Having done nothing other than cheer from the clubhouse, Craig McNaught and Tim Whitfield were the only non-spinning Drakies and were tasked with opening the bowling.

Craig (1/12 from 5) found some swing early on and managed to keep the runs down by bowling full, outside off. Reluctantly pushing up the hill, Tim took some punishment early on in his spell, but gathered momentum and earned a wicket for his troubles, finishing off with 1/27 from his 6 overs.

Bowling first change, young Ethan Williams (0/26 from 3) struggled for rhythm against the Spin Doctors’ firing middle order and was replaced by Claude Chantler – another in a long list of ‘did-not-bat’s.

Helping out for the day was Dawie Morris (0/34 from 7), who bowled some super off-spin and was unlucky to not pick up several wickets. Claude (0/45 from 6) toiled hard and was on the receiving end of some good batting, getting paneled for 7.5 runs per over by Rodders (72) and Thoks (32).

Dealing with some severe pad rash, Sean Petzer was eventually asked to join the bowling attack. With several variations, his bowling flummoxed the batsmen as he pocketed 4 massive wickets and recorded his best bowling figures for Groot Drak – 4/34 from 4.

Bruce Taylor was his usual wily self, tying up the game with four overs for 15 and two wickets for his efforts.
Spin Doctors were bowled out in the 34th over for 198, securing a 99 run win for Groot Drak.

Despite the rather one-sided result, the game was, as always, played in a great spirit and with plenty of humour to boot. Thanks to load-shedding, a few drinks were shared in the dark before the players went their separate ways.

Best of luck to the Doctors for the season – we look forward to seeing you all again very soon!

Match report by Craig McNaught

Groot Drak vs Melkbos Fellows – 03 October 2021

Groot Drak and the lads from Melkbos Fellows have been struggling to get a game against each other for three years. Sunday the 3rd of October was almost a repeat incident, with rain predicted for the entire weekend, threatening to push the fixture out yet another season. Luckily, the cricketing gods were in a good mood as Sunday’s weather was nothing short of glorious.

The day also witnessed a very rare event at Groot Drak – a coin toss, which the home side won and, for only the second time in many years, were able to set a total on home soil.

MC Uys (15 from 10) and Quintin van der Westhuizen (17 from 16) started well, but both fell just as they looked settled. The early breakthrough precipitated a top order collapse of epic proportions as Sean Petzer (5 from 9), Chad Ayford (9 from 14) and Wade Robyn (2 from 3) couldn’t wait to get back to the clubhouse to re-watch Saturday’s rugby highlights.

Claude Chantler (12 from 11), surprisingly still conscious after his bachelor party just a few hours prior, managed to get going but couldn’t follow through on a promising start.

At 69/6, the decision to bat first was starting to look about as smart as taking a surfboard to the Kalahari. In full consolidation mode, Craig McNaught and Tim Whitfield sought to salvage what they could from a hopeless position.

With both hands firmly on the Pacman prize for eating all the dots, Craig could only manage 18 from 38 before making way for Morne Maritz at number 9. At the other end, Tim was all over the bowlers like a rash, surpassing 50 runs without taking any risks. Morne smashed two massive sixes on his way to 29 from 19, adding some seriously valuable runs in the last few overs.

Michael Langenhoven (2 from 4) had a brief stint at the crease before Danie van der Nest (5 not out from 7) did his best to keep Tim on strike. Tim, in the meantime, was batting like a man possessed and had muscled his way to 99* with one ball left in the innings. Tensions were high as his teammates willed him towards the magical three-figure mark from the pavilion. A yorker-length delivery outside off saw Tim shoulder arms and let the ball through to the keeper. Fortunately, eagle-eyed umpire, MC Uys signaled a wide and asked the bowler to try again. This time, Tim threw his hands at the ball and got a healthy edge that ran down to third man for his two most significant runs for Groot Drak thus far. There was a huge celebration from the clubhouse as everyone congratulated Tim on his unforgettable 101* from 78 balls.

Somehow, Groot Drak had recovered to a monstrous total of 237 for 9 after 35 overs.

Returning from a long absence, Danie van der Nest opened the bowling and picked up both openers after they had set a sturdy foundation for the rest of the Melkbos Fellows. Michael Langenhoven (0/25 from 5), who last played for Groot Drak several years ago, also made a welcome return and backed up Danie, pushing up the slope.

Some great middle-order batting meant that Tim Whitfield was constantly under pressure bowling first change, receiving similar punishment to that which he had dished out in the first innings. Morne Maritz (1/18 from 4) was superbly economical down the hill and showed his true colours as an all-rounder.

Resorting to removing pace from the ball, Claude Chantler (0/36 from 7) and MC Uys were asked to turn their arms over with the batters squarely on top at 150/4 with plenty of overs remaining in the day.

We’re not exactly sure who cursed MC before the game, but there were definitely some dark forces at play, as no fewer than 5 chances were spilled from his bowling. Not what was needed in a game destined to go to the final over.

Tim (2/41 from 7) rejoined the attack, this time with some off-spin. This was clearly a good move as his first ball uprooted the stumps and put Groot Drak back within shouting distance.

MC soldiered on and managed to break the hoodoo – first with a sensational, full-length diving catch in the deep and then by picking up three quick wickets to strangle the run-fest.

Danie returned for his second spell and ended up with figures of 2/34 from his 7 overs – putting the game out of contention and securing a 41 run victory for the Drakies in a game that seemed to ping pong between likely winners every few overs.

It was great to finally play against the Fellows from Melkbos and we wish them all the best for the season ahead.
Congrats to Tim on his maiden century for Groot Drak and for scooping a well-deserved ‘man-of-the-match’ accolade in the process.

Match report by Craig McNaught

Groot Drak vs Bishops U13A – 29 September 2021

Groot Drak’s longest-standing fixture against Bishops U13A saw its 70th iteration of this historic clash on Wednesday, after a short, Covid-induced hiatus. The young visitors were offered the opportunity to set a total, which they gladly accepted.

Groot Drak fielded a side comprising 6 children and 5 veterans, which created an interesting dynamic in the middle.
Newcomers, Zach Lorentz (0/10 from 4) and Ben Dipnall (0/17 from 5) opened the bowling for Drak and caused plenty of trouble for the opposition, consistently landing the ball in good areas. Zach was unlucky to not pick up both openers, after his fiery pace found their edges early on. Ben started his spell with two very impressive maidens and also had a chance spilled off his bowling.

Ilan Myburgh, the son of seasoned campaigner, Colin, bowled first change and was the most efficient of the young bowlers, with an impressive economy rate of just 2.3 runs per over. Gillian Klaassen (0/11 from 3) was also very tidy from North end, testing the batsmen with varied lengths.

Despite the top-class bowling, the Bishops boys stood resolute and ended up retiring their top 5 batters, who each scored more than 15 runs. The standout was Bishops skipper, Thaafier Japtha who effortlessly smashed 36* from 27.

The breakthrough finally came via the wily off-spin of Colin Myburgh (1/5 from 4). Bruce Taylor (0/18 from 4), Chris Greenway (0/34 from 4) and Rob Frater (0/31 from 2) took the brunt of the punishment for their efforts with the ball towards the latter half of the innings.

Ilan Myburgh was brought back for his second spell, which proved to be the perfect tonic as he clean bowled two Bishops batters cheaply. His unerring line and length saw him finish with 2/12 from 5 overs – a fantastically disciplined performance from a young and promising cricketer. Shayne Ayford backed him up at the death, claiming one wicket for 17 runs from his 4 overs.

At the innings break, Bishops had set a very competitive 159/4 after their 35 overs.

Chad Ayford opened the batting and was the only of the youngsters to score meaningful runs – carting 30 from 26 in spectacular fashion. Ben Dipnall (1), Gillian Klaassen (0), Zach Lorentz (0), Chris Greenway (1) and Ilan Myburgh (0) could only manage 2 runs between them, while they fell victim to some remarkably smart bowling from the Bishops lads, including a magical hat-trick from Thaafier Japtha (3/9 from 6) – showing his true all-round capabilities.

The old guns were required to stop the bleeding as Craig McNaught, while beaten countless times, somehow steadied the ship for the home team. Joined by Rob ‘Jerry’ Frater (10 from 18), the two put on a hour-long partnership that just about got the two teams back on level terms at the drinks break. Craig retired to make way for Bruce Taylor (13 from 30) and Colin Myburgh (13 from 27), who batted conservatively against top quality death bowling from Bishops.

Shayne Ayford wasn’t able to trouble the scorers, departing for a duck, forcing a reluctant Craig away from the draught machine to pad up again for the final 3 overs.

Needing 26 from the last 18 balls with no wickets in hand, the game was due for a very tight finish. After a few lusty blows and much-needed boundaries, Groot Drak required 4 from the last 5 balls of the game. Punching a ball straight down the ground, Craig (70 not out from 82) called for what should have been a comfortable 2 runs, but an incredible direct hit from the boundary from Thaafier Japtha saw Bruce Taylor short of his ground at the non-striker’s end, to conclude a nail-biting run chase.

Bishops claimed a deserving victory and take great form in to their imminent cricket tour. We wish them the best of luck on the road, but their skill with bat and ball will no doubt see them hold their own against the Eastern Cape schools. The youngsters from Bishops covered themselves in glory both on and off the field, showing fantastic sportsmanship and healthy competitiveness.

We eagerly look forward to the next meeting of these two sides and hope to keep this epic annual fixture going for another 70 years!

Match report by Craig McNaught

President’s vs Chairman’s – 18 September 2021

After a long and rainy winter, Saturday the 18th of September saw the beginning of Groot Drak’s cricket season. The annual President’s vs Chairman’s fixture kicked off on a sublime Spring day in the Boland. Claude Chantler captained the President’s side and won the toss. After much deliberation, the Chairman’s team was asked to bat first – an opportunity that was gratefully received!

Tim Whitfield and Colin Myburgh did an incredible job of opening the batting and both looked like they had been playing in the IPL during the off season. Tim was dismissed for a run-a-ball 27, while Colin smashed a destructive 51 from 40 before retiring.

Darren Pilz decided to slow the run rate with a 13 ball duck alongside club debutant, Justin Vellacott, who put on a solid 21 from 26.

Having to deal with some excellent swing bowling from Hugo Brink (23/1 from 4), Alan Sherratt nudged 29 valuable runs from 42 before being castled.

A brief cameo from Kudu Kotze (9 from 9) saw Craig McNaught (28* from 22) join Stephan Krige at the crease to face the death bowling. Stephan paced his innings fantastically and finished up with 30 not out from 35 deliveries.

Had it not been for tidy bowling performances from Andri le Roux (19/0 from 4), Dylan Dowell-Ellis (7/0 from 3) and Brendan van Zyl (18/1 from 4), the Chairman’s team would no doubt have amassed far more than their 223/5 after the allotted 35 overs.

A quick refreshment at the clubhouse and it was time to start the run chase.

Club debutant, Quintin van der Westhuizen, was tasked with facing the new ball with Christo la Grange (1 from 8). Christo fell early to a lovely in-swinger from Stephan Krige (9/2 from 4), who swiftly dislodged Brendan van Zyl (1 from 12) a few balls later.

Claude Chantler (0 from 5) was comically run out at the non-striker’s end without troubling the scorer, putting all sorts of pressure on Quintin and the rest of the President’s team.

Things didn’t improve a great deal from here, with Clive Webb (0 from 5), Dylan Dowell-Ellis (2 from 7) and Morne Maritz (4 from 4) getting out cheaply. Quintin van der Westhuizen was clearly batting on a different pitch, going past his 50 with relative ease.

Colin Myburgh (10/1 from 3) and Alan Sherratt (14/2 from 3) were unplayable and had to be removed from the bowling attack to allow some relief for the batters.

Andri le Roux offered some much-needed support at number 8, scoring 10 runs before an unbelievable one-handed catch from Darren Pilz behind the stumps exposed the tail.

Quintin managed to farm the strike and before anyone could blink, had scored an epic hundred. His impressive innings saw the bowlers carted all over the field from an array of classic cricket shots.

Hugo Brink, Francois Marais and Bruce Taylor (who defected in an attempt to get some batting in) could only manage 3 runs between them as the Presidents slumped to 133 all out, leaving Quintin van der Westhuizen stranded on 112* from 90 deliveries.

Despite the one-sided result, everyone enjoyed a fun-filled day of well-spirited cricket and camaraderie, with a few cold beverages thrown in for good measure.

Welcome to all the new members, who we look forward to seeing more of at Groot Drak. Here’s to what will no doubt be a wonderful 2021/2022 cricket season!

Match report by Craig McNaught

Fixtures 2021/2022


Date Opponent Venue
18 September 2021 President’s XI vs Chairman’s XI Pickstone Oval
29 September 2021 Groot Drak vs Bishops (Fathers and sons) Pickstone Oval
03 October 2021 Groot Drak vs Melkbos Fellows Pickstone Oval
10 October 2021 Groot Drak vs Spin Doctors Pickstone Oval
16 October 2021 Groot Drak vs Black Batts Pickstone Oval
30 October 2021 Groot Drak vs Scorpions Oude Libertas
07 November 2021 Groot Drak vs Newlands Squirrels Pickstone Oval
14 November 2021 Groot Drak vs Claremont Gents Constantia Cricket Club
27 November 2021 Groot Drak vs CTCC Rhinos Pickstone Oval
05 December 2021 Groot Drak vs WPCC (Alfie Cupido Memorial) Pickstone Oval
16 January 2022 Groot Drak vs Gardens Old Boys Pickstone Oval
29 January 2022 Groot Drak vs Scorpions Pickstone Oval
12 February 2022 Groot Drak vs Elgin CC Pickstone Oval
20 February 2022 Groot Drak vs Somerset Oakes Pickstone Oval
26 February 2022 Groot Drak vs Citrusdal CC Pickstone Oval
05 March 2022 Groot Drak vs Somerset College Old Boys Pickstone Oval
13 March 2022 Groot Drak vs Green Point Cricket Club Pickstone Oval
27 March 2022 Groot Drak vs Rondebosch Pumas Rondebosch Oval
03 April 2022 Groot Drak vs Kelvin Grove Pickstone Oval
09 April 2022 Ken Strable Double Wicket Pickstone Oval