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President’s XII vs Chairman’s XII

The weather on Sunday the 29th of September 2019 did not look good. Big clouds, heavy rain and gusting winds. Not what we expect from the Boland in the middle of Spring! Having garnered a huge amount of support (26 members making themselves available) – the Groot Drak lads were not going to allow the season’s first game to be cancelled lightly. As to not damage the turf wickets, our old Flicx wicket was dusted off and rolled out next to the square and, within an hour, we were ready to play.

The captains tossed and Chairman’s team were sent in to bat in less-than-ideal circumstances.

Wickets fell regularly from the start, with only Adrian Raisbeck (18 off 11) managing any significant runs as the Chairman’s team limped to 59 all out. Corrie Brand (3 wickets), Morne Maritz (2 wickets), Jannie le Roux (2 wickets) and Marco Bosman (3 wickets) performed outstandingly with the ball for the President’s team.

The President’s XII started very slowly, but saw off some dangerous bowling and knocked off the score with plenty of overs to spare. 5 wickets fell in the second innings, with most of the damage being done by Matthew Tracey, who bagged 3 wickets in his 5 overs. Mention needs to be made of the batting performances of Gert Uys (17 off 18), Christo la Grange (8 off 32), debutant Thiery Milot (8 off 23) and Claude Chantler (10* off 11) who saw the President’s XII over the line.

With plenty of hours of light left, both captains decided that a rematch was in order and the Chairman’s team was sent in to bat once again – this time with the batting order reversed.

A much better performance with the bat saw Shayne Ayford (13 off 20), Adrian Raisbeck (24 off 39) and Jono Boulton (12 off 42) get the Chairman’s XII to 91 before being bowled out again. This time, it was Conrad Harley (3 wickets), Craig McNaught (2 wickets) and Morne Maritz (2 wickets) who did the damage with the ball.

With the President’s XII also reversing their batting order for the chase, things were bound to be interesting as the light started to fade.

An impressive bowling spell from young Chad Ayford saw him nab the first 4 wickets for only a handful of runs! One has to question why he didn’t bowl in the first game. Things were looking bleak for the President’s team as their top 6 only managed 17 runs together, including ducks from Devin Whelan, Marco Bosman and debutant, Jannie le Roux. The innings was stabilized by Craig McNaught (29 off 49) and Conrad Harley (12* off 24) as their ‘timeless-test-style’ batting allowed a second victory for the President’s XII.

As the weather was still not ideal, fines were held in the clubhouse, with an inside braai warming the cold bones of all the players. Plenty of poor performances were punished, while a select few players were rewarded for their contributions for the day. The Groot Drak players showed that it takes more than bad weather to dampen the spirits and a wonderful day was enjoyed by all. A warm welcome to all the new players; Thiery Milot, Jacques Viljoen, Justin Sage and Jannie le Roux.

Cloudy with a chance of beer

Rainbow over Groot Drak

Chairman and Wicket Keeper, Jono Boulton with some rare in-swing!

Fines meeting about to get underway

Game 1 – Chairman’s XII Innings

Game 1 – President’s XII Innings

Game 2 – Chairman’s XII Innings

Game 2 – President’s XII Innings

Groot Drak vs The Black Batts – 06 April 2019

On Saturday the 6th of April, Groot Drak hosted the Black Batts (bolstered by some players from WPCC). As per tradition, the opponents were put in to bat first. Corrie Brand and Kudu Kotze opened the bowling, limiting the opposition to just 4 runs per over. Corrie finished with figures of 1-30 from 7 and Kudu – 0-21 from 5.

Herman Fourie (1-22 from 4) and Craig McNaught (1-7 from 2) followed the openers, taking the first innings to tea.

After the break, we turned to the spinners, Angus Simmers and Bruce Taylor.

Angus (1-27 from 6) kept it tight on one end, with Bruce (3-18) managing two wicket-maidens in his brilliant 6 over spell.

Adrian Raisbeck put in a great cameo performance, cleaning up the opposition with 3 quick wickets for just 14 runs in 4 overs.

The target was set. Groot Drak needed 152 runs from 35 overs for victory.

After lunch, the Boultons opened the batting, as is tradition when brothers play in the same team for Groot Drak.
Jono anchored the entire innings, carrying his bat and scoring 46 not out from 93, while Nick scored his second fifty in two games for the club, being dismissed for 55 off 73 balls.

Herman Fourie came to the crease and dished out a quick 27 from 19, while Gary Seaman coming in at an unusual 4, scored 10 not out off just 5 balls to seal the win.

Man of the match – Bruce Taylor
Match report by Bruce Taylor

Groot Drak vs Spin Doctors – 30 March 2019

On Saturday 30 March, Groot Drak hosted Spin Doctors at Pickstone Oval.

As only a handful of the opposition arrived in time to start the game (as is their tradition), the Spin Doctors were only too happy to honour Groot Drak’s tradition of sending the opposition in to bat without a coin toss.

The opening bowlers, Corrie Brand and Colin Myburgh were both unlucky to not pick up wickets with their first overs, but both toiled hard and were incredibly economical, with Corrie going for 20 for 1 from his 7 overs and Colin going for just 10 runs in his 5 over spell.

Kudu Kotze (29/3 from 5) and young Liam Carruthers (24/0 from 4) were the change-up bowlers and both bowled very well against in-form Tengo and Sheels from Spin Doctors. At drinks, the opposition were 66/2 with their 3 and 4 batters just getting started. A slow start, but plenty of batters in the hutch.

Sheels and Tengo both opened up after the break and smashed the ball to all parts, with Bruce Taylor (47/1 from 5) and MC Uys (43/1 from 7) taking the bulk of the punishment, despite some good bowling and 2 missed chances. Eventually the batters succumbed to the spin, with Bruce dismissing Tengo for 53 and MC getting the prized wicket of Andrew Sheels for 80 runs, with Liam Carruthers taking hist first catch for Groot Drak. Craig McNaught pitched in with a run donation of 19 from 2.

By this stage, the damage was largely done and Spin Doctors posted a very competitive target of 200 for victory.

After a quick break, Groot Drak were focused and ready for what promised to be a hard run-chase.

MC Uys got the second innings off to a blistering start, scoring 10 from the first two balls. Unlucky to play on, MC was dismissed for 26 from just 9 deliveries. Gary Seaman at the other end batted with discipline and refused to give his wicket away.

Corrie Brand was promoted up the order, coming in at 3, but struggled to 12 from 19. Colin Myburgh, Hannes Langeveldt and Dave Johnson could only manage 1 run between them, as Groot Drak found themselves in a spot of bother at 87 for 4.

Kudu Kotze was sent in at 6 to steady the ship and to support Gary in the middle overs, which he did with aplomb! Some lusty blows and fantastic timing saw Kudu retire on 53 from just 46 balls – exactly what the Doctors did not order. With victory in his sights, Gary was bowled out for an exceptionally well-played 71 from 80 balls.

Jono Boulton (9 not out) and Craig McNaught (2 not out) saw off the last few runs to seal the win for Groot Drak, with 4 overs to spare.

A well-deserved beer was enjoyed on the pitch with the Doctors after the game, before finding the comfort of the shade for some fines.

It was brilliant to host Spin Doctors again, who always bring a wonderfully-balanced side, play a great game of cricket and offer lovely company off the pitch as well.

Man of the match was a toss-up, with Gary scoring loads of very valuable runs, but eventually, it was decided that Kudu, with his quick 50 and 3 wickets would take the honours.

Match report by Craig McNaught

Groot Drak vs Somerset Oakes – 10 March 2019

On Sunday, the 10th of March 2019, Groot Drak took a drive out to Somerset West to face Somerset Oakes. The weather looked threatening and the pitch was definitely a good one for bowling with some fairly sizable cracks visible from the start.

After losing the toss, Groot Drak were asked to field first – an all too common scenario.

The bowlers exploited the cracks and did a really good job of limiting the runs while consistently taking wickets. Special mention needs to be made of the performances by Jannes Mouton (37/3 from 7), Danie van der Nest (15/2 from 5) and “Back-in-form Bruce” Taylor (7/4 from 3.5), with debutant pace-bowler, Liam Carruthers taking his first wicket for the club as well.

With not one catch being put down, Groot Drak bowled Somerset Oakes out for 105 in the 28th over. With the pitch deteriorating, this was going to be a tough run chase.

Sure enough, wickets fell early and regularly as Groot Drak slumped to 31/5, with only MC Uys (16 from 18), Jono Boulton (13 from 32) and Adrian Raisbeck (14 from 33) managing double figures. It was starting to look like the unbeaten run in the FCA was coming to an end for the Drakies.

That was, of course, until Danie van der Nest was sent out to bat with a difficult task ahead of him. As the only batsman to manage a strike-rate of better than 100, Danie smashed a very well-paced 39* from 26, scoring the winning runs with a brilliant straight drive for six! Earning himself man-of-the-match once again, Danie showed some great fighting spirit and a ‘never-say-die’ attitude.

A few quick fines and a boerie-roll and the boys were back on the bus to catch the end of the Proteas ODI and to smash a pizza and one final beer.

A tough day at the office, but a hard-fought win against a wonderful bunch of guys from Somerset West!

Groot Drak vs Citrusdal CC

Last Saturday (9th Feb) saw Groot Drak meeting Citrusdal on what can only be described as an absolute scorcher! As tradition dictates, the coin was never tossed and the home club took to the field in around 36 degrees but not a breath of wind.

Opening whiz-kid, Corrie Brand, whose bowling is often too good for most batsmen, found the edge and the woodwork and finished his full 7 over spell on 3 wickets for just 31 runs. His twin, separated at birth, Jannes Mouton, toiled equally as hard going for 44 runs and unlucky not to get a wicket. Young Lawrence Kilian was given the ball and started a little shakily, but kept earning himself another over by constantly improving his line, length and purchase off the wicket. He finished on an impressive 4 wickets from 7 overs, going for just 39.

Getting Citrusdal all out for 170 was a relief and celebrated by the fielding side in the pool and relaxing in the shade. Our openers had to deal with some pretty swift bowling and the going became worryingly slow. Eventually, Gary Seaman started to look nicely set, having seen off the openers, so the decision was made to juggle the batting order and send in Danie van der Nest in an aggressive pinch-hitting roll. To say he grabbed at the opportunity with both hands would be an under statement! Faster than you could say “ Vitalis may I have another beer, please ” he got on top of the bowlers smashing them to all corners. Hitting 80 not out off 49 balls, accompanied by Gary’s elegant 55 off 77, the total was quickly reached for the loss of just 3 wickets and a magnificent afternoon was spent with both teams and families in the pool. Fines was exceptional fun with Citrsudal boasting a huge list of rules and appropriate punishments for any discretion and the evening topped off with a braai over hot vine coals. Roll on the next fixture…!

Match report from Jono Boulton