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Groot Drak vs Somerset Oakes – 30 October 2016

On Sunday 30 October, Groot Drak took a drive out to Somerset West for the first away game of the season against Somerset Oakes. After winning the toss, Groot Drak decided to bowl first on what looked like a pretty green and grippy track. The Kotze brothers (Joubert: 24/0 off 6 and Deon: 13/0 off 3) were tasked with opening the bowling and kept things very tight, preventing the opposition from scoring freely. Morné Maritz, who went for only 16 off his 6 overs, joined the attack with Roydon Adams (11/2 off 4) and both did a very good holding job until drinks. 

Somerset Oakes had plenty of batters in the hut, but urgently needed more runs on the board. An inspired bowling change saw the introduction of Bruce Taylor, who, in his 7 overs, took 5 magnificent wickets for 32 runs, putting even more pressure on the home side. Phillip Lotter picked up 2 wickets in 2 balls and the batting side was looking in trouble. 

Despite the good bowling, Somerset Oakes stabilised due to some below-average work in the field and plenty of chances going to ground (one forcing Rob ‘Freight-train’ Frater to retire injured). At the end of their 35 overs, Somerset Oakes had set Groot Drak a total of 146 runs. 

Queue the run-chase. 

A shaky start by Drak meant the highest score by a batsman in the top six was a meager 16 runs from Mark Kirstein. In need of a miracle, the tail-enders were charged with the almost impossible task of scoring nearly 100 runs at just under 5 an over. 

It looked to be all over until Deon ‘Kudu’ Kotze and Roydon Adams put on a stunning display of hitting to get the Franschhoek lads within striking distance. With less than 3 overs remaining, Kudu Kotze reached 50 runs (58*) at better than a run-a-ball and Roydon Adams (18* off 18 balls) played a lofted straight drive to see Groot Drak cross the line with 2 wickets in hand, recording a hard-fought win over Somerset Oakes. 

After the match, we were joined by the home team for a fines ceremony that punished and celebrated many performances from both camps. The game was played in a great spirit and we look forward to welcoming Somerset Oakes to Groot Drak next year for the reverse fixture. 


Groot Drak vs Villiersdorp CC – 23 October 2016

A decidedly gloomy and wet start to the morning had most thinking that play would be called off, but a zealous Villiersdorp CC put paid to that idea as the first official game of the season was going to be played, come hell or high water. 

There were four debutants for the Groot Drak XI in Gert Uys, Ryan Stemmet, Joubert Kotze and Gary Seaman, who we all look forward to seeing more of at the club. 

The damp pitch meant play was delayed by a little over an hour, and, the long-standing tradition of the visitors being put in to bat was ruled unfair as Groot Drak lost the toss and were promptly asked to pad up. 

From the first ball, the pitch provided some rather unpredictable bounce, coupled with a good effort from the Villiersdorp opening bowlers meant runs were hard to come by and wickets fell at regular intervals. A stalwart effort from Ryan Stemmet, scoring 19 on debut for the club wasn’t enough as Drak stumbled to 74 runs all out, astonishingly, with no ducks on the scorecard. 

After a quick lunch break, the opening bowlers, Roydon Adams (1 for 16 off 5) and Joubert Kotze kept things very tidy and put the squeeze on Villiersdorp for the first 10 overs, with debutant Joubert Kotze recording a phenomenal 3 wickets for only 12 runs off his 6 overs. The fielding was sharp with acrobatic work behind the stumps from Jono Boulton restricting the flow of runs. Colin Myburgh (19 for 0 off 6) continued the strangle as Villiersdorp looked in trouble at the drinks break. 

With a few chances (and decisions) going abegging, Villiersdorp got over the line with 4 wickets to spare, in a surprisingly tense run chase. 

After a quick drink on the pitch, fines were deservedly dished out and endured by the boys, who, even in defeat, thoroughly enjoyed the festivities after the game well in to the evening. 

It was a disappointing start to the season, but the game was played in great spirits, leaving everyone looking forward to the rest of the 2016/2017 season at Groot Drakenstein. 


President’s vs Chairmans XI – 15 October 2016

As tradition dictates, the first club match of the Groot Drak season is the Presidents vs Chairmans 11. On the morning of the 15th of October, long standing senior club members Bruce Taylor, Morne Landman and Pierre Fourie selected an evenly balanced team from the 22 players that made themselves available. The Chairman’s team batted first, Gary Seaman top scoring with 25 and supported by a blistering 20 not out by Philip Lotter who certainly was a very different athlete compared to his Evil twin whom came on tour to Graff Reinet the week before! 

There were some great catches in the outfield and some absolute dollies palmed to the ground as everyone worked off the winter rust. When the slightly more senior Presidents line up padded up they were faced with just 143 for the win. But 4 wickets falling in fairly quick succession had the changing room running around like headless chickens! The middle order ship steadied as Jonathan Boulton prodded a painful 26 off 53 not out all the time encouraging the match wining innings of 33 off 44 balls by Gert Uys, that built the foundation for a very sweet victory. 

Fines afterwards were swift and merciless, and as always was most entertaining and it was fantastic to see so many new faces keen to be part of the Groot Drak family. This only bodes well for a fantastic season. Thanks to all the behind the scenes hard work, Robbie “the Freight train” Frater for getting the pool squared up so quickly for the kids, Morne Land Man for selecting, scoring, umpiring and making sure eveyone wore their Duck hats, Team Captain Bruce Taylor for all his organising, Vitalis for a magnificent pitch and to all the Committee members and Players