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Groot Drak vs Surrey Seniors – 18 February 2023

After three long years since we last had the pleasure of hosting the team, this last Saturday saw us welcoming back the Surrey Seniors, a UK touring over 60’s side who are out in South Africa for approximately 10 days.

Keeping traditions strong, they were asked to bat first, which they accepted happily.

The two openers were superb, specifically Mr Chris Evans who put on a score of 83 in only 87 balls, while being supported by his fellow teammates on the other end.

Admittedly, we underestimated our opposition and only managed to take 3 wickets (2 for Bruce and 1 for Zak) as they slowly but steadily posted a 199 run total for us to try and chase down.

As they say, catches win matches and unfortunately, Groot Drak were not up to the task, with a few going down.  Overall though, a stern effort by everyone in the team with some of us having to consider buying a new set of whites after throwing our bodies all over the ground for 40 overs.

At innings break, the Surrey Seniors did the traditional salute and toast to the Groot Drak flag but even that shot of brandy would not hinder their performance as Groot Drak struggled. The first four wickets fell for only 50 runs.

It was tough going out there with the Surrey Seniors bowling an impressive line and length with most of the Groot Drak batsmen battling to get the ball off the square.
If it wasn’t for a fine Captain’s knock by Craig McNaught, Groot Drak would’ve fallen well short of the target, as he put on a spectacular 58 off just 52.
The tail did attempt a wag but all in all Groot Drak fell short by 18 runs in the second last over.

After a very festive fines meeting in which the Surrey Seniors got stuck in, a great evening was had by all with dinner and a few toasts shared over some great wine thanks to Quintin van der Westhuizen

Always a great touring side to host, we wish the Surrey Seniors all the best for the rest of their tour and look forward to seeing them again very soon!
Thanks to everyone who supported the day out.

Match report by Sean Petzer

Groot Drak vs Elgin CC – 11 February 2023

Arguably Groot Drak’s favourite away fixture is the trip over the mountain to visit Elgin Country Club. On Saturday the 11th of February, we were greeted by Kevin Daniel and his crew on a scorching Overberg morning.

The wicket looked pretty good and after winning the toss, the Drakies skipper elected to bat first.

Quintin van der Westuizen (10 from 17) fell early to a one-handed screamer at backward point by George Eadie, while Rikus took his time at the other end.
In at number three, Colin Myburgh smashed his way to a very handy 38 from 21, just before the first drinks break.

Rikus and Ian Nel put on a mammoth third wicket partnership, both going to their fifties in style. Rikus opened up his shoulders and blasted multiple boundaries, bringing up his second fifty in just 18 balls, marching to a well-deserved 118 from 66 deliveries. Ian was eventually dismissed for a run-a-ball 61 – his first half-century for Groot Drak.

Trying to paddle the ball behind square, Bruce Taylor managed to top-edge his first delivery straight into his head at pace. Unperturbed, Bruce got on with things and was not out for 30 from 25. The team strengthened their position with some good death batting from Craig McNaught, who ended on 44 not out from 19 deliveries.

At the break, Groot Drak had posted possibly their highest ever total of 362/4 from 35 overs.

During the chase, Elgin lost wickets early and with regularity. Opening the bowling, Johann Agenbag was the destroyer-in-chief, taking 4 scalps for 34 in his 7 overs.

Some impressive resistance from Andre (50 from 42), Rikus Kruger (31 from 19) and George (41 from 36) had Elgin hopeful, but still a fair way off the pace.

Making a welcome return after a lengthy injury, Sean Petzer got stuck in with the ball and also picked up four wickets for his troubles, landing up with 51/4 from 6.2 overs. Bruce Taylor and Wessel van Deventer each took stunning catches, putting heaps of pressure on the home team.

Towards the end of the game, the van Deventers turned their arms over. Thanks to a sharp stumping from Quintin van der Westhuizen, Christo (1/15 from 2) earned his first wicket for Groot Drak. Up the hill, Wessel (1/18 from 4) was unlucky to only knock over one batter as Elgin were bowled out for 202 runs.

After the game, a few cold beverages were enjoyed while overlooking the beautiful Elgin scenery. Thanks to Kevin and the lads for their awesome hospitality and for putting on a game that will not be forgotten any time soon.

Man of the Match: Rikus Walters

Match Report by Craig McNaught

Groot Drak vs Forty Club – 24 January 2023

It was with absolute glee that we welcomed the Forty Club back to Groot Drak during their umpteenth tour of South Africa. We have not had international teams visit us in almost three years, so the excitement leading up to the fixture was pulpable… until the rain arrived. It’s not terribly often that we have heavy rains during the summer, but it bucketed down on Tuesday the 24th of January. Fortunately, the skies cleared at around midday and we were able to get underway shortly thereafter.

The visitors, in keeping with tradition, were asked to bat first and got off to a positive start. Bowling down the hill, Colin Myburgh kept things very tidy, leaking just 15 runs from his five overs and picking up the first wicket of the game in the process.

Claude Chantler, from the other end, was in a very generous mood, gifting the Forties 55 runs in his 5 over allotment. Going at better than a run-a-ball, Chris Turner retired on 50 after a proper opener’s knock at the top of the innings.

The medium pacers, Craig McNaught (0/6 from 3) and PC Blom took the first change duties and bowled a pretty neat line and length to keep the batsmen quiet. At drinks, the visitors were 93/1 and looking set to kick on.

Clearly energized by the drinks break, PC (2/30 from 7) came back to knock over Ian Rippengal (11 from 21) and Howard Johnson (20 from 23) as they were getting set.

Spin was reintroduced in the form of Alan Sherratt (2/20 from 6), Quintin van der Westhuizen (3/19 from 5) and Adam Cloete (1/30 from 4). The Forty Club’s middle order struggled against the wily bowlers and had an almighty collapse, with batters 5 to 10 only managing 21 runs between them. Some sharp catches from Quintin and Colin saw the visitors at around 140/8 after 30 overs.

Chris Turner returned to the crease with a few overs to go, adding another 17 runs to his already impressive tally. At the end of the innings, the target set was 180 from 35 overs.

After a quick lunch break and the traditional flag salute, the teams were ready to switch roles and head back out on to the field for the run chase.

Having not had the chance to turn his arm over, Liam Carruthers opened the batting with Jonathan Boulton. The two went about their work in contrasting fashions; Liam with aggression and Jono with prudence. While smashing a straight drive down the ground, Liam forced a premature drinks break by striking the standing umpire in the arm and sending him to the hospital for some much-needed attention. Some very tight bowling saw Groot Drak under immense pressure, around 25 runs behind at the interval.

Jono (15 from 51) was the first wicket to fall, being caught at long off, while Liam marched to a well-deserved half century. The youngster retired on 51 from 51 balls, having bludgeoned half a dozen fours and a six during his innings.

Reveling in the opportunity to have a bat in the top 3, Tim Whitfield wasted no time in getting stuck in to the bowling. Rob Frater joined him at the crease and managed just the 5 runs before holing out at mid-wicket.

Alan Sherratt came to the crease and put on a 76 run partnership with Tim Whitfield, edging Groot Drak ahead for the first time in the match.
Alan was eventually dismissed for a blistering 38 from 22, with Tim hot on his heals, retiring on 50 from 34 deliveries.

Craig McNaught and Adam Cloete were both unceremoniously dismissed for ducks, leaving PC Blom (6* from 9) and Colin Myburgh (8* from 5) to finish off the run chase.

Although Groot Drak secured a 5 wicket victory, the result was never a certainty until right near the end.

After the match, both teams gathered on the pitch to enjoy a refreshment and were regaled by Richard von Hoesslin’s legendary recollections of the incredibly rich and vast history of the club and its members.

After a swift fines meeting, everyone donned their eveningwear to enjoy a fabulous dinner, supported by some delicious local wines from Cilmor and Frater Family Wines – many thanks to Rob and Quintin for their generosity!

We wish the Forty Club all the best for the remainder of their SA tour and we look forward to welcoming them back soon!

Scorecard: Groot Drak vs Forty Club – 24 Jan 2023

Groot Drak vs Spin Doctors – 21 January 2023

It’s never a dull affair when we are visited by our friends the Spin Doctors. After winning the toss, it was not with a great deal of confidence that Groot Drak elected to bat first.

In just the 7th ball of the day, Rikus Walters managed to nick off down the leg side to earn himself his first Golden Duck for Drak. Joined by Ian Nel, Quintin van der Westhuizen was just getting started. The two looked good before Ian was caught out on a well-played 28 from 29 deliveries.

Craig McNaught (10 from 11), Claude Chantler (6 from 5), Colin Myburgh (4 from 11) and Zak Barnard (5 from 12) couldn’t contribute significant runs and put the home team in some serious trouble early on.

Fortunately, Quintin was seeing it like a beach ball as Jono Boulton stood resolutely by his side and refused to offer up any chances. Quintin smashed his way to 50 and then, what felt like moments later, found himself on 100 not out with several overs still to go. Groot Drak were back on track for a respectable total.

Jono (25 from 42 not out) and Quintin carried on their merry way until the last over. With just one ball left in the innings, Quintin was on 148, needing two runs for the almost unthinkable individual score of 150 in a 35 over game. Calm as a Hindu cow, Quintin guided the ball past the keeper to the boundary, bringing up his ton-and-a-half in emphatic fashion. Quintin carried his bat, remaining unbeaten on 152* from just 98 balls. Thanks largely to his efforts, Groot Drak posted exactly 250 runs.

Having not had a chance to bat, the young and energetic Liam Carruthers made his welcome return to Groot Drak by opening the bowling with Colin Myburgh. Colin took three wickets for 21 runs and had to be removed from the attack after only 3 overs. Liam from the other end posted returns of 1 for 22 in his 4 over spell. A run out from Claude Chantler saw the Doctors struggling on 29 for 5 after 6 overs.

The plan to bring on Bruce Taylor to donate a few runs backfired in spectacular fashion. Bruce conceded just 13 runs in his 7 over spell, at an economy rate of 1.8, while nabbing two wickets in the process. From the other end, Hugo Brink had a few GPS-related issues and tested Jono Boulton’s agility behind the stumps. Nevertheless, his efforts earned him two wickets for 42 runs in his full quota of overs, including the wicket of Kurt (35 runs), who was offering some staunch resistance in the latter overs.

Wanting to get Rikus Walters involved in the action, he was tossed the ball in an attempt to wrap up the last wicket. A long hop above the wickets was the eventual demise of ‘Judge’, who smashed his own stumps out of the ground to end the game. Spin Doctors were bowled out for 95.

The result was soon forgotten as both teams assembled outside the clubhouse on a perfect summer evening in the winelands. A few well-deserved beverages were dished out before the Doctors headed back home. Thanks to Rodney and the lads for a hugely enjoyable day!

Man of the match: Quintin van der Westhuizen

Groot Drak vs WPCC – Round 1 – 04 December 2022

Twenty two very happy cricketers arrived at Pickstone Oval on Sunday. The reason? Both Western Province Cricket Club and Groot Drak had been let down at short notice and were practically resigned to having a bye this weekend. Luckily we were able to get in touch at the last minute to scramble a fixture.

After both captains had assessed the situation out in the middle, Groot Drak was very kindly offered the opportunity to bat first on what everyone agreed was a pitch built for runs. Big runs.

Making his debut for Groot Drak, YouTube star, Gareth Grant of Can You Cricket, along with Quintin van der Westhuizen, opened the batting. The pair got off to an absolute flier, dealing almost exclusively in boundaries. Quinny notched up his umpteenth half century for the club, scoring 56 from only 34 balls. Gareth continued with his classy knock as Rikus Walters entered the fray.

In typical Ricky fashion, his innings started slowly, with only 2 runs to his name after 14 balls. From there he opened up and freed his arms to avoid any unnecessary running between the wickets. Gareth showed off all his experience by dispatching the loose deliveries and opting to leave anything that might threaten his outside edge. At drinks, the batters looked set and had the home side well poised at 127/1 after 17 overs.

Rikus went to his fifty shortly after the break and, even though he just about depleted the bar’s Powerade stocks, he showed no signs that he was done scoring runs on one of the flattest tracks ever seen at Groot Drak.

Picking up his scoring rate, Gareth too went to a well-deserved half century in good time. A sharp stumping saw Gareth depart for 74 from 64 balls.

In at number 4, Tim Whitfield pitched in with a handy 20 from 14 before being clean bowled by young speedster, Haydn.

Rikus converted his 50 to 100 rather smartly as any balls near the slot took some finding in the long grass on the other side of the boundary rope.

With only a few overs left, Claude Chantler (6 from 8) and Craig McNaught (2 not out from 4) tried to give Rikus the strike. Ending proceedings with a superbly played 122 not out from 99 balls, Rikus had spearheaded a batting display that saw Groot Drak post 308 for 4 from their 35 overs. Even though the required run rate was sitting at 8.8 an over, it was very clear that the pitch still had plenty of runs to give on the day.

After the lunch break, opening bowlers Craig McNaught (1/44 from 5) and Tim Whitfield (1/32 from 5) took a bit of tap early on. Nick Slabber was the main aggressor, being dismissed just 6 short of a half century.

Being introduced earlier than anticipated, Bruce Taylor (2/53 from 7) needed only 2 deliveries to claim his first victim. Deciding that taking the pace off the ball was the best strategy, Quintin van der Westhuizen joined the attack alongside The Bruce. Perhaps a lapse in judgement from the skipper or maybe a ploy to produce a tight game, Quintin (0/72 from 6) received the sunburnt palate award, being manhandled at 12 runs per over during his spell.

After drinks, Hugo Brink (0/40 from 5) and Zak Barnard (0/23 from 3) also took some punishment as WPCC found themselves 122 for 3 after 17 – just 5 runs off the pace.

The boundaries started to rain down as Louis Koen and Haydn capitalized on the gorgeous batting conditions and the fairly average bowling. With 7 overs left in the game, WPCC needed 70 runs to win, with 6 wickets in hand.

Having to just about be dragged on to bowl, Claude Chantler removed Louis with his first ball and picked up Trevor Pape a few balls later. Hayden was still going strong as he smashed a blistering century from 40 odd balls.

Craig reluctantly rejoined the attack, having to push up the hill with just two overs remaining in the game. Playing one big shot too many, Hayden was finally dismissed thanks to a solid catch in the outfield from Gareth Grant at cow corner.

With things finally looking comfortable, Wessel van Deventer (0/5 from 1) was asked to bowl the final over and managed to end up as the most economical bowler for Groot Drak, securing a 22 run victory for the home side.

A mammoth 594 runs had been scored in 70 overs. Bodies were sore, but spirits were high, as all the players took a moment to soak up the incredible atmosphere after another thrilling run chase.

A few frosty beverages were enjoyed on the pitch, before well-deserved fines were dished out in the shade of the clubhouse.
Thanks to our friends at Western Province Cricket Club for making the journey and for delivering an epic day of cricket and laughs. We look forward to round two in a few days!

Man of the Match: Rikus Walters

Match report by Craig McNaught