Cricket Results

Groot Drak vs Australia Veterans – 20 February 2024

Tuesday the 20th of Feb 2024, saw a bus load of enthusiastic veteran Aussie cricket players dropped at the Groot Drak main gate! The earliest fine for the day was allocated before anyone bowled a ball, the tour organiser Andrew had an early beer logged for not insisting the bus driver head up our shady entrance to deliver the well traveled passengers.

The skippers strode to the middle to discuss the toss and admire a magnificent deck prepared by club manager Daryll Cullinan. The discussion was a short one, highlighting the host’s tradition of taking to the field first which they gleefully did as the mercury pushed past 35 degrees.

Everyone bar three had a trundle, the exceptions were two shoulder injuries and the keeper who was enjoying throwing himself around in the heat under the helmet after the plethora of wides too much to give up the gloves. Exceptional bowlers were Colin Myburg, bowling 6 overs, 2 maidens, taking a wicket for just 13 runs. “Young Rob” Izzard was virtually faultless in his full spell of 7 going for just 28 runs and taking a wicket. While Angus “Gussie” Simmers in just his 4 overs went for only 13 runs, snatching 2 sticks and a rarity of a an empty wides column.

Outstanding grabs were were made by Wessel Lourens and Gus Simmers, breath taking stuff, more so the sound of escaping air as they hit the deck at full stretch.

The Aussies dug deep, keeping the score board ticking over, they put on 151/9 after 35, top scorer M. Ridge on a handsomely hit 19 retired.

Gourmet rolls, a plunge in our crystal clean pool and a refreshing amber nectar had many feeling that they might have been on a Southern Sun summer break. Our flag salute and warm brandy toast in the baking African sun was remarkably well received by the hardened Aussies before they strode out to take the field.

Our top order headed out to bat knowing they were only to face 20 balls each, something our visitors did. With just about everyone that batted getting into the runs; Wessel Lourens hit a neat 27 runs of his 20 balls, but Robbie Frater, calypso cricket inspired possibly from something in the lunch break lambasted the ball around to all corners. Hitting the match-winning runs with a crowd-motivated glorious six, he walked our man of the match with a Viv Richardsesque 35 off 20 balls.

Players and wives alike enjoyed Richard von Hoesslin’s historical talk about the club and surrounds. The concept of fines was explained and the reception somewhat vanilla until we got into the swing of things. The Australians loved it, peer fines became something akin to stand up comedy on the last day of an Oktoberfest and it was the Drakies that ironically had to eventually call the show to an end. Dinner and formalities were wonderful, Daryll the club manager was presented with the team’s drinking shirt which he immediately donned with pride, next he was presented with an Aussie Baggie green, this as I am aware is still on the coffee counter where it was left should anyone want one. Captain Jono Boulton was given a team shirt and a small square of folded yellow sandpaper, yet another round of drinks ordered and friendships for life were forged.
What a day of friendly cricket…!

Match report by Jonathan Boulton

Groot Drak vs Black Batts – 28 January 2024

We always enjoy hosting Black Batts at Groot Drak – lovely human beings who play a good standard of friendly cricket.
With a strong batting line-up, Groot Drak were hoping to win the toss and bat first. As it turns out, the Batts wanted to bowl first and the toss was never realized.

Palfers and Brendan opened the bowling for the Batts and found solid rhythm early on. The first wicket partnership for Drak was a tale of two very different batters; Claude Chantler the aggressor and Ian Rippengal (on loan from the UK’s Forty Club) the stalwart. Claude smashed his way to a fiery 41 from just 27 balls, with Ian at the other end gutsing out 33 from 78.

Wickets fell regularly, with contributions from Albert Booysen (14 from 23), Matt Hughes (16 from 9) and Liam Carruthers (12 from 15) – all getting starts but being outfoxed by the Batts bowlers. The stand-out batting performance came from Alan Sherratt at number 4. Accessing pretty much the entire field, Alan paced his innings perfectly. He deposited anything loose and looked to rotate the strike regularly.

Towards the end of the innings, Alan was joined by Zak Barnard who wasted no time in blasting 13 from 5 without losing his wicket.

Alan’s fifty went unnoticed by the scorers and hence his team-mates and spectators, but was celebrated shortly after Groot Drak’s innings drew to a close. Al finished on 54 not out from 42 and the home team had posted a par-or-thereabouts total of 203 for 6 after their 35 overs.

The run chase started sedately. Black Batts had only scored 13 runs from their first 7 overs, due to the crafty bowling of Liam Carruthers (1/18 from 6) and Matt Hughes (0/30 from 7). Matt’s figures would have looked even better, had it not been for four dropped chances off his bowling.

Bowling first and second change, Craig McNaught (1/38 from 5) and debutant Callum Woolley (0/29 from 4) were on the expensive side and had to be benched as the Batts started to accelerate their scoring rate. Gustav (74 from 65) notched up a well-deserved half century and was only dismissed thanks to a screamer of a catch on the boundary by Claude Chantler.

The game situation was poised nicely at drinks, with the visitors needing 6.5 runs an over to win.

Finally getting to bowl down the hill, Zak Barnard (0/35 from 6) kept the Batts reasonably quiet. From the other end, Alan Sherratt (1/50 from 5.3) was uncharacteristically expensive as Paul became the second Batts player to go beyond the half-century mark.

In the end, Black Batts managed a fairly comfortable win, chasing down the 203 with 2 and a half overs to go and only 3 wickets down.

After a quick pitch drink and a well-earned fines meeting, the two teams braaied meats of all sorts well into the evening while enjoying some local wines and cold beers.

Thanks to Palfers and the Batts for a highly entertaining day out!

Men of the match (GD): Claude Chantler and Alan Sherratt

Match report by Craig McNaught

Groot Drak vs Citrusdal CC – 20 January 2024

It’s been several years since our last game against our most distant FCA opposition. The weatherman predicted temperatures just south of 40 degrees for our fixture against Citrusdal, so the rates of sunscreen-application and beverage-consumption were bound to be high.

Winning a seemingly important toss, Groot Drak opted to bat first.

Seeing that it was in fact the Chairman’s birthday, Jono Boulton was given the option to open the batting with Nic Slabber on loan. It was a tough day at the office for Nic, who could only manage 11 from 17 before rolling his ankle and retiring hurt.

The opening bowlers were zippy and accurate, causing headaches for Jono Boulton (18 from 61) and debutant, Albert Booysen (16 from 32) in at number 3. The pair toiled hard for their runs, and unfortunately found the fielder more often than the gap.

Two more debutants for Groot Drak were Matt Butcher and Toby Marriott (of Cricket District fame). Both batters looked solid, but failed to get meaningful starts and fell cheaply, despite their impressive credentials.

Groot Drak were looking very scratchy at 62 for 5 after 24 overs, with the decision to bat first becoming questionable. Fortunately, Matt Hughes and his floppy hat strode in at number 6 and made the bowlers look like they were offering throw-downs. This was not the case for the remaining batters in the lineup.

While Matt smashed his way to a first Groot Drak fifty, Craig McNaught (0 from 6), Gavin Stander (10 from 15) and Bruce Taylor (7 from 13) tried to offer some tail-end support.

Citrusdal’s Dirk Thuynsman finished the innings by dismissing Nic Slabber (in his second chance at bat), followed by both van Deventers for golden ducks, resulting in a spectacular hat-trick to close things out.

Groot Drak had been bowled out for a dismal 137, leaving Mr Hughes stranded on 54 not out from 35 – the shining light in an otherwise ordinary display of batting… not to take anything away from the Citrusdal bowling performance, which was exceptional.

Lunch was largely taken in the pool with the mercury threatening 40 degrees at the innings break.

Being allowed to sub in young Liam Carruthers for the injured Nic Slabber buoyed the Groot Drak spirits somewhat as he fired down a barrage of unplayable deliveries with the new ball. His 5 over spell went for just 13 runs, but the wickets proved illusive. Pushing up the hill, Matt Hughes’ first over got punished, but he adjusted his length and was rewarded with a wicket in his 4th over thanks to a simple catch completed by Matt Butcher.

After the openers were done, the floodgates opened for Citrusdal. Skipper, Craig McNaught brought himself on for three disastrous overs that went for a mammoth 51 runs, including three consecutive sixes struck by Barry Tredoux, as he smashed a fifty and kept going.

Our usual remedy for either slowing the run rate or taking a few wickets is the golden arm of Bruce Taylor. That theory went out the window as he too got dispatched for 13 runs in his solitary over. Gav Stander (0/28 from 3.5) was, given the circumstances, fairly tidy, but still travelled at nearly 7 an over as Citrusdal cruised to victory in just the 17th over. Mercifully, all 22 bodies were able to cool off in the pool before slinking into the shade for a highly entertaining fines meeting in front of the clubhouse.

It was great to see Citrusdal at their very best, claiming what many believe to be their first victory against Groot Drak.

Congrats to; Matt Hughes for being Groot Drak Man of the Match and Lifesaver, Barry Tredoux on his unbeaten 81 and to Dirk Thuynsman on his man of the match award and hat-trick.

Match report by Craig McNaught

Groot Drak vs Spin Doctors – 14 January 2024

Our fixture against the Spin Doctors is one that all Groot Drak players look forward to immensely each year. Partly due to their fantastic banter, but also because they have been gracious enough to allow us to win in our last several meetings.

After tossing twice, Groot Drak opted to bat. The team, on paper anyway, was definitely stronger on the batting front.

Opening with Christo la Grange, Marko Combrink elected to shoulder arms to Martin Tucker’s first ball, which cannoned into his off stump. Christo ground out 15 off 29 before copping a ball in the groin and then capitulating the very next delivery.

Making a welcome return to the fray, MC Uys (35 from 41) joined Mark Nel (39 from 49) at the crease. The two batted sensibly and put on a 60-odd run stand for the third wicket, which wrestled some much-needed control back for the Drakies.

Sensing the chance to put on a good total, Alan Sherratt, got stuck in to the bowling with his partner in crime, Nick van Woerkom. Alan’s sweet timing provided him with multiple boundaries as he cruised to his half century at a good lick. Nick too started to accelerate, but ended up getting caught out in his efforts to move things along, being dismissed for a respectable 33 from 24.

Just a few balls later, Alan was clean bowled for an outstanding 71 from 57, leaving Craig McNaught (9* from 4) and Claude Chantler (3* from 5) to see off the last few deliveries.

After 35 overs, Groot Drak had posted 226 for 6, leaving the Doctors needing 6.45 an over for victory.

The run chase started particularly well for the visitors, with a tough chance going down early on in the piece. Nick van Woerkom (1/24 from 7) picked up his only wicket for the day with a well directed bouncer that found the edge of opener, Arno for 18.

For the next 15 overs, the bowlers took a fair amount of punishment. Claude Chantler (0/42 from 6), Zak Barnard (0/35 from 5), Craig McNaught (0/23 from 3) and Bruce Taylor (0/44 from 5) bore the brunt of it before Sean Petzer and Alan Sherratt came on to bowl.

While Sean’s economy rate left a bit to be desired, he was able to dismiss Mike Law for a solid 44 from 65. Andrew Sheals (41 from 32) gave a chance with his first ball, but knuckled down and capitalized on the mistake.

All the while, Rodney Brown at number 3 for the Doctors was stamping his authority on the game. He hardly gave away a chance and made the bowlers pay for any wayward bowling… of which there was plenty. Once Rodders had reached the 50 mark, he found another gear as the game swung massively in the visitors’ favour.

Alan (0/22 from 4) managed to control the run rate, but was probably turning it too much to take a wicket, while Sean picked up a second wicket to finish up on 2/35 from 4.

In the end, Rodney’s 93 not out with contributions from the rest of the top order proved too good for the Drakies. Spin Doctors won the game with 3 overs to spare, having only lost 3 wickets.

After the game, both teams put the draught machine to work and shared some well-earned fines in the shade. A lovely day turned into a hugely festive evening among mates, just the way it should be.

Man of the match: Rodney Brown and Alan Sherratt.

Match report by Craig McNaught

Groot Drak vs Ulster Grasshoppers – 06 January 2024

One could hardly pick a more predictable time of year to have bright sunshine and perfect cricket weather than January in the Boland, but the dreaded rain cloud icon was all over the various weather apps for Saturday the 7th. Covers were deployed on Friday evening in anticipation of rain overnight… which, naturally, didn’t materialize.

Our stand-in groundsman, Salmo Cilliers, prepared a beautiful green-top pitch, which promised some spice for the seam bowlers. When our Irish visitors arrived, they inspected the surface and were more than happy to honour the tradition of batting first.

The Ulster Grasshoppers got off to a sedate start, going at around 3 an over for the first 10. This was largely thanks to some super tidy bowling from the pacey openers, Liam Carruthers and Nick van Woerkom, who each picked up a wicket in their first spells.

Taking a chunk of pace off the ball, Craig McNaught and Ian Nel took the first-and-second change duties and both bowled a reasonable line and length to keep the run rate respectable during their seven over spells. Craig (3/28 from 7) managed three wickets, including a diving caught-and-bowled, while Ian (1/38 from 7) trapped Aaron Wright in front as he was looking to kick on.

At the second drinks break, the boys from Ulster were struggling along at 117/6 from 28 overs.

Zak Barnard (2/28 from 5) managed to grab two wickets with his seam-up deliveries, which included a first class leg-side stumping from Jono Boulton behind the sticks.

Towards the end of the innings, the ball was tossed to Mike Devine in an attempt to entice some risks from the batters. Suffice it to say that it was not Mike’s day with the leather, as his array of beamers and double-bouncers got dispatched at 9.5 per over in his 4 over spell. Fortunately, Nick van Woerkom was able to relieve Mike of his bowling woes to pick up the last two wickets of the innings, ending with highly respectable figures of 3/33 from 7.5. Liam Carruthers pitched in with one more over to be Groot Drak’s most economical bowler of the day with returns of 1/27 from 7.

The Irish had been skittled out for 198. With 40 overs to chase it down, most felt the score was about 50 runs light. With a formidable top 7, the Groot Drak lower order settled in to the bar to watch what would surely be stroll in the park. This, dear reader, is where it all went wrong.

Wessel Lourens (2), Conrad Schultz (1), Nick van Woerkom (6), Ian Nel (3 in two innings), Craig McNaught (0), Jono Boulton (1) and Mike Devine (1) could only manage 14 runs between them, which put enormous pressure on Mark Nel who was forced to watch despairingly as wickets were gifted to the opposition, while he stood man alone. Mention should be made of the contributions from Claude Chantler (18), Liam Carruthers (17) and Zak Barnard (14), but the only player to score meaningful runs was Mark Nel, who put on a classy 54 not out to save at least some blushes for Groot Drak.

As it was, the home side ended up being bowled out for just 139 in the 33rd over.

With the result out of the way, the almost 40 strong touring party from Ulster were treated to Richard von Hoesslin’s recollection of the club’s rich history before being ushered towards the clubhouse for a fines meeting. This was a highlight for many as the ladies and gents from Ulster showed their prowess across multiple alcohol groups before settling in for the spit braai and some red wine.

Despite the completely lopsided result, everyone had a blast before we were able to wish the Grasshoppers all the best with the rest of their tour.

Man of the match: Mark Nel & A. Shields

Match report by Craig McNaught