Cricket Results

Groot Drak vs Black Batts – 22 January 2022

It was great to squeeze in a fixture against our good mates at Black Batts after our previous engagement was called off because of the weather. From one extreme to the other, the Boland experienced temperatures in the low 40s on Saturday, which meant our swimming pool saw more action than the Durban beachfront on New Year’s day.

Having a huge amount of faith in the Groot Drak batting lineup, the home side decided to bat first with the hope of putting on a big total on a batsman-friendly wicket. MC Uys was the only top-order batsman to put on any meaningful runs with 25 from 22, while Jaco Swarts (10 from 9), Cassie Carstens (11 from 12), Rikus Walters (8 from 15) and Craig McNaught (16 from 25) put enormous pressure on the lower order by gifting their wickets to the opposition.

Christo la Grange, fresh from a trail-run, came in at 6 to stabilize the innings with Jono Boulton joining him at 7. Both batters slowed the run rate and stood firm in an attempt to rescue Drak from an embarrassing collapse. The two put on a very healthy partnership and showed real grit throughout their collective stints.

Christo finally fell after putting on a stoic 26 from 43, while Jono Boulton was unceremoniously run out on 25 from 40, pulling a muscle in the process which would rule him out of the rest of the game.

Claude Chantler (7 from 11), Tim Whitfield (2 from 4) and Hugo Brink (3 from 8) had the unenviable task of needing to slog towards the death, but in the end Groot Drak were bowled out for a paltry 137 after 34 overs, with Bruce Taylor being stranded on 5 not out.

The runs felt at least 50 light of a defendable total, but after a quick swim and a refreshment, the Drakies were ready to take on the challenge with the ball.

Tim Whitfield (1/32 from 7) broke through in his first over, starting with a wicket maiden to give a little hope to the situation, while Hugo Brink (0/21 from 4) toiled hard and was unlucky not to nab a few wickets in his spell.

The top order for the Batts fired, with Paul (43), Callum (18) and Brandon (19) chipping in with valuable runs at a good lick.

Bruce Taylor (1/48 from 7) and MC Uys (2/33 from 4) were brought on early and both managed wickets as stand-in keeper Claude Chantler took a sharp stumping off Bruce’s bowling and MC picked up two wickets from catches in the outfield.

While wonderful to watch at the crease, Bruce Sharpe and Steve Palframan are not who you want at the wicket when defending a small total. Sharpie breezed to 63*, while Palfers only needed 11* to get the Batts over the line after just 25 overs.

Despite the one-sided game, the match was enjoyed almost as much as the cold beer in the shade afterwards. Congrats to Black Batts on their victory and good luck for the rest of the season!

Groot Drak vs Gardens Old Boys – 16 January 2022

After having our last two games of the year rained off, it looked like the same fate might befall the first fixture of 2022. Luckily, the rain ceased and we were able to start play just an hour later than scheduled.

Groot Drak elected to bat on a slightly spongy surface, but knowing that there were 11 capable batters raring to go, it was the only option. MC Uys and Claude Chantler put on a handy opening stand, surpassing 100 runs without losing a wicket.

MC missed a straight one on 34 and made way for Quintin van der Westhuizen at number 3, who got in to his work immediately.
After batting himself in to some much needed form, Claude retired on 54 and brought Mike Devine to the wicket.

Mike (26) rotated the strike well and allowed Quintin to free his arms, who also notched up a half century in quick time with 8 boundaries to boot.

Rikus Walters at 5 had a rare lapse in concentration at the wicket and punched an easy catch to mid-wicket for 10. He was replaced by Alan Sherratt, who struck the ball cleanly from the start, smashing 27 runs in virtually no time.

Another batter looking for some form was Jono Boulton (36 not out), who got after the bowlers in tandem with Tim Whitfield (23 not out) in the last few overs of the innings. Both did exactly as required, carting several boundaries to all parts before running out of deliveries.

A monster total of 302 was posted after 35 overs, which was seriously helped by the fact that 41 extras were conceded in the process.

After a dip in the pool and a bite to eat, Gardens started the run chase with the track drying out nicely in the afternoon sun.

The visitors got off to a flyer, with Admire Manyumwa seeing it like a beach ball from the outset and punishing anything in his strike zone. Another 100 opening stand kept Gardens in the hunt, with Morne Maritz (1/55 from 7) and Hugo Brink (0/23 from 4) unable to get the new ball to talk.

Alan Sherrat (1/46 from 7) bowled first change and took some severe punishment in his first few overs of leg spin, while Craig McNaught (1/21 from 3) from the other end managed to break the opening partnership. Jono Boulton took a sharp stumping chance from Alan’s bowling, which had Gardens 2 down at drinks.

Meanwhile, Admire was loving the flat track and cruised to 100 and showed no signs of relenting.

With some wily pace bowling, Tim Whitfield (2/40 from 7) found some rhythm after a few overs and picked up 2 wickets, exposing the middle order.
Claude’s (0/27 from 6) first over went for 13, but he soon pulled it back and did a great job of restricting the runs.

In the end, the runs were just too many, but a valiant effort from Gardens saw them put on 230/5 after their allotted overs – a total that would have been a winning one more often than not. Admire carried his bat, scoring 161 not out in an incredible display of innovative batting.

After having given us 533 runs, it was only fitting that the pitch be honoured after the game with a quick salute and a refreshment. Fines were well-deserved and thoroughly enjoyed before parting ways with the Gardens lads after an epic day of cricket.

Groot Drak vs Claremont Gents – 14 November 2021

At Groot Drak, we count ourselves incredibly lucky to play most of our cricket at home, but travelling to Claremont Cricket Club is a special outing for everyone. We were welcomed at the stunning ground, promptly lost the toss and were sent in to the field.

Struggling into the wind, Andri le Roux (0/14 from 2.5) was unceremoniously expelled from the attack after his third beamer, exposing an already stretched bowling unit.

Craig McNaught (0/24 from 6) kept things more or less tidy, while Claude Chantler finally got amongst the wickets for the 2021/2022 season. Even though he got smashed for 23 in one over, he dislodged 4 Gents batters for 44 runs in his 6 over spell.

Francois ‘Frenchy’ Vermaak made a welcome debut with the ball, getting rid of Steve Palframan for a duck and posting returns of 1/38 from 7. With similar figures from the other end, Hugo Brink (1/35 from 7) found fantastic rhythm late in his spell and pulled off a spectacular caught-and-bowled chance on the stroke of the drinks break.

With limited bowling options, young debutant Tristan Harley (son of Groot Drak legend, Conrad) was tossed the ball and asked to bowl towards the death. At just 14, the schoolboy turned many heads with his fiery pace and accuracy, leaking only 32 runs from his 6 over spell.

At the end of their 35 overs, the Gents had posted 211/7 – a total that felt just about par on a good wicket.

Gary Seaman (22) made a welcome return to the Drak side, opening the batting with Charl Ackerman (4) against a classy bowling attack.

Batting at number 3, Rikus Walters looked to steady the ship with Andri le Roux. Both players batted extremely well and played their shots before Andri was sharply stumped on 19.

Claude Chantler pitched in with 5 from 13 before making way for Francois Vermaak.

Frenchy and Rikus, having battled together many times before, put on a show for the crowd with a veritable batting clinic.

Neither gave any chances up as Rikus breezed past yet another 50 and Francois found boundary after boundary, giving Groot Drak a real chance towards the end of the match. Making the bowling look very easy, Francois (52* from 39) got to his 50 just as Groot Drak toppled the total, with Rikus not out on 84.

One more wicket and the game could have been very different, but as it was, the visitors recorded a 3 over victory over their great friends, Claremont Gents.

A few fines on the field surrounded by the awesome Cape Town vista was the perfect way to end a classic day of cricket.

Thanks to the Gents for their wonderful hospitality.

Match report by Craig McNaught.

Groot Drak vs Newlands Squirrels – 07 November 2021

It’s been ages since the Squirrels visited Drak and we were very happy to reinvigorate what was always a fantastic fixture in the past.
Groot Drak won the toss and elected to bat first, which, given the overhead conditions might not have been the wisest choice. However, the rare prospect of setting a total was too appealing to pass up.

Quintin van der Westhuizen (13 from 25) and Christo la Grange (24 from 38) got off to a decent start, seeing off the new ball and playing a few shots, but neither could kick on to a big score.

Rikus Walters continued his epic form by putting on yet another steady half century at number 3, despite surviving several missed stumpings. Finally fulfilling his oodles of potential, young Chad Ayford hit an incredible unbeaten 82 from 72 deliveries, while Wade Robyn (8), Morne Maritz (5) and Claude Chantler (4) were strangled by some great bowling in the death overs.

Groot Drak posted a respectable 209 for 5 from their 35 over allotment – a total that, given the track, felt a few runs light.

Morne Maritz may have landed himself a permanent job of opening the bowling after his performance with the ball. His return of 3 wickets for just 18 runs in his 5 overs meant that he had to be pulled from the attack before finishing his spell. His first wicket was that of the Squirrels skipper, Andre Wagener, who edged one behind to produce the catch of the season (or any season) from keeper, Jono Boulton. The ball swung and then began to die before a full-stretched, one handed diving catch saw Andre depart for just 7. Obviously inspired by this catch, Jono put on a flawless performance behind the stumps, giving away not even one bye in the innings.

From the other end, Hugo Brink struggled to control the enormous amounts of swing he was getting in his first over, but settled in to a great rhythm to nab 1 for 33 from his 7 overs.

Craig McNaught (1/11 from 3) turned his arm over before bringing on the spin options of Bruce Taylor and Claude Chantler.

Finding great areas, Claude leaked just 8 runs from his 5 overs, picking up ‘Pukkie’ van Rooyen in the process. Tidying up the tail, Bruce Taylor was his usual unplayable self, narrowly missing out on his five-fer – taking 4 wickets for only 12 runs in his 5.4 overs. A sharp stumping saw the end of the Squirrels for 84 runs.

While the Squirrels were understandably rusty in just their first outing of the season, the game itself was played in a great spirit and we look forward to the next time we get to enjoy time out in the middle with the fine chaps from Newlands.

Match report by Craig McNaught

Groot Drak vs Scorpions – 30 October 2021

Scorpions always put together a fantastic team, which generally results in a humdinger of a game. Groot Drak traveled to Oude Libertas on the 30th of October, up for the challenge and keen to keep the friendly rivalry going.

Every once in a while, losing the toss can be a blessing, especially when the home team sticks you in to bat. With smiles all round, Groot Drak sent in Quintin van der Westhuizen and Francois Vermaak to face the new ball.

Both batters looked solid on a wicket that was hard to get to grips with. Quintin chased a wide one and nicked off for a run-a-ball 15, bringing Jono Boulton to the crease after an absence of several months.

Jono and Francois toughed it out until drinks, where Groot Drak found themselves 77/1 after 17. The Scorpions bowlers had kept things very tidy and made run-scoring nearly impossible during the first quarter. With a host of talented batsmen still in the dugout, the Drakies needed to get a move on if they were to post a respectable total.

Francois’ technique stood him in good stead before being gunned for 38 from 53, making way for Rikus Walters at number 4.

Jono Boulton (19 from 55) departed shortly thereafter, following an innings that wouldn’t have looked out of place during the final day of a Perth test match.

Rikus, going well, was joined by Alan Sherratt, brandishing a piece of willow straight from the shop floor. Alan found things a lot easier than the other batters, needing just 4 balls to smash his first maximum. From there he was relentless on anything near the slot and raced to 56 runs from just 36 deliveries. Alan’s first half century for Groot Drak could not have come at a better time nor at a better clip. A mistimed sweep shot saw Alan depart to the relief of the Scorpions, as Craig McNaught (19 from 22) joined Rikus, but struggled for timing before being mercifully run out in the final over.

With just two balls remaining, Hugo Brink (1* from 2) didn’t have much time to make an impact, while Rikus Walters ended his day with the bat, contributing a perfectly weighted 40 not out from 55 balls.

Groot Drak had gotten up to 197 for 5 from their 35 overs. The total felt a little light, but with a solid bowling attack, the boys were ready to make a fist of it.

After the break, Corrie Brand (0/28 from 7) was welcomed back to his usual role of opening the bowling with his twin cousin, Danie van der Nest (1/36 from 7). Both openers showed their fitness by bowling their full quota of seven overs on the trot. Danie managed the breakthrough in his fifth over when he trapped Johan Kapp in front for 21.

Bowling first change, Colin Myburgh (0/35 from 7) and Tim Whitfield joined the attack and kept the pressure on. Having not had a chance to bat, Tim was adamant to make his mark with the ball, which he did consistently from his third over, knocking over four Scorpions batters at crucial intervals. Among his scalps were Nico Ras, Andre Geldenhuys and Wiaan Smit – all of whom have hurt Groot Drak on previous occasions. Tim finished with figures of 4/39 from his 7 overs, agonizingly close to his 5-fer.

Despite Tim’s heroics, Scorpions were still firmly on top when Hugo Brink (1/33 from 3) was introduced in to the attack. After a disastrous first over that traveled for 20 runs, Hugo brought his length back and managed to pick up a wicket. Alan Sherratt (2/19 from 3) bowled a short spell of world-class leg spin and put Groot Drak right back in to the contest by nabbing two wickets late in the game.

Scorpions found themselves needing just six runs from the last over with only one wicket in hand. A friendly full toss on middle stump first up from Craig McNaught was met with a hoick towards the long on boundary, pouched effortlessly by Francois Vermaak to end the game.

Another epic encounter between these two sides, that could have easily gone the other way, has us all licking our lips at the prospect of the return fixture in January next year. Thanks to Kloppies and the Scorpions lads for their hospitality and for always showing us a great time when visiting Stellenbosch. We look forward to returning the favour in a few months’ time!

Congrats to Alan Sherratt on his man of the match performance, which went a long way to securing the result for Drak.
Special mention must also be made of Mike Divine’s contribution – giving up his Saturday to score and cheer from the sidelines!

Match report by Craig McNaught