Cricket Results

Groot Drak vs Oxford University – 19 March 2024

Groot Drak had the honour of hosting the illustrious Oxford University back in 2019, where the game went down to the wire and resulted in a tie. Both teams were keen on going one-up when Oxford revisited Pickstone Oval on Tuesday the 19th of March.

After a brief pitch inspection, Oxford skipper Ben – who was part of the setup five years ago – was more than happy to accept the offer of batting first. Having arranged a fifty-over-per-innings match, the local (and far older) hosts were anxious to see what was in store for them.

The first over was bowled by local paceman Achille Cloete, who settled into his work well after finding some rhythm. Even though he managed two maidens in his first spell, the wickets column remained empty for now. Opening the bowling from the south was Groot Drak’s captain, Craig McNaught (1/33 from 6) who started with a maiden and picked up an early wicket to see Oxford 13/1 in the fourth over.

The visitors took advantage of the bowling changes and were looking set before the first drinks break. Conrad Schultz (0/33 from 6) and Alan Sherratt (0/69 from 10) created some half-chances and were both unlucky to not pick up a wicket.

Robbie Hardwick, batting at 3, looked a little shaky for Oxford to start, but eventually started to time the ball – he chalked up a fifty and shortly after that a century, which saw him retiring in the comfort of the clubhouse.

In his second spell, Achille Cloete (2/63 from 10) forced a very necessary breakthrough, but Oxford were firmly on top at 196/2 after 34 overs.

Having played countless matches at Groot Drak, Angus Simmers (0/37 from 6) and Colin Myburgh (0/44 from 7) bowled better than their figures might suggest, as the youngsters from Oxford started to accelerate, sensing a big score.

Unfortunately, Quintin van der Westhuizen was asked to bowl towards the end of the innings and was taken for 51 runs from his 5 overs as the students amassed 343/4 from their 50 overs, with a run out from the last ball. Three of Oxford’s top five had put on scores of 90 or more.

At almost seven an over required, Daryll decided that the young visitors should be dealt double shots of brandy as they saluted the Groot Drak flag and made their way back on to the field after a short lunch break.

Groot Drak’s most successful opening pair for quite a few seasons, Quintin van der Westhuizen and Rikus Walters were asked to face the music first up.

While the duo did their job in seeing some of the shine off the new ball, both Quintin (16 from 26) and Rikus (8 from 27) got starts but couldn’t convert.

A further flurry of wickets saw Mark Nel (4 from 22) and Jaco Carstens (13 from 11) depart early, bringing Conrad Schultz to the crease with the score on 40/3 after 14 overs.

While Conrad dug deep, wickets continued to fall cheaply around him; Alan Sherratt (7 from 22), Morne Landman (0 from 4), Achille Cloete (1 from 3) and Colin Myburgh (9 from 12) succumbed to a combination of good bowling and poor shot selection as any hope of a close game sailed swiftly out the window.

Groot Drak were 102/8, with 22 overs still remaining when Craig McNaught joined Conrad at the crease to start picking up the pieces. The two managed a 59 run stand before Conrad was finally adjudged LBW for a hard-earned 70 from 59.

Angus Simmers, batting about 7 places below his usual spot, walked in at number 11 and looked in fine form as he carved two boundaries behind point in successive balls. Unfortunately Groot Drak’s skipper, Craig was clean bowled for 36 from 29 bringing the game to a close, leaving Angus stranded on 13 not out.

The fairy tale ending was not meant to be for the veteran Drak side, succumbing to the superior fitness and skill of the Oxford clan, losing by 167 runs in the 40th over.

After the comprehensive result, both teams gathered on the pitch for a beverage and Richard von Hoesslin’s ever-informative walk down memory lane. A few well-deserved fines were enjoyed in the shade before wishing Oxford all the best for the rest of their tour with a promise to be in better shape for a rematch down the line.

Match report by Craig McNaught

Groot Drak vs Craig Matthews Band – 04 March 2024

After a few years of fixtures being rained out, we finally got to meet the lads from Craig Matthews Band. The visitors were highly spirited and eager to bat when skipper Sam won the toss.

Things didn’t start terribly well for CMB, with Craig McNaught (2/12 from 4) getting rid of both opening batters and Johann Agenbag at the other end just as good with the new ball, recording figures of 1/11 from his 4 overs, including two maidens.

Fresh off a World Cup victory for the Proteas Over 40s, Pieter Booysen joined the attack and was, quite literally, unplayable. With steep bounce and genuine pace, conceding just 3 runs from his 2 overs, Pieter had to be removed from the attack prematurely to make way for Herman Fourie and Bruce Taylor before drinks.

Bruce started with a maiden, but deteriorated big time as he travelled at 8 an over, somehow picking up a wicket from a full toss that was spooned to mid-on for an easy catch. Pushing up the hill, Herman Fourie took a few deliveries to find his length as he offered a mix of offies and leggies to the middle order. A super catch behind the stumps from Jono Boulton and a leggie that went through the gate gave Harry 2 wickets from his 4 overs, while he conceded 27 runs.

Young Callum Woolley (1/20 from 4) was sublime after drinks as be bowled in very good areas and picked up a well deserved wicket. With the opposition in serious trouble at 8 down, the two wicket-keepers in the side, Jono Boulton and Mark Nel, were asked to bowl to the tail.

The plan back-fired with both part-timers claiming a wicket and brining the innings to a close in the 25th over. Craig Matthews Band had been bowled out for 132.

After the lunch break, the Booysen brothers were given the opportunity to open the batting for Groot Drak.

Albert Booysen (27 from 25) did his best to keep his brother on strike as Pieter put on a batting masterclass. Finding the fielder on only a few occasions, Pieter Booysen breezed his way to 51 from just 20 deliveries before retiring in the shade.

With the game firmly in the bag, Wessel Lourens (17* from 26) and Mark Nel (21* from 13) didn’t have a huge amount of work to do as they guided Groot Drak to victory in the 15th over.

The game may have been won, but the players were all keen for another knockabout, so a quick 10-over-per-innings match was organised, which was a fair deal tighter than the first game.

After all was said and done, both teams enjoyed a beverage on the pitch and then dished out fines in front of the clubhouse. Thanks to Sam and the rest of the CMB chaps for a lovely day – we look forward to seeing them all again very soon.

Man of the match: Pieter Booysen

Match report by Craig McNaught

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