On Sunday the 4th of December, Groot Drak played host to long-standing friends of the club, Western Province CC in the Alfie Cupido Memorial Game. A moment of silence was observed by both teams in remembrance of Groot Drak’s ex-captain who died suddenly on the field when these two teams met five years ago.
Honouring tradition, Groot Drak took to the field first, opening the bowling with debutant Van Zyl de Wet (1/10 off 5) and Joubert Kotze (0/17 off 5). Some accurate pace-bowling from the two seamers meant that runs were hard to come by, which forced some loose shots and provided a few half-chances early on.
The openers were replaced by Kudu Kotze (2/17 off 7) and Craig McNaught (1/19 off 6), who bowled a tight line until the drinks break. Whether it was something in the Oros or the heat of the African sun, the bowling radar malfunctioned somewhat and catching the ball became a challenge for the fielders.
The spinners, Jaco ‘Beesboer’ Swarts (0/18 off 4) and Angus ‘Dr. Evil’ Simmers (2/23 off 5), aided by skipper Bruce ‘Olieboor’ Taylor (1/9 off 3) did their job by frustrating the opposition and claiming some valuable wickets.
Western Province ended up with 118 runs from their 35 overs as both teams took a welcome lunch-break and a refreshing dip in the pool.
Aggressive from ball one, Groot Drak’ opening batsmen, Jaco Swarts and Joubert Kotze (8) gave the home team a solid platform, with plenty of batting to come. Angus Simmers was instrumental in seeing the shine off the ball and put on a vital 12 off 25 before being adjudged LBW. Another debutant, Tiaan Herbst (8) looked good, but got out cheaply as he made way for Morne Landman, who made a welcome comeback after a long, injury-induced absence – scoring 16 runs from 14.
Joined at the crease by Jono Boulton(2*), Jaco Swarts blasted an unbeaten man-of-match-winning 59 off 72 balls as Groot Drak comfortably chased down the required runs with 12 overs to spare.
A great day out was reflected on during an extended fines meeting, seeing a handful of exceptional performances celebrated and some less-than-exceptional performances punished on both sides. We want to apologise on behalve of out Captain Bruce Taylor that repeatedly referred to Neil Watson as Ken and also the WPCC as CTCC.
The two debutants, Van Zyl and Tiaan, were officially welcomed to the club via the initiation ceremony, introducing even more youth and talent to a wonderful group of cricketers.
Both teams convened around the braais and solved the world’s problems over a few frosties and in good company.
A wonderful day of cricket and camaraderie was enjoyed by all. We eagerly look forward to meeting up with Western Province Cricket Club in the New Year when we take them on in Cape Town.
MATCH REPORT FROM CRAIG MCNAUGHT