Saturday the 12th of November saw Groot Drakenstein take on Overberg rivals, Elgin Cricket Club at Pickstone Oval. The early overhead conditions looked perfect for pace bowling, with plenty of cloud cover and a lively track, as Groot Drak took to the field with ball in hand. Colyn Myburgh and Phillip Lotter (0/40 off 4) started the proceedings – bowling to a very determined-looking opening pair from Elgin.
Some very sharp work in the field from Ryan Stemmet, finished off by Philip Lotter, saw the opening partnership broken with a rare run-out.
Myburgh got the second breakthrough in the 7th over, during a notably impressive spell, which included 4 maidens, finishing with impeccable figures of 13/2 after his allotted 7 overs.
The bowling changes were frequent as Elgin started to steady the ship, with Ryan Stemmet (0/47 off 7) and Pierre Fourie (0/4 off 2) only just unable to pick up a few much-needed wickets.
The spin bowlers, Bruce Taylor (40/2 off 7) and Wynand Grobler were introduced after the drinks-break, in the hope that taking the pace off the ball would force an error from the batters. It did. A sublime caught-and-bowled from the skipper, followed just a few balls later by another wicket, put the pressure squarely back on the visitors. Grobler (29/2 off 7), who picked up 2 valuable wickets, was unlucky not to bag several more, as catches were put down all around the park, while Elgin’s number 5 batsman romped to 85 not out off 95 balls.
After their 35 overs, Elgin had amassed 190 runs for 7 wickets, leaving Groot Drak the daunting task of beginning the run-chase with 5.4 runs required from each over.
Eager, for whatever reason, to watch the Springboks take on England after the game, the lunch-break was quick and the players were back on the field to resume play in no time.
A slow, but rock-solid start from the opening batsmen, Christo La Grange (16 off 41) and Gary Seaman, saw a great foundation being laid for the bigger hitters later on. Seaman was caught just 2 runs short of what would have been a well-deserved half century.
Gert Uys (8) and Ryan Stemmet (6) were out cheaply as Colin Myburgh and Wynand Grobler were sent in to try and salvage some pride for the home team, who were more than 100 runs shy, with the required rate above 8 runs to the over.
Watching from the clubhouse, the spectators were treated to some big hitting from Wynand Grobler, scoring 24 not out off just 9 balls, as well as a perfectly-paced innings from Colin Myburgh – in the end, seeing Groot Drak comfortably over the line with a man-of-the-match-winning performance – finishing on an unbeaten 75 off 48 balls.
After the match, the fines were quick and brutal, with almost 20 drop-catches from both teams during the day’s play!
As is usually the case at Groot Drakenstein, the game was played in a fantastic manner, with all 22 players leaving the ground happier than when they arrived. We look forward to another exciting game against Elgin when we face them again next year.
MATCH REPORT FROM CRAIG MCNAUGHT