After 3 years since we last had the pleasure of hosting the Southern Cavaliers from Washington DC, we recently had one of the most enjoyable games played at the Pickstone oval in a long time.
With normal touring side traditions upheld, the visiting side was put into bat and after very tight spell from the two opening bowlers – Craig McNaught (2/19 from 6) and Ian Nel (1/20 from 5), wickets began to fall quite regularly. Special mention needs to be made of the spectacular catch down the leg side by Jono “eat your heart out Klaasen” Boulton – an effort that really got the Drakies’ tails up.
A great effort put in by all – albeit that this author may have or may not have dropped their highest scoring batsman when he had just open up his account – the limited spread of bowlers all did well,with Eddie Cloete and Bruce Taylor pitching in with 2 wickets a piece.
There were some easy let-offs by Groot Drak with a number of misfields and dropped catches, yet Groot Drak kept the Cavaliers to a respectable, yet chasable score of 206 runs from 40 overs.
What should’ve been a reltively easy target to chase down by normal Groot Drak standards, did not go as planned with a few cheap wickets falling quite early on. Making a guest appearance, Dave Bakker carved out a well played 32 runs for the Drakies. But once again, Captain courageous, Craig McNaught, walked in and put on a magnificent score of 71 runs not out off 88 balls, well supported by Jono “eat your heart out Klaasen” Boulton (12 from 35), giving the entire team hope of actually achieving the target.
However, some of the most spectacular wrist spin from the Cavaliers was enjoyed more from the umpire’s position than that of the batsman’s crease, while the seamers supported with some great line and length. Groot Drak fell short by 25 runs. The result was the first time that the Cavaliers had beaten Groot Drak and the overall tally now stands at 2-1.
The camaraderie was enjoyed by all in the pool with a few frosties, after which a very festive fines meeting was held.
The lamb on the spit dinner topped off the evening of old friendships being renewed and new friendships being formed. Testament to this was how both teams enjoyed each other’s company well into the night, along with the all important lesson of “champ” was learnt.
We look forward to the Cavaliers touring South Africa again and hopefully we can put Groot Drak back on a winning streak.
Man of the Match: Craig McNaught
Match report by Sean Petzer