Cricket Results

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

Groot Drak vs Spin Doctors – 10 October 2021

Having the opportunity to bat first twice in successive games was one that Groot Drak cherished on Sunday, when they took on their good mates, Spin Doctors. With Vitalis having prepared a belter of a wicket, combined with one of the strongest batting lineups in a while, there were bound to be a few runs scored.

Settling in nicely to his role as an opening bat, Quintin van der Westhuizen got off to a flying start. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for his partner at the other end, Jaco Swarts, who lobbed a long hop to point without troubling Ken Lumb behind the scorebook.

Bruce Taylor was catapulted up the batting order to number 3, where he looked to “stabilize” the innings and enjoy some rare middle time. He managed to nudge 21 useful runs before lofting a leg glance to fine leg.

Rikus Walters joined Quintin at the crease and struggled to find the middle early on, but importantly, didn’t get himself out. Fortunately, Quintin was seeing it big and as his innings went on, he heavily favoured the boundaries over quick ones and twos. This stood him in good stead as he passed 50 with relative ease and went on to smash 76 from 57 balls.

Making his home debut for the club, Francois ‘Frenchy’ Vermaak came in at 5 and wasted no time, dealing in fours and sixes from the get-go. Rikus started to find some rhythm and became the second batter to pass 50. From there he decided to really kick on.

These two great friends were clearly feeding off of each other’s positivity, while simultaneously draining that of the bowlers. Some massive sixes were dispatched in to parts of the ground that haven’t been explored since the moon landing. Rikus was eyeing three figures and Frenchy was looking to cement his middle-order spot with his new team. Not to be left out, Francois also joined the half-century club as the run-fest continued and Groot Drak breezed past 250 with 3 overs to go.

An almighty pull shot into the car park for six had Rikus celebrating an incredible hundred, rubbing further salt in to the wounds of the Doctors, who had nowhere to hide on a flat track.

The last 18 balls of the innings went for 46 runs as Drak recorded a monster total of 297/3, with Francois not out on an exceptional 68 from 44 and Rikus not out on 114 from 77 deliveries. Sean Petzer, all dressed up with nowhere to go, had spent around 25 overs with the pads on and unfortunately didn’t get to face a delivery.

Both teams enjoyed a very welcome half-time break and some time in the shade before heading back out for the run chase.

Having done nothing other than cheer from the clubhouse, Craig McNaught and Tim Whitfield were the only non-spinning Drakies and were tasked with opening the bowling.

Craig (1/12 from 5) found some swing early on and managed to keep the runs down by bowling full, outside off. Reluctantly pushing up the hill, Tim took some punishment early on in his spell, but gathered momentum and earned a wicket for his troubles, finishing off with 1/27 from his 6 overs.

Bowling first change, young Ethan Williams (0/26 from 3) struggled for rhythm against the Spin Doctors’ firing middle order and was replaced by Claude Chantler – another in a long list of ‘did-not-bat’s.

Helping out for the day was Dawie Morris (0/34 from 7), who bowled some super off-spin and was unlucky to not pick up several wickets. Claude (0/45 from 6) toiled hard and was on the receiving end of some good batting, getting paneled for 7.5 runs per over by Rodders (72) and Thoks (32).

Dealing with some severe pad rash, Sean Petzer was eventually asked to join the bowling attack. With several variations, his bowling flummoxed the batsmen as he pocketed 4 massive wickets and recorded his best bowling figures for Groot Drak – 4/34 from 4.

Bruce Taylor was his usual wily self, tying up the game with four overs for 15 and two wickets for his efforts.
Spin Doctors were bowled out in the 34th over for 198, securing a 99 run win for Groot Drak.

Despite the rather one-sided result, the game was, as always, played in a great spirit and with plenty of humour to boot. Thanks to load-shedding, a few drinks were shared in the dark before the players went their separate ways.

Best of luck to the Doctors for the season – we look forward to seeing you all again very soon!

Match report by Craig McNaught

Groot Drak vs Melkbos Fellows – 03 October 2021

Groot Drak and the lads from Melkbos Fellows have been struggling to get a game against each other for three years. Sunday the 3rd of October was almost a repeat incident, with rain predicted for the entire weekend, threatening to push the fixture out yet another season. Luckily, the cricketing gods were in a good mood as Sunday’s weather was nothing short of glorious.

The day also witnessed a very rare event at Groot Drak – a coin toss, which the home side won and, for only the second time in many years, were able to set a total on home soil.

MC Uys (15 from 10) and Quintin van der Westhuizen (17 from 16) started well, but both fell just as they looked settled. The early breakthrough precipitated a top order collapse of epic proportions as Sean Petzer (5 from 9), Chad Ayford (9 from 14) and Wade Robyn (2 from 3) couldn’t wait to get back to the clubhouse to re-watch Saturday’s rugby highlights.

Claude Chantler (12 from 11), surprisingly still conscious after his bachelor party just a few hours prior, managed to get going but couldn’t follow through on a promising start.

At 69/6, the decision to bat first was starting to look about as smart as taking a surfboard to the Kalahari. In full consolidation mode, Craig McNaught and Tim Whitfield sought to salvage what they could from a hopeless position.

With both hands firmly on the Pacman prize for eating all the dots, Craig could only manage 18 from 38 before making way for Morne Maritz at number 9. At the other end, Tim was all over the bowlers like a rash, surpassing 50 runs without taking any risks. Morne smashed two massive sixes on his way to 29 from 19, adding some seriously valuable runs in the last few overs.

Michael Langenhoven (2 from 4) had a brief stint at the crease before Danie van der Nest (5 not out from 7) did his best to keep Tim on strike. Tim, in the meantime, was batting like a man possessed and had muscled his way to 99* with one ball left in the innings. Tensions were high as his teammates willed him towards the magical three-figure mark from the pavilion. A yorker-length delivery outside off saw Tim shoulder arms and let the ball through to the keeper. Fortunately, eagle-eyed umpire, MC Uys signaled a wide and asked the bowler to try again. This time, Tim threw his hands at the ball and got a healthy edge that ran down to third man for his two most significant runs for Groot Drak thus far. There was a huge celebration from the clubhouse as everyone congratulated Tim on his unforgettable 101* from 78 balls.

Somehow, Groot Drak had recovered to a monstrous total of 237 for 9 after 35 overs.

Returning from a long absence, Danie van der Nest opened the bowling and picked up both openers after they had set a sturdy foundation for the rest of the Melkbos Fellows. Michael Langenhoven (0/25 from 5), who last played for Groot Drak several years ago, also made a welcome return and backed up Danie, pushing up the slope.

Some great middle-order batting meant that Tim Whitfield was constantly under pressure bowling first change, receiving similar punishment to that which he had dished out in the first innings. Morne Maritz (1/18 from 4) was superbly economical down the hill and showed his true colours as an all-rounder.

Resorting to removing pace from the ball, Claude Chantler (0/36 from 7) and MC Uys were asked to turn their arms over with the batters squarely on top at 150/4 with plenty of overs remaining in the day.

We’re not exactly sure who cursed MC before the game, but there were definitely some dark forces at play, as no fewer than 5 chances were spilled from his bowling. Not what was needed in a game destined to go to the final over.

Tim (2/41 from 7) rejoined the attack, this time with some off-spin. This was clearly a good move as his first ball uprooted the stumps and put Groot Drak back within shouting distance.

MC soldiered on and managed to break the hoodoo – first with a sensational, full-length diving catch in the deep and then by picking up three quick wickets to strangle the run-fest.

Danie returned for his second spell and ended up with figures of 2/34 from his 7 overs – putting the game out of contention and securing a 41 run victory for the Drakies in a game that seemed to ping pong between likely winners every few overs.

It was great to finally play against the Fellows from Melkbos and we wish them all the best for the season ahead.
Congrats to Tim on his maiden century for Groot Drak and for scooping a well-deserved ‘man-of-the-match’ accolade in the process.

Match report by Craig McNaught