The first hurdle to overcome was finding the playing 11 due to the regulars being away. Thankfully, a different kind of internet-wrangling and few of my mates agreed to fill in.
With start time pushed to 12:45pm, HACCC won the toss and decided to take the field, in glorious sunshine, against Marlborough Blues outfit. The format, timed game with 20 overs from 5:30pm.
Alas, after all the drama during the week, unfortunately we still ended up with 10 men on the day. This turned out to be the first set back for the day, as we were missing our strike bowler.
Do what you can, with what you have.. With that motto in mind, I decided to open the bowling at one end with with my mate Gowri from the other end.
It was a steady start from the hosts HACCC, after a couple more chances just evading fielders, the breakthrough finally came courtesy of an inside edge onto the stumps of S Heranjal. Then new boy Gowri got in on the occasion, with a sharp in swinging yorker to claim his first wicket of the day.
T Burne and De Boinville looked to steady the ship for the opposition. Looking to change things up, S Yadav and A Das were brought on. They bowled good line and lengths but luck was against them as the two batsmen looked to get away with a few.
Drinks : 135/2 in 21 (I was given a warning for slow over rate)
With T Burne and De Boinville making the most of any bad balls, Marlborough Blues were looking comfortable with both the batters getting to their half centuries in quick time. HACCC, though, hadn’t bowled or fielded too badly, yet we knew we would need wickets soon to make a fist of it.
Looking for a breakthrough and speed up the over rate, our bowling quickly reverted to spin with Runkel and Faj on from both the ends. Both were very deceptive with their flights and picked up wickets in quick succession but could not stop the inevitable as their no.1 T Burne recorded a century. Wickets continued to tumble at one end with T Burne holding the fort at the other.
Despite these wickets, the runs were still pouring in for the visitors as they edged over 300 with some brutal hits. The visitors decided to declare the innings at 301/9 with N Runkel and H Faj finishing with figures of 4/69 and 3/52 respectively.
Teas : MBCC 301/9 T Burne 128, De Boinville 63, N Runkel 4/69, H Faj 3/52
After a sterling tea courtesy of sandwiches, crisps and beers from Costco, HACCC headed back knowing that runs would need to be scored quickly.
A Das and P Brierly opened up, the latter getting clean bowled to traipse back to the dressing room for 1, before A Das joined him getting stumped for 10.
That, evidently, was not the start the hosts had hoped for, but L Casey and V Sinha were now together at the crease and tried to steady the innings with a partnership of 16 runs.
L Casey was then unfortunate as he was dismissed caught and bowled by a great reflex catch from W Caldwell. The wickets started to tumble down like a pack of cards with V Sinha, A Shrimali, Gowri and S Heranjal hardly troubling the scorers. J Arkwright, the off spinner being the danger man for opposition, claiming 5 wickets.
With the score at 37/7, S Yadav and H Faj held the tail together. Both of them making the most of any bad balls. S Yadav was dismissed after a partnership of 13 runs with the total score at 50.
Our last man, N Runkel walked in with the score at 50/8, blocked out a few balls. It was the Faj & Runkel combo again who held the fort for the HACCC. Their partnership lasted 15 runs (second highest of the innings) before N Runkel was given out LBW.
End of match: HACCC 65/9 H Faj 17*, L Casey 14, J Arkwright 5/39, W Caldwell 2/11
That meant a fairly resounding 236-run defeat. The gap between the two teams could have been so different if only we could have been more patient and focused in the way we went about with our batting. One other factor was the regulars not being available for the game. Yeah, the 11th man does make a difference as well on the field. The scorecard – which makes for miserable reading from a HACCC perspective – is captured below in the page.
HACCC MVP: With a few regulars showing a few signs of rustiness, it was down to the old boys to show us how it’s done. N Runkel was deceptive with the ball and patient with the bat but for his 17 not out and three wickets, it can only be Henry Faj.