Monash University CC News

Gryphon 2’s vs. Pakenham @ Home

By Anna Broomhall

2nd February, 2009 – Gryphon 2’s vs. Pakenham @ Home. A home game! Huzzah!

Well it is a happy Monday morning in one respect – while I am at work (sigh), I am at work safe in the knowledge that we had a fantastic win yesterday baby! Awoohoo!

For the first time this season this week actually involved a selection process with more players available than spots in the 22… even on Friday I had Helen ring me to see if she was able to get a spot… crazy times in the Gryphons camp. With Scoobs and Cat joining Kiwi (or Laura if you like) in coming back down to the 2’s (and god it was good to have them back), KB and Ann had the opportunity to take a week off in bloody stinking weather. Although at least it cooled down enough for us to play after a horrible week of 40+ degrees.

For the second time in as many games I arrived to find Terry waiting to officiate and started to wonder if he’d had a chance to read the rulebook on his week off. After my 3rd lost toss in a row (2009 really doesn’t like me), for the 2nd week in a row the opposition Skipper apparently liked me and did the opposite of what I wanted to do so not a bad start to the day as I started to try and think of a batting order. Knowing that Cat and Scoobs and Raylene have a strong batting history against Paky, I tried to think of a way to get as many people as possible to have a hit. And what better way to control when 1st drop comes in than to open the batting myself! A bonza idea that I came up with 3 minutes before the start of our innings while I had trackies and thongs on so a frantic change later I headed out into the centre with Rayls to get the game started.

I lasted 6.5 overs before I thought enough was enough and it was time to hit out or get out… or in my case both as I smashed one and discovered there is a downside to having a beautiful new bat… when you hit a ball it goes a lot further towards the fieldsman standing at deep fine leg than my Kookabura (or “piece of pine” as Steve affectionately called in at training) ever did. In fact it lands straight in her hands and I wandered off with only 4 to my name. God it felt nice off the bat though. Anyhoo, Sheeana (now Jaffa to her teammates) headed in to face the music… or the bouncers as it so happens after the first change bowler took a liking to little Jaffa’s head and started aiming all her balls there. After knocking it around with Rayls and keeping the scoreboard ticking, she finally copped one in the scone and this Skipper was getting riled up on the sidelines as bouncer after bouncer was ignored by our umpire. While Jaffa was rather impressed by her blood stained sleeve at the drinks break, I was less so and wandered over to have a chat with our friend Terry who assured me that despite her injury, none had been aimed at her head. Raylene’s solution was to try and smash the bowler out of the attack but unfortunately the bouncer was aimed a bit too high and so just managed a top edge to the in-close fieldsman.

Welcome back Cat headed into the centre and was more successful in standing up to Bully Bowler and walloped her second ball through midwicket for a couple and then despatching the next ball from shoulder height through gully for another 2. A 10-run partnership was ended when Jaf copped a ripper through her defences and knocked the stumps over. Ella headed out to join Cat and didn’t fare any better, getting a brilliant Yorker first up that shattered the stumps again and the old opening pair of Scoobs and Cat were reunited in the centre.

And it was just as good to watch as it was when they opened every week last season, although a stomach in my feet moment when on the hat-trick ball Scoobs decided to give them a shot and edged it to slip who fumbled an absolute sitter, the keeper dived and just missed it… a word to the wise, I will kill anyone who drops my hat-trick ball! While Scoobs made her run a 3 from the non-strikers end, Cat was rather pleased when after that start, Scooby decided to jump straight into the boundaries rather than mucking around with 2’s and 3’s – 4 x 4’s in her first 15 balls and Scoobs raced to 25 at better than a run a ball. Cat was going along nicely when she was suckered in by a rubbish multi-bounce ball that snuck through and just tipped the bail off and she walked off in disbelief and Lush joined Scoobs in the centre. A great partnership followed as Lush gave Scoobs the strike whenever possible by knocking the singles and Scoobs punishing the rubbish balls to the boundary – absolutely BELTING one through squarish fine leg, flat, hard, two bounces and it walloped into the fence.

She was in fine form when after a mid-pitch conference her and Lush decided to take on the close-in fielder who already had it in her hands and they casually sent Scoobs packing just after reaching her 50. By that stage we were 129 for 6 and we added 3 more for the total, losing Jo after she followed my instructions and went the tonk but top edged it straight up, and Tahls couldn’t get the last 3 balls down leg side away. We only faced 34 overs (extra drinks break sucked up the time and the heat slowed the fielding side down) and ended on 132 – not a smashing total, but we knew if we got off to a good start it would be tough to chase down on a large ground on a hot day.

And a good start it was too. After 2 dots, the batsman got impatient and went the swing through square leg – while X was thankful that I changed my mind and moved her fine, Kiwi camped under it as it went hiiigh and swallowed it beautifully. Welcome to the 2’s little one! X being X and determined to not let me get near her on the wickets table did a little “anything you can do I can do better” action and on her 4th ball the second Tonker of the team went out to deepish mid-on where Talia after a few uncertain movements just stood tall and took it above her shoulders – a great confident catch and we had them 2/3 off just 2 overs – the wicket also giving us a chance to admire Lushy’s leg that stopped a cracking shot off the middle from about 3 metres away. Not much fun for Linda but god it looked pretty!

I could only manage maidens for the next couple of overs and X was racking them up down the other end – her first 3 overs had a wicket in each as she decided she didn’t need fielders and the batsman slooowly played on, while I managed to snaffle a lolly at slip and it was 4/14 off 6. I thought I better let someone else have a bowl before X got through them all, so Laura came on from her end and whew… magnificent right from the start, cutting it into the batsman and baffling them with her highly spun offies on a perfect length. So while she kept it tight at one end, they thought they better smack me around and another tonk went out to Kiwi who just couldn’t keep out of the game or her name out of the scorebook and she took another well-judged catch out at square leg giving me my last wicket for the day.

Kiwi was only rewarded with minimal runs until her 5th over she finally popped it up a bit higher and another lolly was swallowed by Ella in close – ending a beautiful friendship that had formed between the good-natured Pommy batsman (who was endlessly amused by my enthusiastic appealing) and our Jafffa. After a partnership got going and a few runs started coming from one end, Cat was much less amused than I was after I moved her from her stomping ground in gully out to square leg and I brought Tals in to have a break and of course an easy catch spooned up to the gully region, again off young X who now had 4 wickets and was chasing her 5th.

It would seem that younger Kiwi had other plans however and once her 30 minute break was up I brought her straight back on and after a tight first over, she managed to get the Pommy Skipper to loop a high one in the air – I moved towards it a little too lazily for Ella’s liking after claiming it with a loud and rather lackadaisical call of “that’s mine”, and while I supposed I could have let Laura grab a caught-and-bowled, I stole it leaving Lush rather indignant on Kiwi’s behalf. What’s the solution? Make the next one pop up on the other side away from me and take it herself? Bang! Done two balls later and that was Pakenham done after their final batsman was suffering in the heat and not willing to come out to give X a shot at her 5th.

Some great positives yesterday –

  1. The catching was superb – Kiwi’s two out deep at square and Tals deep catch in particular, if Pakenham had snaffled the 2 they dropped it would have been a whole different ball game but we made them pay when they put it in the air. The old “Catches win matches” was proven again.
  2. Ground fielding – fantastic work by Scooby, X and Kiwi in the deep stopped a lot of runs, one dive by X at square leg in particular worth a mention stopping a certain 4.
  3. Bowling – we didn’t let them get away at any stage, kept it on a good line outside off. Great work from everyone – even when they took to Jo, we pulled it back and kept it tight.
  4. Kiwi’s first week in the 2’s – apart from brilliant ground fielding, 3/8 off 8 and 3 catches to go with it equate to a Player of the Match performance. Great work mate.

So that makes it 4 wins from 6 games – we’ve got great momentum going in to the last 3 weeks which will be challenging against some of the ladder leaders. 3 weeks and we might be having a loooong rest so let’s throw everything at them!

Great work everybody, congratulations and bring on Mornington!