Monash University CC News

Gryphon 2’s vs. Mornington @ Mornington

By Anna Broomhall

8th February, 2009 – Gryphon 2’s vs. Mornington @ Mornington.

This report comes from a very upbeat Skipper this morning – well upbeat about our game yesterday at least, the thought of the people affected by the fires sobers me up quickly, but I’ll try and remain upbeat as I talk about the reasons for my upbeatedness (upbeatity?).

We had a bloody great game yesterday. Yes we lost, but it was one of those days where we took it to the opposition and made them take the win from us. If it hadn’t been for one bowler of theirs who was too good for a lot of us yesterday, with the dropped catches and chances they missed it could have very easily been a different result. Anyhoo, as my favourite singing ex-nun always says, let’s start at the very beginning (it’s a very good place to start).

After the awful heat of Saturday, it was quite strange to be driving the 45 minutes from my new house to Mornington in driving rain… good ol’ Melbourne weather. I met Lush and Cat in the car park and after admiring (and photographing) Linda’s magnificent bruise, we rolled up our pants and headed out into the centre where we admired the lovely lush green grass (grass? At this time of the season? What’s that???), and I decided it was high time that I actually won a toss so we could have a bat first. Obviously hearing my thoughts (or perhaps my vocal announcement), the gods laughed and gave the Mornington skipper her first win in weeks, and unlike the last two weeks actually decided to do what I wanted to do first. The cheek of it!

So we headed out into the field, one fielder down as Emma headed north to help her family in the fires and knowing after the last time we played them that the young openers liked a good tonk and to get the run rate moving quickly. Unlike the last few games where I have managed to keep it tight in the first few overs, they took to me early, hitting runs off most balls – 1 dot and 13 runs in 2 overs is not how I usually like to start. X learnt the value of consistency at the other end as her first 4 balls were dots and then she was despatched for 6 runs in her last 2 as her line and length just slipped slightly. They didn’t allow you to relax at all, and any slightly off ball went for runs. It ended up being a good challenge for both X and I and we started to pull it back from them, forcing them to hit runs off good balls rather than waiting for the bad ball in each over.

While young Attitude had the ball swinging a mile into the wind, I was struggling to get it to move at all but eventually in my 4th over I managed to push one wider outside off and she went for it, only succeeding in scooping it up to Scooby (who is racking up the catches this season) at a wide and fairly short mid-off and we were away. The next over I had a chat to my young friend and asked her to keep it outside off and I pulled myself in from fine leg to a traditional fine and fairly deep first slip. With no fine leg protection, X’s first ball was absolutely perfect, pitching on middle and leg and swinging away, and it clipped a thick edge and flew quickly straight into my waiting hands – one of those catches where you notice the writing on the ball as it’s flying to you and you know you’re going to swallow it. Love it. So that was both the openers gone and the run rate really starting to pull up.

Unfortunately that was the signal to my brain to switch off and I paid for it dearly the following over as I slipped it down leg 2 balls in a row, both going to the boundary – one that Kiwi proved about 2 metres too short for but still made a valiant attempt with an impressive vertical leap, but off a ball that Lush and I both agreed was rubbish and in no way deserved a wicket. So I brought Kiwi on for a spell, with our favourite umpire assuring me that she was allowed to bowl her 10 straight through if I decided that was the way to go. And after her couple of balls *insert appreciative whistle*… she had the batsmen who had started to look a bit more confident against me completely bamboozled and eventually snuck through to the stumps on the last ball of her first over. Brilliant.

Ella came on at the other end and also learnt her lesson when she sidled down leg and went to the boundary, but after that she turned the screws and we had them struggling to keep the scoreboard ticking which allowed Kiwi to do her thing. And do her thing she did as she had Jo and Cat impressed with the whizzing sound the ball made out of her hand. A perfect nut fell just short of me at slip after which I was admonished by Jaffa for groaning and commentating as it happened rather than concentrating on catching the ball… it was about 6 inches too short anyway but when the bowling is that good, I can’t help but make noise as I watch it. God it was good to watch too. The fourth wicket was that of the skipper as Kiwi ripped a quicker ball through, it cut back from a perfect length and the leg stump nearly knocked Jaff over behind the stumps.

After that the batsman seemed to get a bit more set, well not set but apparently more determined to not get out as Lush eavesdropped on their end of over conversations and after a 30-odd run partnership X decided to give her new reputation as a high catch specialist another boost as she swallowed a ripper at square leg as Kiwi got them attempting to sweep and got a top edge – X mate, you’ve come a long way from the start of the season. KB was doing great work at a very fine leg, listening to Lushy’s bellowed instructions and getting behind the ball and we were really putting the pressure on – after they had raced to 60 odd, they crawled to their 100. Meanwhile Cat finally got her textbook gully catch and Kiwi got her 4th wicket and no batsman was safe.

KB was rewarded for her good fielding work with the ball and a shot at the batsman and after a shaky first over she hit her line and length and with Laura keeping it tight, they had to go the tonk. Her 4th over they finally succeeded, hitting 2 x 4’s and we all knew it was only a matter of getting Scooby in the right position for the catch – the next ball the batsman proved us right as Scoobs chalked another notch in the scorebook with a good outfield catch above her head.

Jo came on for a couple and again they couldn’t get her away either – everyone was doing their bit, Kiwi and X were a great tandem duo at square and fine leg respectively and taking every opportunity to knock each other over. But we were ON… the backing up was there, the relay throws between X and Ella on the boundary couldn’t have been done better if they practiced it for 10 years, the hustle was there; Jaffa laughing on numerous occasions as 3 or 4 blue hats raced in and converged on the ball.

I came back on and after bowling too straight the first couple of balls, I finally got the ball to move away and was glad I decided at the last minute to put Cat at first slip as she took a lowdown specie after the ball found a fine edge – brilliant catch. That was the last wicket of the day as X finally no-balled herself out of the game in the last over and Laura unable to get a fifth wicket but ended with spectacular figures of 4/12 off her 10 overs. Can’t ever ask for more than that.

So we went into the break chasing 140 and after one of the best bowling and fielding performances I’ve seen in my time at Monash – I think the greatest thing above everything else, above the brilliant fielding, great bowling and magnificent catching was that we managed to keep the spirit up. Everyone was laughing and joking, but we knuckled down, switched on and did what we had to do. At the drinks break the umpires had advised us that we only had 65 minutes to bowl 20 overs and everybody did what Lushy and I kept asking and hustled through at the end of each over, moved position quickly when I stopped play and asked them to move (which seems to happen regularly), the bowlers got back to their marks quickly and we ended up racing through the 20 overs with time to spare, earning vocal appreciation from both umpires (gee it was nice to have 2 proper umpire!).

For the 2nd week in a row I had Scoobs and Cat around but this time had the luxury of them opening the batting and they got off to a steady start, pushing the balls into the gaps and strolling the singles as the fielders were back protecting the 2s and 3s. The change of bowler did Cat however and knocked her stumps over as the wind picked up and was doing funny things with the ball, Lushy was her 2nd victim not too long afterwards and I headed out into the centre. Scooby’s NY resolution seems to be “give the opposition a go” and again they couldn’t seem to take the catches – a low down hard catch at midwicket hit the ground, as did a more straightforward caught and bowled… Scooby very casually looking on as I suffered heart attacks at the other end. I made it to drinks but fell soon after, Joe gleefully giving me a sendoff after I was adjudged LBW… why oh why did we have to have a good umpire who knows the meaning of LBW the one week I don’t manage to land one and the one week I manage to get hit on the toe on middle stump???

The partnership between X and Scoobs was handy and we accidentally forgot to keep track of Scooby’s runs which we only noticed when she was on 52, so it was the loudest acknowledgement of a 53rd run that I’ve ever heard. She just kept on a-truckin’ and didn’t look like stopping until she took on a fielder one too many times, the last time minus a bat in her hand and she trudged off with 73 to her name.

After that we fell pretty quickly and only put on 18 more runs to the total – Kiwi, Ella (with a brilliant shot out through mid off for 2), X (after following my not-fully-thought-through instructions from this Skipper and told to tonk after playing a brilliant innings with some great straight drives), Jaffa, Jo and KB all contributing but just not quite enough and Mornington got over the line.

I don’t think I need to dot point our team positives this week, hopefully my praise and appreciation for the team effort is clear this week but because I like dot points, let’s do some anyway:

  • Special shout out goes to Kiwi – as the 1’s had a 2-day match, I only get one player of the round for the last 2 weeks and her combined efforts of 7/20 off 18 overs get her Player of the Round. When you add in her fielding performance as well… a stubby holder doesn’t seem a big enough prize but it’s all you get I’m afraid. Awesome.
  • Scooby gets a long distance high 5 for another great innings with the bat and ridiculous energy bounding around the field.
  • KB your fielding was much improved this week and it was great to see some real enthusiasm on the field.
  • X – mate, great fielding, great bowling to a set field after discussion with me and nice to see your keenness to have a shot with the bat, there was some great shots in there and you followed my instructions perfectly!
  • Jo, Cat and Lush – always nice to have you out there with me and in your usual spots, advice at the ready and always lifting everybody else with you.
  • Ella – we all saw that shot, no more ducks for you! Your bowling is improving every week and you’re reliable as ever in the field – great effort.
  • Last but never least Jaffa – I always love hearing your laugh out there, always contributing and encouraging and always such a positive presence in any match in any situation.

2 games left Gryphons against the top 2 sides – no time to slack off, let’s take it to them and give them hell!

Emma I hope everything is ok with you and your clan, see the rest of you at training!