Monash University CC News

Gryphon 2’s vs. Knoxfield @ Home

By Anna Broomhall

22nd February, 2009 – Gryphon 2’s vs. Knoxfield @ Home

Last week I sat here unsure of how to start writing the match report as for the first time all season I had very little positives to say about our performance.

What a difference a week makes. Today I’m sitting here wishing I could read you the following match report as a) I have sexy husky “I had a big weekend” voice (well at least in my own head… to everyone else I’m sure it’s croaky and scratchy “stay away from Anna because she had a big weekend” voice) and b) I’m not sure the written word will convey my excitement quite as well as I’m sure my sexy husky voice could. But anyhoo, we’ll see how I go.

Yesterday morning saw me arise with a grumble at 7:03am in the lovely seaside town of Port Fairy where I had attended the wedding of some very good friends. While I tried to be quiet as I got up and quietly gathered my things for the long ride home, I then had to thump on the door of my mate’s room to grab the garage remote so I could hit the frog and toad. As she glared at me through the crack of the door while I explained she had something I needed to leave, she pulled out the “for god’s sake, go back to bed… it’s only a game of cricket” statement that all non-cricket people tend to pull out on such occasions. While I didn’t dignify it with a reply at the time, I had 4 hours to think about it as I drove the long and lonely road back to Melbourne (insert your ‘awww’s here).

What is it about this game that would make me drive 4 hours on a Sunday morning just so I could participate in a game that would not have any bearing on a finals appearance? Firstly and as I said yesterday, I couldn’t end my season on the game last week. Second – I love playing cricket. I love everything about it. I love being out there with my teammates, having a laugh and playing good cricket, so the last chance to do that for 8 months was certainly appealing. But the thing that clinched it for me, was that we have come a long way this season. Each and every person that has played for me this year has worked their bums off – whether it’s at training or on game day or both, whether in the scorebook or in the unrecognised things, everyone has contributed and because of that, I didn’t want to relinquish the honour of captaining the Monash Uni Gryphons Second XI for the last game of the season. It was every one of you that pulled me out of bed yesterday morning.

Naturally I blame you all for how I’m feeling right now.

That said, let’s actually get to the part of the match report that actually has some reflection on the match shall we?

My second win of the toss in a row ended with the same result as I put Knoxfield into bat. For the 3rd week in a row we had a full XI named, but I have become cautious with my Happy Full Team Day proclamations as the last 2 weeks have seen late withdrawals leaving us one short. 2 minutes from the start of play we were on the ground keeping an eye out for Ann and her appearance had us cheering while she was looking flustered – apparently even the boys in blue were feeling the love for the Gryphons as she was pulled over just as she turned into the street but upon hearing her panicked “I’m supposed to be on that ground playing!”, the kind policeman said never mind and she arrived with seconds to spare.

Good start to the day and it got better and X and I finished our season as the opening act well – I was back to my tight self and they couldn’t get away and after Steve did some work with X on her runup on Wednesday, she was racing in and the bounce she was getting on the syntho was astonishing. Jaffa felt the brunt of X’s bowling brutality as well as she copped a bouncer in the mouth – while she was lucky to keep her teeth, the nice new seam left two marks on her top left and a nice gash inside her mouth as her lip smashed into her teeth.

Watching from slip was awesome as she aimed some at the head of the batsman and the bowler in me was screaming for a Yorker after one particularly nasty bouncer that seamed in right at the batsman’s chops. Not wanting to give the batsman a heads up, I stayed quiet (astonishing I know) and crossed my fingers for a good followup. X you’ve come a loooong way… the Yorker that followed was brilliant but unlucky as the batsman just managed to get the toe of her bat in the way of the middle stump – that’s the real fast bowler mentality we’ve been looking for, and it was executed to perfection.

The hustle that was missing last week was back in a big way and there was some brilliant ground fielding – B was left wringing her hands at square leg as she stopped one that was belted her way, Cat and Ann diving all over the place at gully and point and Ann thrashing all competitors in the “Who Can Get Dirtiest” stakes – the competition ceded victory after Ann took a forward dive and sprawled in the dirt while the ball bounced an inch in front of her hand. Everyone was really switched on. X was unlucky after a dropped catch at square, but again it wasn’t a case of Brit getting tickets, it was a well directed short ball, and the batsman couldn’t get the free swing, went for it anyway, got the top edge and straight up.

At the end of our opening spells, we were both wicket-less but we had them 0/22 off 10 – the fielding and bowling line was keeping them under control. B came on and gave them the width they were looking for but as it was outside off, they couldn’t get it away – finally the Cross-Batter spanked one looking to get it past Lush but with wide eyes and cat-like reflexes she caught it crocodile-style and it stuck – great reflexive catch in short as it was coming at a rapid pace.

The next batter kindly gave B an invitation for a wicket by showing all her stumps and she took it with a pitched up slower ball on off which knocked her over, and suddenly it was 2/0 from 2 balls and B on a hat-trick. With Ella on from the other end to take the pace off the ball and race through her overs, we were at the other end and everyone crept in close for the hat-trick ball. Great ball it was too and with a widish first slip and a short gully the batsman edged it straight through the gap – it bounced ahead of us anyways, but always heartbreaking as a bowler.

Ella got a wicket for her 2nd game in a row as again a good line forced a bad shot and it went hiiigh and straight up. I stood under it waiting for Jaffa to call it if she wanted it with the gloves but apparently I looked rather set and immovable so as it was on the way down I called it and it was just perfect to gobble up at shoulder height as I do (against Steve’s instruction but it seems to work for me!). So we now had them at 4/36 off 15 and the hustle was still being maintained – backing up, relay throws, all good.

Cat had a catch stolen from her again this week, this time of her own volition as I had her at square leg and after seeing Ann’s action at gully, she asked if she could come back into her usual spot – next over one popped up and X was looking excited at short midwicket until Cat’s replacement Emma called for it from square and swallowed a good catch. It’s always a good sign when multiple people want the catch rather than the weeks where everyone stands and waits for someone else to take on the responsibility.

B’s 4th and final wicket for the day was an unusual one as she offered up a gift of a ball pitched short and down leg, the batsman was never in control of the shot or the bat as she let go with one hand and the bat smashed into the stumps on the downward swing. KB took up the challenge from the other end and started her spell well, as requested she kept it outside off and again the fielding was preventing any easy runs. She was rewarded with a great keepers catch that neither KB, Lush or I heard from but both Jaffa and Cat went up as Jaf took a great keepers catch and so did Tilly’s finger which is all that matters.

With Shannon (aka THE Tonker) coming in, I took the opportunity to take drinks and we went in at 6/43 which is a brilliant start in anyone’s eyes. Emma came on against the two lefties and struggled initially, going for 15 off her first over as her natural swing took it down leg and learnt that Shannon’s strength lies in anything on leg stump. Her second over was a vast improvement on her first, pushing the line and getting it nearly right when I suggested she switch to around the wicket which would make her normal swinging ball a good length in-swinger to the lefties and it worked a treat – while occasionally the ball still swung down leg and went for runs, she had even the Tonker struggling on a couple, one beauty that cut back sharply, cut her in half and just bounced over middle stump.

Scooby managed to get stung by a bee in the meantime so her and Lush headed off to tweeze it out and while I asked if we could have a minute to allow them time, we had to bowl one over in the meantime so I kicked Emma off and took it on myself – it’s hard enough bowling to Tonker but when you’re 2 fielders short, the gaps start looking very big. After her good start, KB was starting to struggle with an offside line against the lefties, unlucky on many occasions with the wide calls, but as I’ve said before – I’d rather one wide outside off than a legside ball going for 4.

X came back on and she finally was rewarded for her good work with a great slower ball Yorker that banged into the bottom of middle and off and made a lovely Thunk sound that Lushy heartily approved of.

That was the last wicket for the day as Shannon hit runs willy-nilly, Scooby, Em, Cat all doing great work on the boundary as I pulled them in for the non-Tonker and pushed them back out whenever they scored a single. Emma’s figures look worse than she bowled as she went for 36 off 4, when facing Tonker if you get it wrong you know it’s a boundary but when she got it right she got it very right.

Try as I might I couldn’t get a wicket which bugged me no end – I thought I might have got an LBW go my way and there was a couple that missed by a coat of varnish as I finally had a week where the swing was doing what I told it to. I thought I had one more chance when Tilly called 2 overs to go and so I brought X on for what turned out to be a debacle of an over. After a no-ball full toss went to the boundary and then some byes as a quicker one went straight through Jaffa, Tilly called out (quietly) that it would be the last over, X panicked and bowled rubbish. Sorry X. She should have been no-balled off as she bowled her 3rd waist-high no ball (the batsman was charging 2-3 metres out of her crease so tough on young Attitude) but Tilly must have forgotten the first one because even after I pointed it out, he kept her on. He tried to end it on a no-ball but I was bellowing for everyone to stay put as the last over requires 6 legal deliveries… it was all happening. Finally it came to an end, Knoxfield landing on 165 off 36 overs.

With batting not our strength this year but knowing that Knoxfield don’t have a great bowler like Mornington, I thought we might give it a shake. The start that Scoobs and Cat made, Scooby in particular, was breathtaking as the opening bowler dropped way too short and they lapped it up – the first 3 overs went for 22 and I was delighting in being Foghorn Leghorn as B delicately put it and bellowing out the score every couple of overs. After 6 overs the run rate was still at 6 an over and the boundaries were flowing as we reaped the rewards for great placement, fast outfield and some absolutely shocking fielding. Finally Scoobs was caught and Ann headed into replace her.

Her first runs came from a boundary and Cat caught on fire at the other end – after her first 9 runs came in singles, the scorebook then reads 2, 1, 2, 4, 1, 4, 1, 2, 2, 2 etc etc… running like a demon. Catches were going down like beers at the wedding on Saturday night and Knoxfield were doing everything they could to keep us in the game. For the second time this season Ann picked the wrong fielder to smash one too, and it was smashed – Shannon was wringing her hands for 5 minutes afterwards and Ann was shaking her head. Jaffa headed in and picked up the pace straight off – she might be tiny but her junior bat was swinging all over the place and B and I started to lick our lips at the rubbish the bowlers were serving up. Still the catches were being dropped and Jaffa raced to 10 before they finally hung onto one and I sent Lushy out – despite her kind offer to let me jump up.

Lushy also got a couple of beautiful shots in while Cat brought up her 50 with a magnificent four – her innings highlight had to be the straight drive to the boundary but it’s a struggle to pick just one.

In a fitting end to the season, Cat and Lush were out there when the winning runs were hit with 4 overs to spare – on a big ground, that’s scoring at over 5 an over and the highest run rate we’ve had by far all season – what an awesome way to end the season – made even better when most of us stuck around for a barbie and some beers while X recovered from her ridiculous sugar high.

Now we have presentation night in April so I won’t waste all my material now but I have to mention a few things.

First and foremost, a massive round of snaps go to Lush who made my job so much easier than it could have been this year, who organised anything that needed organising, put her hand up to open when she didn’t particularly want to do it, reminding me to do the fiddly stuff on game day and stepping into the breach when I was pushed up to cover State week. While presentation night consists of awards for scorebook contributions in the, your contribution this season was above and beyond 5-wicket hauls or half centuries and it has certainly not gone unappreciated.

To the senior girls (I mean experienced Gryphons rather than senior citizens I promise!) – Cat and Scooby when they finally made it down to us in the 2’s (ahem), Ella, KB, Tahlia, Jo and Jaffa fits in this too even though she was a Hawk – everyone pitched in this year with Steve off with the 1’s, scoring, square-legging, helping set up and pack up, car pool… aside from your efforts out on the field, you also helped ensure our games happened and I got to spend my Sundays out doing what I love. Thank you all!

To the newbies! X, Kayla, Emma, Kiwi, as well as Sharni and Hero at the start of the season – I hope you all can see how far you’ve come this season (*cough* X *cough* Kayla) because each of you have come along in huge leaps and bounds. Kiwi it was great to have you with us for a couple of games, and to the rest I hope we see you with us next season, bring it on baby!

To the experienced Hawks who helped us out throughout the season, in particular Raylene and Ann but Lynsey and B thrown in there as well – it was great to have your experience out there, offering advice and enjoying a tonk in the middle. Thanks for your efforts to get down this year.

There is plenty for me to say but not enough time for me to do it in so you’ll have to wait for Presentation night – I hope to see most of you next Sunday for Snap and Jod’s retirement dinner, details will be announced as soon as they’re available.

Thanks again for a fantastic season, I hope you’ve all enjoyed yourself at least half as much as I have, bring on 2009/10!!

Finally - we won our last game baby! Awoohoo!!!!!