December 8, 2018
Leading up to the derby, I was extremely grateful that a couple of mates who cared for my mental state went out of their way to give me advice. It was along the lines of taking the fear of getting hurt by the ball and just go and catch it. I think we can put it into perspective a similar quote by the Patches O’Houlihan character played by the late Rip Torn in the sports comedy Dodgeball, whose dialogue was “Can someone catch the god-damn ball.” Pretty strong point indeed.
Furthermore, my mates seem to think I was overthinking things a bit too much and suggested I just relax a bit. One of them suggested to perhaps whistle/hum a song. Worth a try, I thought.
Anyways, I got transferred back to Vasu’s team, and perhaps my old-team would not hesitate to take it to me on Sunday. I’ve noticed that we had 12 people, so I was hoping not to bat at all. Not so much to hide from their chirps but more so with the warm weather and my past history with cramp, Vasu thankfully agreed to my idea of me batting 12 and just open and closing out the bowling innings with Simon Edmonson once more.
December 9, 2018
Playing at the Nest was a different feel to playing on all the other grounds around the territory. The ground was indeed huge, but the grass was evenly cut, so if we get the ball in the gap, we can get value for runs even if we time the ball. No different to Freebody 1 or the Kingston Oval I played on in Sunday Social a couple of years ago.
Now for the toss, Archie won the toss and decided to bat. Perhaps getting a whiff of me opening the bowling with Simon, he was going to open with Lindsay Thompson alongside Andrew Loveday. Thommo was going to do some pinch-hitting since he was given a license to go from ball one. In retaliation, Vasu said to me, depending on how it goes, he may take me off after two overs if Thommo got stuck into me.
We got off to the best possible start in the first over. Loveday out, third ball presenting a high ball catch to Jaymin Bhatt at mid-wicket before Simon only conceded just two runs. 1/2. I came on. Thommo was circumspect as was the new man Darren Walker. Apart from the sprayed off-side wide, Thommo only clipped one to deepish mid-on. I had wanted to protect myself from Thommo’s onslaught with that fielder together with a man at cow-corner. Neither man was required at all. In my next over, Thommo did try to swing me over to the Raiders Club only to present a simple catch to Vasu at mid-on. 2/9. I nearly got a second when trying to take a caught and bowled off a hard hit by Darren Walker only to hit my thumb and still go for four.
It hardly mattered. Daz in the following over chipped Simon straight to Adam O’Connor at mid-on, and again, the Yellow 5s had another top-order collapse. Duncan Gammage batted well to steady the ship and featured in two good partnerships. He added 40-odd with Brenton Furze before Furze missed Jaymin’s cutter and clipped the balls before adding 32 with Luke Snowie before on track for a fifty; he chipped Chakra straight to Rahul Desai at short mid-wicket. What a shame, but we would take it. Duncan out for 45, Yellows 5/91.
Having slacked off a bit, we regained the ascendancy and rolled them for 139 in the last over. Andy Brains chipped Adam straight to Vasu at mid-off before Gurjiv slapped me to Adam in the same position. Snowie, who held the innings again with 40 edged Adam into Dan Heinrich’s gloves before Jaymin cleaned up the innings firstly by getting Archie to chip a catch to Simon at mid-wicket before yorking Dom Ross after he slogged his way to 15 runs. Jaymin finished with 3/25 off 7.1 overs, Simon 2/29 off 8, Adam 2/23 off 6 overs, and myself 2/25 off 8.
It was nice to see some support for the derby, especially with the likes of Jak Wilcox and Jarryd Hatton (although much is definitely left to be desired with his choice of clothing). It is nice to hear Jak give me a wrap with my bowling. He was pretty impressed with my run-up and was delighted that I pitched the ball up. I had told him it was the first time I was bowling at the Nest and was under the impression that it would be a belter if our club captain Rhys Healy made a double hundred on it.
Anyways, back to the chase. We needed 140 to get against a decent attack on Paper. Andy Brains, Luke Snowie, Thommo, Gurjiv, and Dom Ross, I thought, will probably offer us no quarter. So it was terrific to see that Rahul Desai and Kris Ravinuthala got us to a perfect start by adding 66 for the first wicket. There was some drama, though. Rahul presented a sky-ball off Gurjiv’s bowling only to fall in between Luke Snowie and Duncan Gammage. That was certainly a lucky break, and it can undoubtedly be really annoying when it really happens if you are the fielding captain. No wonder Archie got his troops together at the end of that over. Furthermore, Kris shouldered arms but wasn’t given out LBW. It looked certainly close but not quite a wicket.
Anyways, the Blacks lost three quick wickets before drinks. Rahul skied a catch to Brenton at mid-off for 34. Dan Heinrich played around a straight one from Luke Snowie and had his castle rattled for 6 before Ronak Desai misjudged a delivery from Dom Ross and went back rather than forward. We were 3 for 77, but Kris was still there, and he went on to make a very good fifty in the presence of his dad at the other end. Kris added 33 with Jaymin (who made 16) before adding the remaining 30 with his dad (who hit the winning runs and finished with 23). Our side won the derby comprehensively by 6 wickets with just over 10 overs remaining.
The great thing was we all got together to sing the song, which was indeed an impressive club spirit. While it was indeed an official fixture in terms of the 5th-grade competition, but in the end, at least the club got a win on that weekend.
Personally, I would have liked Archie’s Army to win the derby to hopefully still stay in contention for top-four. It’s just unfortunate that they haven’t quite got the rub of the green in the moments that mattered the most, but you hope that one day it will all click together, and they would re-start building the momentum. They can do it. They just need some luck to go their way and just run away with it.
I was happy though to reunite with Simon. Once again, we worked together as a bowling pair and made crucial in-roads in both this game and the ANU White clash back in October. We, along with Adam, can be a capable trio for the Blacks as long as we play as many games as we can. Unfortunately, it’s not going to be the case as I’ll be away until mid-January.