Last Sunday (Sep 4) saw the start of the long-awaited Outrigger T20 season at the Alan Cooke Cricket Ground. Patong Cricket Club (PCC) took on Thalang Cricket Team (TCT) and both teams were vying to get on the front foot for the start of the season
After winning the toss TCT elected to field hoping to put some pressure on with opening bowlers Iqbal Malik (1-29) and Garry Lane (3-23). It was Lane who struck first in the 2nd over bowling PCC Captain Seemant Raju for just one run. Other opener Simon Wetherall looked to be settling in with a couple of boundaries, but Lane was soon on target again, bowling him out in the 4th over for 14.
Henno Jordaan then fell victim to Malik, being given LBW in the next over on his 1st ball. At 21-3 from five overs TCT’s plan looked to be working.
With Paddy Ledeboer and Hico McDonald at the crease, both ex-TCT players, and the rain falling, the stage was set for something special and the crowds were not to be disappointed.
With some tight bowling at one end from Craig Murphy (1-30), Ledeboer set his sights on leg spinner Martin Hill (0-46), and with some big hitting soon reached his half century just before drinks.
Roly Cooper (0-10) was brought on for one over, only to see one of his deliveries land on the pavilion roof.
The pair continued to score freely until Mudisir Rehman (1-29) ended the 100 run partnership getting Ledeboer caught by newcomer Jarad Spindel on 77.
Paddy Morton came to the crease with the score now at 121-4. With runs now hard to come by due to the damp conditions, Mortons straight shots found little reward, and he was soon caught out for 10.
Into the last over, McDonald was sitting on 44 and went for glory clearing the boundary to bring up his fifty, only to be caught the next ball. That left Neil Quail and Anthony Van Blerk to see out the over both not out on three and one runs respectively, and PCC 169 for 6.
With a run rate of 8.5 required, openers Lane and Cooper took 11 from the first in what only can be described as a “loose” over from Alex Runhaar (0-29) with Shivam Bhattacharya (1-11) bowling from the other end.
Lane and Cooper were rotating the strike nicely until Cooper was caught for nine runs by Quail running in from the deep, giving Bhattacharya a rare wicket maiden.
With Malik at the crease, another newcomer Aron Simmons was brought into the attack only to be warned on the first ball about bouncers. Malik made his intentions clear, playing some nice shots and clearing the fence on one occasion.
Just before drinks Lane was clean bowled for 18 by an accurate Jordaan (1-10). At drinks TCT were 58-2.
Hill, now out in the middle, was caught short trying to up the run rate, and run out by Simmons for one run. Malik was eventually bowled for 32 by Quail (1-11) in the 13th over. Murphy was also caught trying to hurry things along when a direct hit from Jordaan saw him go for a single run.
Morton (1-5) was now given the chance to turn his arm over and claimed the wicket of Spindel, stumped by Wetherall for four.
With the score at 80-6 after 14.4 overs TCT decided to declare, handing a much deserved victory to PCC.
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