R3 Nov 12 2016 vs Parnell: Over the Bridge

The weather didn’t look too auspicious for our first trip over the bridge and away from Fortress McFetridge to visit the old rivals, Parnell at Shore Rd, and after having managed to round up a doughty 11 after lots of help from the extended Tossers community, there we were. Grey clouds and a decent dump (of rain, thank you) just before kick-off meant it was vital to have a say in what we did first. Fortunately the Head Tosser was away and we had Real Tosser leading us today – having casually and confidently secured a winning toss, RT confidently decided to bat first under grey skies with a wet outfield (i.e. wet ball to stymie their formidable attack). Steynkie valiantly   volunteered to open with “where’s my average?” Cheese and away we went on to a brisk opening stand of 44 against some pretty good bowling before a misunderstanding let to MS’s unfortunate runout      for a bright 27. Real Tosser (Stu) then joined RTB and they basically took the game away from the Remuera Ratbags with a great 120 run partnership. RTB decided it was about time he got an average so  nicked one,  Planty’s finger went up, and he was finally on the board (is 266 a good average?) for a miniscule 65. RT went not long after for an excellent 64, Mike van Staden contributed a breezy 24 including  2 sixes off about 5 balls and looking really good, before Andy (8), Glen (8) and the pensioners (Planty 7* and DLM 5*) took us through to an impressive, given the conditions and the excellent Parnell attack,  227.

 

With the wind humping across the field, Spencer pinned the Parnell batsmen back from one end while the Manager tossed his 95km/hr javelins down from the other end. Spencer’s miserly approach and Manager’s wind-assisted boomers soon had the oppo on the back foot, one of Manager’s wickets almost cartwheeling the middle stump of a Parnell opener to the fine leg boundary, and they were 31/2 for after 10 and seriously behind the 8-ball. Between showers and with some diligent rubbing (of the ball) from RT, Neil replaced Spencer and bowled his usual smorgasbord including the odd long-hop, serious heat, played and misseds, and of course the obligatory two dropped catches in the field before snaring the wicket of Parnell’s top scorer and most dangerous bat to a stupendous diving catch by DLM (I lied about the stupendous bit, but DLM did catch it. Yes, seriously.). Parnell was still battling run-rate wise, but were trundling along with plenty of wickets left and we could take nothing for granted.

Once Manager had burned the shine off the ball, Glen came on, off a one-step run-up, and bowled even faster than Manager if you can believe that. Mark (“where’s my hammock?”) Steyn took a very good reflex catch in the covers off Glen’s bowling once he’d woken up and as a result earned a bowl. I think it was actually his twin brother as the on-a-hat-trick chap from last week wasn’t quite there today but he did still manage to bowl a very economical 6 overs for 35 with nothing in the wickets column and drag the game back our way – well done Mark, I think. Glen’s rapid and interesting repertoire enabled him to finish with 2 wickets and Mark’s parsimony from the other end helped us to wind down the game through some worrying showers, and with a very tidy MvS over at the end we finished with a relatively comfortable victory against a team we always approach  with a fair amount of respect and trepidation. HT’s leadership, astute bowling changes, field settings and quiet confidence obviously playing a big part. The game was played between two pretty good, if generationally advanced, sides in an excellent spirit and the way cricket should be played – seriously, amiably and fairly.

We then adjourned to the Parnell clubrooms for some Heinies and excellent after-match conversations where the deeds of the day earned their rightful magnifications. Thanks very much to the Parnell guys for both the game and your great hospitality afterwards. We’ll look forward to returning the favour in the next round and it is much appreciated. As a political point, I had a conversation with a couple of the Parnell guys (prior to Sunday’s headlines) who also feel Lou Vincent has a substantial amount to offer cricket going forward, especially kids cricket, and would welcome him back with open arms. Maybe Taka should take the lead in this.

Those of us with a pink ticket or long leash went back to the club for the post-mortem and club results – all I’m going to say about this is that the vibe and  food is excellent, it’s really building the club spirit and our President, Carl Howey, is doing a great job compiling the results and getting everyone engaged. Please make the effort to come down if you can as it really is what our club is all about.

All in all a good day – Parnell shared a day with us of what cricket is all about, the weather didn’t get in the road too much, the mighty Tossers are trundling on, and Taka’s vibe just reinforced it.

Cheers and please let me know if you’re available for Saturday against Suburbs New-Lynn at the Fortress  (and thanks to Steynkie for the photos).

 

Manager

 

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