The day dawned fine and sunny after a deluge of rain on Saturday night, with all the cricket missed with the recent rain some players were apprehensive that we may not get a game in against the Sydenham Cardinals.

But sterling work from Ant had the covers off early revealing a very dry flat looking pitch and a somewhat wetter outfield.

The 2 captains agreed then to delay the game by half an hour and play a 40-over game, this suited the Cardinals as they normally play 20/20 cricket on Saturdays, and 50 overs may have been a stretch.

Having won the toss we elected to bat first, figuring the still slightly wet outfield might prove challenging for their bowlers. The Cardinals then proceeded to use their normal bowling strategy of taking a bowler off if they had runs scored off their over or did not get a wicket. This saw 10 different bowlers bowl one over spells before the process started again, in fact, it was not until over 15 that we lost a wicket so finally normal bowling spells could resume.

Our openers then got us off to a very solid start then, Craig Gibbs with a hard hit 40 retired and Tony Penny supporting him well with 23, with those 2 gone we struggled to keep the momentum going and apart from Richard Breitmeyer with a breezy 20 we paused somewhat in the 90s before a rearguard resurgence saw us through to 139, Lance Ryan ending with 25not out the mainstay.

Apart from Geoff Olsen, all our bowlers were of the slow variety and while Geoff’s opening spell of 5 overs for 6 runs was superb, and Craig Gibbs also bowled 7 overs of very tight off-spin, 3 of their first 4 batsmen were brutal on our other bowlers.

There certainly appeared to be more 6’s than 4’s hit and we could simply not stem their onslaught. There was however one nice little highlight just prior to the end of the game when Bert Walker cleaned bowled their Skip, Ben Larter, that wicket only slightly slowed their progress as they eased past our total in the 26th over.

So a well-deserved win to the Sydenham Cardinals and a great team to play, very enthusiastic and full of energy on the field and I am sure they all enjoyed their day at the Valley.

Phil Harris