On the 23rd of April 2016 CPCC ventured into the country of Malaysia for the first time. This was the second last game on the 2016 tour of Sri Lanka, Singapore and Malaysia and the result means that Collaroy Plateau are undefeated in Malaysia! The game was against the Jolly Wallabies, in Johor Bahru, which is on the Southern tip of the Western Malaysian island, near Singapore.
A big thanks to Tiny and Ralston from the Jolly Wallabies for sending through the following match report. I’ve bolded CPCC player mentions.
Collaroy Plateau Cricket Club – 4/215 off 35 overs
Jolly Wallabies – 119 off 31 overs
The Jolly Wallabies always appreciate and enjoy a visit from an overseas team; who else are we going to play? On the ANZAC weekend the skipper did the right thing and invited our visitors to bat given that our rain Guru’s were predicting precipitation at 3pm sharp. Oh ye of little faith!
Usually it will be a Singapore based team that travels over the ditch for a game. Recently, though, there have been a couple of teams travelling over a bigger ditch, visiting from Australia. Sunday’s game was against one such visitor, being a team from Collaroy Plateau, a beach-side area to the north of Sydney. This team had just travelled to Sri Lanka for a few games so had already acclimatized to the heat. There goes one of our natural advantages against ‘out-of-towners’.
As anyone who knows about Australia and cricket will tell you, they play to win Downunder. So we were ready for a hard fought game. Anyway what knock-about serious suburban cricketer can afford a trip to Sri Lanka, Singapore and Malaysia anyway! Lambs to the slaughter, was the whisper in the Jolly Wallabies’ change room, although, they carried an enormous amount of kit so they distinctly had a professional look and feel to the team.
Openers Cameron and Horstead took to the crease and stayed there a bit longer than we are used to seeing with Immy firing in from one end and Nippy teasing them with slow medium “floaters” from the other. The first two overs passed by harmlessly but it was clear that these guys had their game face on. Immy’s second over was punished with 3 fours scored and it wasn’t until his 4th over that the first breakthrough came. Horstead had hit 5 fours in a good innings of 24 runs. Cameron did his bit to keep the score board ticking over and scored 26, including 4 fours. In the end, he fell to a brilliant stumping when he stepped out a bit far to chase a ball from Vicky. But at 1 for 43 and then 2 for 90 in the 17th over we were up against it.
Minnett, the second tallest guy in the game, came in at number 3 and his first ball was a typical ‘watch me get the tall guy out with a yorker’ delivery. He fished it out, giving a lesson to yours truly in the process, and stuck around long enough to whack 5 fours, including a couple of glorious ‘front foot plonked down the wicket’ drives. In the end he tried one too many and a well hit drive went straight to Lefty and he hung onto an excellent catch off his own bowling as if his life depended on it. He had scored 24 runs.
Wheeler, obviously new to the game, came in at number 4 and took a while to get his eye in. He’d done so by the time the first bowl was hurled at him and he continued swinging the bat from the Get-Go. He didn’t play the spinners that well if I may reach for a consolation prize here, but he punished the balls he did get hold of and amassed a six and 9 fours before retiring at 50.
Davis was more incremental than some of his team mates, scoring only 1 four in his innings of 17. After he’d faced a few overs there was talk that he might retire soon to give others a bat. In the end he thumped one at Vicky who caught it off his own bowling. That was the last wicket to fall at 4 for 176. It must also be said that Vicky held on to a missile while keeping off the bowling of Immy.
Albanese and Ball batted out the overs, scoring 19 and 16 respectively. After 35 overs, Collaroy Plateau had scored a respectable 215 runs for the loss of 4 wickets.
Well the view was if they can do it and now that the sun was out and we were expecting the track and outfield to quicken up then surely we had to be a chance? Of course we also had some big guns sitting in the shed waiting for their turn to come out guns blazing. There was also some talk about these Aussies burning and wilting in the tropical sun. So out marched Digger and Sachin to open our innings. I looked away for a minute then suddenly saw Digger standing behind me. ‘Hurry up mate, the game is about to restart’, I said. ‘It already has, mate’, he replied.
I was told that the first ball had bounced halfway down the wicket and is commonly called a ‘true gift’. I have also heard them called pies. ‘Leave it, ‘true gifts’ don’t actually exist’, Digger apparently thought to himself. ‘But it is a ‘true gift’, I can’t just leave it’, he then thought. And for some reason that only he will know he poked his bat at the ball as if he was giving fielding practice to an Under 12s slips cordon. The slips fielder couldn’t believe his luck and took the catch. The score 1 for none.
Now for us to make a serious challenge we had to get off to a good positive start and get some momentum before the “canons” in the shed could T off in the last 10 overs. Sadly this was just not going to be our day.
Sachin held up his end and played a couple of classic shots, including a fierce pull and lofted cover drive straight out of the screws. Sadly as he was settling in for a big one he tried to whip the ball to leg and got a leading edge. He was caught and bowled by Allomes for 15. The score stood at 2 for 27.
We look forward to Sachin knocking in his new bat ( I am sure the Aussies amongst us fondly recall on Christmas morning getting their new bat and making a bee line to the backyard to hit a ball tucked in a sock on Mum’s Hills hoist) and coming back for another game with us in the near future when his Malaysia-team duties allow.
Vicky never looked comfortable and on several occasions looked towards cow corner but he did hit some big fours, before hitting a full bunger down the throat of Bennetts who was positioned at mid wicket and half way to the fence. A poor shot. Vicky was out for 25. The score 3 for 52 in the 12th over. Lefty by his high standards had an average day with the ball, but skipper decided to promote him in the batting order as we had fallen behind the required rate and we all know what lefty can do when he’s on song. Now cricket is a funny game and I am yet to see a batsmen who is given out LBW walk back into the shed and say “I was plumb”. In short he was given out LBW for zero off Albanese. Judging by the way he threw his cricket gloves down once back in the change rooms, he didn’t agree. There was a whole load of bat on that ball just before it hit his pads, apparently. But Brad is not one to change his mind and a finger in the air is a finger in the air. 4 for 52 was the count.
We were now in serious trouble as we were unable to force the score along, wickets kept falling and we were unable to build a partnership. We were staring down the barrel.
Tomo – special mention here for his commitment; he took a bus, train and taxi to get to the ground from Singapore that morning – was still pushing the ball around, more teasing the bowlers than punishing them, when Ralston joined him at the crease. Between the two they added 50 runs before Tomo was bowled by Ball for 9. Perhaps the heat got to Tomo and he was ultra careful so the shadow of Geoff Boycott was large this day.
This brought Tiny to the crease. He was pretty keen to make at least one run after a couple of golden ducks in his last two innings. Well it almost happened again with Tiny having to jam down on the very first ball much to the relief of all his team mates. A shaky start saw a couple of wayward shots that thankfully escaped the hands of fielders. But then a couple of reasonable shots – if I do say so myself – pushed him to 4 before he attempted a run off Ralston’s leg glance and “sprinted” down the wicket to what should have been a reasonably comfortable run. He grounded the bat three inches short of his crease only to have it dig into the dry ground and stop dead; no sliding. Having missed the crown jewels with the upright bat handle he was too slow to get his foot in. Square leg put his finger up and Tiny was on his bike and on his way back to the sheds. What’s that I hear? A whisper from a fielder … ‘shall we call him back?’ The clouds parted, or was it the sweat in my eye?, and a voice spoke ‘come back mate, have another go’. Never let pride stand in the way of a good time is something of a family motto so I took their very sporting offer to bat on. Hitting the next two balls for four felt fantastic and prompted some speculation that perhaps they had been too kind. But never give a sucker an even break is also something of a family motto, and I was pretty happy! A couple of overs later and Tiny was really on his way back to the pavilion with 18 runs after a drive went straight to mid-off.
Calling Tiny back was a great sporting gesture and Dave their captain is to be congratulated for this.
Immy was next up and we all sat back in expectant awe. The bowling had been tight but not outstanding and if anyone can take the willow to the opposition, Immy can. Sure enough, a four off the first ball. But in an eerily repetitive performance from the week before when he hit a six then went out on the next ball, he went out on the next ball. Caught by Davis at mid on off a crunching on drive which had to be caught before it crashed into his chest. Prakash had a swing and hit a four with his second ball but was clean bowled playing all over a straight break. Yoga and Farhad faced a few balls each but added little to the scoreboard and that was it; all out for 119 off 31 overs so once again we failed to bat out our quota.
Top scorer for the Jolly Wallabies was the “old bloke” Ralston who finished exhausted on 28 n.o. and was heard saying after the match, that today any innings that he top-scored in must have had more than a few problems.
Regardless of a slightly uneven score line, a great day was had by all and as usual there were a few cold beverages enjoyed after the game.
We very much look forward to perhaps one day joining our Collaroy mates under their beloved Water Tower to sink a few Tiger jugs.
Tiny & Ralston