Sorry for the long report below, but winning against the Blue Raiders is always something to savour, let alone when you have to play the first part of the game short a couple of players.
A brief discussion about the state of the pitch, with both sides expressing some reticence about playing, was succeeded by a lost toss from the Gladstones, and the prospect of fielding on a very wet outfield for an extended period of time with just 7 players. It quickly became apparent why the Blue Raiders had reluctance of their own to play, as they only had 6. However, two of their guys were allowed to bat again (as per the comp rules), so their lack of players wouldn’t come home to roost for some time.
Early on the Gladdies were right on top, with Rob jagging an early LBW and Lach knocking over the other opener with his first ball. But their number 3 got to 40 off about 20 balls, and we didn’t take another wicket for 15 overs. At 2/122 at drinks, it was looking ugly, and the ‘injustice’ of the lost toss was starting to bite. But not long afterward J.Ryan, flushed with the success of completing his first full semester of uni in, well, more years than the Gladdies have been going, was injected into the game, and the tide started to turn. Jimbo’s wicket tally was benefited by one of the most outstanding catches in Gladdies history by Chris Le Lievre, Andre picked up a couple, and the scoring rate was significantly pegged back.
The two Raiders retirees came back, but despite a couple of boundaries, no really great damage was done, and we bowled em out for 192, with Rob chiming in with 2 more wickets, Chris chiming in with the wicket of their slogger, and Tex chiming in for a couple of overs in the field and, more importantly, the availability to bat. It was chime time.
Some tight bowling early meant the Raiders were pretty well on top for the first quarter of our innings, but after over 9, the Raiders lack of personnel finally took its toll, and Rob and Kunal slowly accelerated, taking advantage of the gaps to turn 1s into 2s, and absolutely dispatch some balls to, and over, the boundary. After Rob’s retirement, Tex scored a quick fire 32, and despite losing a few late wickets, Kunal deservedly brought up the winning runs in the 33rd over, albeit falling 1 agonising run short of a maiden Gladdies 50. Rob gets the 3 player votes, finishing unbeaten on 53 for his maiden Gladdies 50.