01 Jan Australia Day Cricket Match 2014
The annual Australia Day Cricket match at Wedge was again a resounding success, with roll-uo form members and guests of all ages. We were again privileged to have John Rutherford visit Wedge and pad up for a game, having played in last year’s game. John is an ex Australian Test cricketer who played one test in 1956-57 and toured with Bradman. He now lives in Lancelin; his daughter is a doctor there and John loves Wedge.
The festivities at the Gun Club were well patronised, with innovative ways of transporting eskies and shade shelters to ensure responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages.
Free soft drinks and water was available for the kids, a continuous sausage sizzle provided sustenance and humorous commentary was broadcast over the PA system during the game.
Over forty players registered and most took to the field, nominally split into the two teams, Cops and Robbers. We played a modified T20 game of 30 overs each.
The ‘Cops’ won the toss and batted consistently to finish with a score of 209. There were some highlights by the fielding side but none more impressive than Lisa Wylie’s desperate attempt to save a boundary.
Drinks were taken immediately as Lisa tripped over a shade shelter peg, face planted into the Wedge turf and took a while before she composed herself to be helped back to the ‘drinks’ pavilion.
Drinks breaks were taken every 10 overs as well as the fielding side rotating players though the ‘drinks’ pavilions.
Chasing 210 to win, the ‘Robbers’ opened their innings with 83 yo John Rutherford (ex ’56-57’ Test cricketer) playing with a runner, Lisa, who had made a miraculous recovery. Scoring was steady, Alan pulled a calf and also need a runner, and then the middle order accelerated with 3 batsmen retiring.
The equation came down to the ‘Robbers’ requiring 67 runs off the last 10 overs. Tight bowling by the ‘Cops’ slowed the scoring and resulted in a rush of wickets which brought the retirees back to the crease. Todd also needed a runner, in fact two.
During the ‘final’ over the PA announced that 3 runs were required to win. Leftie Ben, with the advantage of the short pavilion boundary, despatched a ball for six to win the game.
But wait, the official scorer confirmed that in fact they were not the winning runs. Someone had miscalculated – the equation was 10 runs off 9 deliveries.
After urgent consultation between the captains and the umpires, the gentlemanly draw option was discarded and the teams took to the field again to play out the game.
The pressure got to Ben who had trouble getting bat on ball and was dismissed. Todd hit out and got the ‘Robbers’ over the line with a final boundary.
Tommo, who opened the batting for the ‘Robbers’ with John Rutherford, and provided commentary during the game was awarded ‘Man of the Match’.
An excellent game played in good spirit with a mix of kids, girls, teenagers and ‘oldies’.
(Note: John Rutherford is committed to play again next year and intends to get in some batting practice)