Congratulations to Azaan Syed on making his Grade debut for RPCC in 5th grade.
Due to the overnight rain play only commenced at 11 AM.
RPCC won the toss and decided to bowl in humid conditions on a wicket that was a bit soft due to the early morning rain and it also had a bit of grass cover which could help the medium pacers. The outfield was lush green and looked like it would get faster as the day progressed.
The RPCC medium pace bowlers were advised to keep the ball up to the bat and make the batsmen to play at the ball. The current humid conditions and soft grassy deck will do the rest.
Opening bowlers Samarpreet Singh (1 for 38 off 10) and left armer Matthew Adam (1 for 34 off 7) started off the proceedings. Matt Struck in his 1st over with a beauty of a delivery that came back from outside off to take the opener’s middle stump. In Sam’s 2nd over caught the other Fairfield Liverpool opener plumb in front to a ball that swung in late. Fairfield Liverpool 2 for 2 in the 3rd over.
Left armer Freddy Whalebone (1 for 28 off 10) and Cotter Litchfield (1 for 34 off 10) bowled great lines in their first spell. Freddy struck in his 3rd over enticing the batman to drive for Cotter to hold onto a fine catch to right in 1st slip. Cotter then had Fairfield’s attacking number 3 batsman caught behind. Fairfield 4 for 45.
Leg spinner Atharv Ramakant (2 for 33 off 10) was brought into the attack and had the 2 Fairfield batsmen in all sorts trouble repeatedly beating them in the air with flight, turn and bounce of the wicket. Atharv’s efforts was rewarded with 2 wickets but should have had at least 3 more. Definitely the pick of the bowlers.
RPCC were right on top and looked all set to run through the lower middle order but under hot and humid conditions the Fairfield batsmen made the best of some uncharacteristic poor fielding, dropped catches and some loose bowling to score 64 runs in the last 10 overs. 2 good run outs at the end of the innings by Atharv and Matthew helped our fielding showed that our fielding could. Fairfield Liverpool 186 for 8 in 50 overs.
With the wicket a bit dryer and the ball coming onto the bat the RPCC top 5 batsmen were advised to play conservatively initially and rotate the strike. Partnerships would be the key and if we had wickets in the bank at the 35th over we could chase 80+ runs in the last 15 overs.
Unfortunately, the RPCC’s were put under pressure early with a RPCC losing opener Armann Sidhu (0) the first ball of the innings.
Youngsters Daman Brar (7) debutant Azaan Syed (70 not out) played the next few overs cautiously and then both began stroking the ball beautifully with flicks, cuts and drives. Unfortunately a loose shot from Daman in the 10th over trying to go over the top off midoff saw his demise when he seemed to be getting into full flow.
Cotter Litchfield (18) joined Azaan and the scoring rate picked up with both batsmen playing some cracking drives with Cotter being the dominant batsmen. Just when the Fairfield bowlers had no answer how to contain the run flow Cotter edged a short ball wide outside off which 9 times out of 10 would have been put away to the cover point boundary. RPCC 3 for 51 in 16 overs.
Next in Freddy Whalebone (21) after a very watchful start taking 13 balls to get off the mark opened up and played some beautiful pull and cut shots and brilliant running between wickets turning ;s into 2’s and 2’s int0 3’s in humid conditions. Freddy was unfortunately adjudged run out going for a 4th run. The partnership yield 49 runs. RPCC 100 for 4 in 27 overs.
Luke Takacs (54 not out) then joined Azaan and both played sensibly leaving the wide balls, punishing the balls pitched up or on the leg stump and turning over the strike with some brilliant running between wickets. Luke was in such a dominant mood and got to his 50 in under 60 balls and in the process got RPCC to victory in the 47th over.
It was a great team effort overall but an excellent batting display by all the top order batsmen. It was our home ground and we were not going to lose this game on our home turf.
Special mention for debutant Azaan Syed. His unbeaten 70 was filled with maturity and determination and it is really hard to think that it was only his first grade game.
It was fantastic singing the Team song in the open field.
Big thank you to Chairman of selectors Alan Wright who did everything possible to move this game to Kensington Oval when the Don Dawson was closed due to the ground being unfit for play.
Also, thank you also to all the parents who came to support the team and helped us to pack away the covers and chairs at the end of play. Also, to both Metro captains Jay Patel and Jeremy Jatzrab for all their support always helping out 5th Grade. Really appreciate all you do.