4th Grade Report vs Northern Districts - Round 15
4th Grade finish the season in style
The last game of the season for 4th grade saw the return of Gordon's prodigal son, Iqbal Ahmed, to the captaincy position. Las had kindly relinquished the prized position to allow Inzie a final swansong for the season. For those who haven't been reading the tabloids this season, Iqbal lost the captaincy earlier this season after an unfortunate run in with a dressing room wall. Inzie was sidelined for 6 weeks and the wall copped an 8 week suspension. Las was heard to say that a huge weight had been lifted from his shoulders; one could only assume he was talking about Inzie.
Inzie is back at the helm and order is restored
With Inzie back in charge the warm-up session was full of life. A 45 metre jog followed by a stretching session which could only be described as an extra 10 minutes of sleep and the 4s were ready for the Rangers. Stuart 'Choppy' Slocombe was notably absent from the vigorous warm-up session. He was enjoying his standard pre-game ritual of a bacon and egg roll and intense meditation.
Our courageous skipper lost the toss and NDs elected to bat on a relatively flat wicket. The lads were thrilled with Inzie and let him know about it. It looked like it could be a long morning in the field for the Stags and this bleak outlook became bleaker when Choppy dropped the opener first ball of the match. Schweeens (Will Sweeny) bowled one of his text-book half-volley's which caught the edge and lobbed to Choppy. Some may say his hands were still a bit greasy from his pre-match roll. Fortunately it made no difference with Wilbur picking up the same batsmen 3 balls later, plumb LBW.
James Campbell, who had just arrived at the ground, bowled the second over. Inzie was prepared to let this late appearance from Jimmy slide, as he lives so far from the ground'two blocks on last count. Jimmy thought it was a two day game'a common error made by many grade cricketers.
Wilbur had another catch dropped off him next over. The poor Chop who couldn't escape the action floored a tough high-ball running backwards from first slip. Many thought it should have been Shane Lin's catch (keeper) and considering Choppy was able to get to the ball with plenty of time to spare, this humble scribe would tend to agree.
The offending breakfast roll - the Moth will work Choppy hard at Curly's this off season
Mr. Punctual, Jimmy Campbell, picked up the dangerous number 3 towards the end of his spell. This was a crucial wicket as the no. 3 was threatening to take the game away from the Stags. At this stage the game was quite even with the Rangers at 2/50. Enter Iqbal.
The skipper, who's only instructions before the game was to have fun, certainly led by example as he proceeded to rip apart a depleted NDs batting order. In a superb exhibition of leg-spin bowling Inzie returned the figures of 5/19 off his 10. Even Inzie's long hops were beating the batsmen. Let it be noted here that Choppy took two catches off Inzie's bowling at first slip. Inzie was heard to remark that the ball must have been wrapped in bacon'well it may have been before Choppy caught it but not after.
Inzy was amply supported by 'Scotty' Shenal Siriwardhene who bowled a tidy spell at the other end, claiming one scalp himself. Wilbur came on to clean up the tail. With his lethal half-volleys doing the trick, he was able to pick up two more wickets and end the innings. NDs were skittled for 105 and the Stags had the pleasure of enjoying an early lunch.
Mitch Kleem opened the batting with an unlikely partner in Jules Stephenson. Many though Jules would swing from the hip but his approach was in stark contrast to this. Jules attempted to play in the 'V' early and looked relatively solid. At the other end Mitch Kleem was being Mitch Kleem, swinging hard at the ball and chasing the two bonus points.
Julian hits one through the covers as opener
Jules fell first. A drive low to the cover fieldsman. Choppy and Mitch took complete control of the game and it seemed as though the 4s would stroll towards a 2 bonus point victory. Alas nothing seems to come easy in life and this was to prove the case. Mitch fell for 30 odd, Las was caught at slip, Shane was beaten by a well flighted full toss, Choppy was stumped chasing the 2 bonus points, Shenal was unluckily run out at the non-strikers end and Wilbur was clean bowled by a big turner. All of a sudden one bonus point had been forfeited and the 4s were 7/90.
So it was left to the hairiest No. 8 in grade cricket Richie 'Sticks' Kenner and the MOM Inzie (also fairly hairy) to hit the winning runs. The 4s got home in the end by 3 wickets. An unconvincing victory'but a victory nonetheless and a great way to end a marvelous second half of the season.
Finishing 8th on the table was a great improvement on last years performance and full credit must be given to the 4th grade stalwarts, mainly; Inzie, Las, Mitchie, and Choppy.
And so as the sun set over the Killara grandstand for another Saturday afternoon the 4th graders enjoyed some cold beverages and reminisced on times gone by. And if you happened to be driving past Killara on this particular afternoon you may of heard the voices of Falk, Cashman, Hokin, John Howard and of course the Kookaburra transcending the hallowed turf. There could only be one man'
Until next season, you stay classy Mitch Kleem.