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4th Grade vs Eastern Suburbs - Round 6 - 2012/13

Iqbal AhmedThe old 4th grade batting collapse was alive and well at Snape on Saturday. For the first five rounds, the games had been played with a lack of exhilaration which customarily follows the loss of early wickets. The team, formerly the domain of ‘fence clearers’ had been moulded into a bunch of ‘nurdlers’ seemingly capable of prizing their wickets and crunching out victories, including a fine outright effort against Sydney Uni only 2 rounds prior. 

Iqbal Ahmed - flying in the face of the 'fence clearers' and 'nurdlers' in this shot 

Alas, the start of the one day season brought with it this exhilaration so lacking this season.

The anticipated return of Alex “Jack of all Trades” Jackson by Jack ‘BubbleHead’ Colley, was felt early, as banter began to flow following Wacko’s re-emergence from the basement of Greenwood. His return, following a night unable to control his liquor, suggests only that there are not enough club functions to improve his form in this department.

Special mention must also go to the removal of 2/3 of England from the team. It was a delight, and I thank the selectors. 

Captain Shayne “Rin” Lin lost a crucial toss and the Stags were forced onto a green deck offering assistance to the bowlers. An early flourish from the evergreen Mitch Kleem, was unable to be built on by the middle order as poor shot execution and patience crippled the top order, while the middle order capitulated in the space of 4 balls, with the wickets of Axel, Shayne and Jackson falling in a flash.

Michael PerryWitnessing this from the other end was Michael “Chilli Bin” Perry. Unusually for a New Zealander, he did not succumb in this difficult period, but dug in in these difficult circumstances to defy the Eastern Suburbs attack, bringing the score from a perilous 7-55 to a final score of 150. 

Mick Perry combines with "The Columbian Assassin" to give the bowlers a target to bowl at after the break 

During this time he was well supported by Iqbal ‘The Columbian Assassin “ Ahmed as well as Jack “Skilly” Skillbeck who showed his nous early as a nurdler, before developing his own array of shots, including a six over cover. Chilli was however the star of a meagre batting effort, dispatching the later change bowlers to all parts, including taking their leg spinner for 17 in one over. He showed how disappointing it was not to have wickets in hand to take further advantage of the bowling. He was the last wicket out, with a very well made 57 in trying circumstances. 

With only 150 on the board, and a lacklustre servo sandwich for lunch, we knew we needed to get off to a good start, and that eventuated with some tight dot ball bowling by the new ball pair of Stickland and Skilly, culminating in 2 wickets to Jack. Some fine fielding kept us in the game with Pic Sherman moving nicely to take a sharp catch in slips, and Colley able to keep his head in an upright position long enough to take another good catch at second slip. It was a much improved fielding performance, keeping the pressure on to a point where they needed 5 an over for the last 10.

However, a few loose deliveries, and fielders on the backfoot saw Easts scramble a win with 2 balls remaining. 

A disappointing finish to a long day.

We bowled incredibly well, with Perry, Skilbeck and Stickland bowling tight, but unfortunately as is the case when you lose 3 wickets in an over, we were never in front and were chasing the entire game.

A much improved batting effort is needed next week.

Chris Retallick


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