Mackay Masters – July 2019
Mackay Winter Tournament
We all eagerly awaited this 4 day Masters T20 comp in far north Queensland like we were once again in our cricketing prime years confident of success. The team from Cherrybrook, made up from majority of WPHCCC players that was going to take out the comp in style. As the weeks drew nearer, Tim “Carry-on bags” Worthington prepared his kit bag in anticipation but our team numbers were dwindling… we were down to the bare 11 and even lost our coach.
Wortho packed a few extra pairs of socks in his bag, and sanded and oiled his bat, knowing he would likely be required in all 5 games now. The day came to depart, Tim ironed his whites, tightened his spikes and arrived at the airport early to check his bags, neatly packing away the last few remaining items he would need for the weekend in his kit bag… Phil “70%” Wurth organised some last minute players under false plane ticket bookings, the team had been assembled and the trip began.
On arrival in Mackay there was no sign of Wortho’s kit… The baggage handlers may have required some gear for a game on the tarmac and decided to borrow it???, Philthy was still considered a prime suspect as the mastermind behind a prank however. There was no time to search the airport tho, Game 1 was due to start.
In the bus on the way to the ground our Captain inspired us to give only 70% and ensure we could get through the weekend uninjured. Phil “which hand is my helmet in” won the toss and batted against last year champs from Auckland NZ . Under lights at Harrup Park, our openers started slowly and then left Dan “bus crash” Costigan and Simon “put your shoes out” Skene to build a small partnership in the middle order.
Next Ani “I’ll just take a few balls to get my eye in” Kakulpati strolled to the crease and smashed the first ball he faced 20m over the long on fence. We scrambled to 105 and took the field to defend it. It wasn’t long before the first catch of the weekend went up… Steve “chest mark” Quan was in the goal square at long on…. The ball thundered into his chest and then hit the grass echoing around the grounds and he was not paid the mark. Rick “ballmagnet” Turner then strode to the bowling crease and his first 3 balls were, dropped catch at 1st slip, lbw, lbw.
Rick was warned not to exceed 70% and he duly followed skippers orders by opting not to take another wicket all weekend. We were defeated in the final over, but spirits were still high as we performed well against last year’s benchmark.
Day 2 Game 2 Sat 9am start v Castle Hill / Glenorie… this is where it all fell apart. With the warm QLD morning sun on our backs we waited at the bus hoping a full team would emerge from the hotel fit and ready to play, Julian “I love elevators” Raffel rounded out a full squad just in time to not miss the bus and we had made it through night 1 without a man down.
At the ground, Phil won the toss and bowled first on a highway… no bowler was safe. Costo was economical in Game 1 so was given the job against Hungerford to tempt him out early…. The first over went for 26. This record should have stood the test of time, but it was matched on 4 other occasions through the innings… Both opposition openers bought up 100s in the 15th over. Hungerford 153 off 60 balls. We were chasing 305 off 20 overs. Phil “which hand is my helmet in” Wurth was dismissed early and Jamaican and Cardigan started chasing down the monstrous score, the runs were flowing but the run rate was climbing also.
Jamaican went on to score a magnificent 124 not out, hitting the ball to all parts of the ground, but we were still well short of the total after 20 overs.
Game 3, after lunch we were on the main “tv game” ground against the 30 yr old Sri Lankan team (The eventual champs) Phil could not find a coin to toss and after failing to find one tried to trick the opposing captain into a game of chance that he would usually try to fool his kids with… why don’t you guess which hand my helmet is in (as he held it behind his back in both hands) the opposition skipper was very serious and not impressed with the suggestion… Phil went and found a coin disappointed. Bowling first we conceded 205 runs.
Rick “ballmagnet” Turner could not escape the fielding duties, no matter where he fielded the ball followed. Wortho attempted a optimistic but spectacular full stretch dive on the boundary to take a catch showing off to the local crowd in the TAB. In reply we could only manage 97 on a slowing pitch against the Sri Lankan spinners. Cardigan remained not out 46 but despite the crowd motivation did not have the energy to clear the fence on the last ball for a half century.
Game 4 under lights against the local Mackay team and fatigue had set in. A few pizzas for dinner gave us enough of a boost to hobble on to the field. This is where our captain showed true leadership skills, knowing we were tired he elected to bat first so that any sub-par score would mean a short evening in the field and we could conserve energy for our “grand final” in the morning. Jules “i love elevators” Raffel and Simon “put your shoes out” Skene put some handy runs on the board supported well in the middle order by Mal “seat 1A” Smith and some late runs by Cardigan and Quan.
We had 120 on the scoreboard. Steve “chestmark” Quan and Joel “shinboner spirit” opened the bowling full of confidence we could defend this under lights. Phil had other ideas however and strategically place “ballmagnet” on the deep mid wicket fence much to the protests of keeper and bowler… but Phil knew we needed an early night. As the opposition began getting their eye in and punishing bowlers a ball was baseball bat smashed straight to long off… there stood Joel “shinboner spirit” Taylor completely unsighted. As the ball thundered into his leg on the full an echo rang out around the entire complex much like the sound of the ball coming out of the middle of Jamaicans 20 yr old bat earlier that day on the same field. We collectively held our breath as anyone who saw or heard the impact expected to be calling an ambulance onto the pitch for a broken leg…. but he got up unbelievably, and threw the ball in saving 5 runs. We still don’t know how.
The Smith brothers Mal “seat 1A” and Wayne “hydration coach” had a bowl off for the best Smith… it is still disputed who won on final eco rate as Game 4 was wrapped up early in a flurry of boundaries and phil got his wish for an early finish.
Day 3 Game 5 v Pioneer Valley…. our Grand Final! It was a chilly morning and sore bodies were creaking, Joel had developed shin muscles. Batting first Ani and Jules made a great start and were supported late by Jamaican hitting out. 154 was on the board. A competitive score and we set out to defend it with any strength we had left, but there was not much left in the tank. Our opposition chased the total down with a few overs remaining.
With the cricket over for the weekend we focused on our first win for the weekend at the TAB. The Smith brothers provided the horse tip as owners of a runner in Hawkesbury, we all loaded up and cheered the house down as it ran home a clear winner and we celebrated loud and proud our first and final win for the weekend.
The last Day
Day 4, Monday morning we gingerly started making our way to the airport… Tim “carry-on bags” Worthington’s kit bag showed up at hotel reception just in time for him to put it on the bus and check back in at the airport. What a great weekend, awesome bunch of blokes and we all enjoyed the comradery and laughs vowing to do it all again.
As we all restock our supplies of panadol, Voltaren, anti-inflammatories and deep heat, there are thoughts to next year which still holds a promise for success. Wortho has his bag packed already.
Stats & Awards
MVP … J.Makin 180 runs at 60 and 3 wickets
Costo 150 runs at 50 and 4 wickets
P.Wurth 40 runs at 8 and 1 wicket
J.Raffel 45 runs at 15
R.Turner 45 runs at 15 and 2 wickets
Ani Kakulapati 80 runs at 20 and 3 wickets
S.Skene 60 runs at 30 and 2 wickets
Quan… Best Fieldsman Award
Joel… Toughest Man Award
Wortho… Neatest kit bag Award
Mal & Wayne.. Only real winners on the weekend courtesy of Picaro