Semi Finals – Day 1 (9 March)

Points Table

Standings after the final Round (Round 14) follows. The Semi Finalists have been highlighted:

  • A1 Grade – 4th
  • A2 – 1st
  • B1:
    • Blue (Rick) – 8th
    • Red (Gunny) – 1st
  • B2 – 4th
  • C1 – 6th
  • C2:
    • Blue (Fieds) – 1st
    • Red (Indranil) – 5th
  • C3 – 1st
  • D1 – 3rd
  • D2 – 6th

Semi Final Match Reports – Day 1

A Grade (4th) Vs Berowra (1st) 8/75 – there are some moments in life where you know that one day in the future, a Hollywood director will look at creating a movie of a certain event. Today was one of those days. I can picture it now, Daniel Craig will as star as Michael “Lichaaa” Richards, Morgan Freeman will star as Ashane “Assman” De Silva and Ian Thorpe will have a guest cameo as Jackson “Mhrrrrrrr” Preedy. Alas, we digress.

WPHCCCCC entered today RANK outsiders, but much like Jacomo in the 2008 Kentucky Derby, they created a miracle that even Ken Rudolph would have been proud of. YouTube it folks, one of the great celebrations of all time.

Berowra won the toss and elected to bat, an interesting decision considering that we so keen to bowl first. Josh “Yo-yo” Mathias was one who was very vocal in supporting the bowling cause. Nevertheless, Berowra celebrated their decision to bat, by continuing to practice fielding for the next 45 minutes. My goodness that annoys me.

Bailey “Andrew” Miedler and Tim “Buckets” Scholar opened us up and Bailey immediately struck, with Phil “George Pell” Wurth taking one of the catches of the summer. Phil, who only picked up the speed of the ball as it whistled past his oversized nose, plucked his hands up behind his body, juggled it a few times, then clutched on it as he rolled, and rolled, and rolled on the hallowed Berowra turf.

He continued to roll towards the boundary line as the team chased after him, going stacks on in scenes reminiscent of Shane Warne’s 700th wicket. At the bottom of the pack, Phil celebrated by squealing like a little girl. WPHCCCCCCC had drawn first blood, Berowra 1/8.

The home side consolidated briefly however the pressure was still applied with maximum force. Lichaaaa joined the attack early from the Library end of the ground and continued the momentum – he successfully picked up Steptoe for not many, caught behind to Maxim. Buckets had Morris from the other end and just like that, the arrogance of the home side was QUASHED.

But Berowra fought back – Brad “Andrew” Fiedler and Rayner consolidated as play headed towards the luncheon interval. But in the over before lunch, Lichaaa had his bunny, producing a corker to get an edge to third slip, Bailey taking a nice catch. 4 wickets before lunch, and Berowra were on the ropes.

A 40 minute lunch break ensured we had plenty of time for some yarns. Phil mentioned that he always had some players in his teams over the years which he just didn’t click with.

Back on the ground we went and a new Fiedler had strolled to the crease. It prompted Lichaaa to pose the question on how many Fiedler’s are actually out there. One of the life’s mysteries.

Buckets came back a man possessed, he picked up Rayner LBW and James Fiedler caught behind. Lichaaaa continued his spell and picked up Smallhorn from the other end. Buckets rounded off a great session for the underdogs by picking up Leighton with a magnificent diving caught and bowled. Preeds also dropped a sitter at mid off, his 16th dropped catch of the summer. Heading towards the tea break, the premiers were in desperate trouble, 8 down and in a world of pain.

The game took its next shift when the heavens opened and the rain began to Tim Scholar down. The heavy covers were applied under dark, grey clouds – and it prompted the umpires to call an early afternoon tea. Berowra warmly welcoming West Penno to their function room on the upper tier of the grandstand.

The rain persisted all afternoon and alas, we were not able to get back onto the field of play. The covers came off and on, but to no avail. Big shout-out to Jamakin for his expertise in directing the removal of the covers and keeping the troops in order.

The delay resulted in a few sleepy heads around the team, desperate for a coffee. Whilst most boys went for the caffeine hit, Captain JP asked for a decaf to be added to the order – unfortunately Phil changed this to a 3 shot flat white, perfect for a 5pm perk up.

Lichaaa, Cardigan, Bailey and Preeds are still laughing at the evident change in his behaviour. JP was jumping fences, hurling pegs, weaving through traffic on the way back to the club – he even stopped off at Campbell Park to watch his Dads team, but only stayed for about 2 balls – he couldn’t keep still, he was so up and about. Special cheeeio to JP who hasn’t been able to sleep last night. Note: JP has sworn revenge on Phil so stay tuned.

All in all, a great day of cricket for WPHCCCC. Buckets, Bailey and Lichaaaa did the job, bowling tight lines and lengths and keeping the pressure on from both ends. 4 wickets to Buck, 3 to Lichaaaa in a mammoth 18 over straight spell, and 1 to Bailey left Berowra 8/76 after day 1. The fielding was top notch as well, and after starting the day with little to no hope of knocking off the champions, WPHCCCC now has the opportunity to do what no team since wayyyy back in the 2017/18 season has done before – come from 4th to win the GF. Let’s all do our sun dance and hope the rain stays away this week.

Special mention to our bumper crowd that came to today’s game – the Bennett’s, the Preedy’s, Fisjam, Rick “Alex” Turner and no1 A Grade ticket holder, President Andrew “Rodney Jenkins” Miedler. Your support was invaluable.

A2 Grade 1/24 (1st) Vs Hornsby 97 (4th) – pleasant blazer conditions greeted Snumpty ‘Great Toss To Lose’ Smyth at Kenthurst, who called a great toss to lose, to see us bowl first. Some people blame his tossing technique, others his confidence to call, but most question why he should be given the right to call at all. Especially vegans.

Anyway, they batted. Bad choice. 1 fa became 7/53 pretty quickly. Tis ‘Creme Mullet’ Mistry and Gandis ‘Bao’ Herzog dominated stuff. They really did. Royally. Miranda Kerr style. Not Daniel, Miranda.

It was a heated battle. We have Pear ‘I’ll Defend Myself’ Partridge. We attacked. Tis took 3, and Blowy ‘Go Penno’ Blow took 3 poles apiece.

Gandis ‘Bao’ Herzog wrapped up a couple of nice lettuce wickets in some sang choi bao without the bao, to remind everyone of his small brown dogness. Then in came Cambo ‘Gav’s Haircut Partner’ McBrien, who took a vital wicket. It was good. Snumpty, with a stroke of captaincy brilliance, took the last wicket, to claim 1/0. They made 97.

After losing an early wicket, Volc ‘Greys Anatomy’ Banner and Pear saw us through to an early stumps. We are 1/24 chasing 98 to win. A great spot to be in. Like an extra pool cleaner in West Gosford.

Gee we hope A1 royally do Berowra. I’m the Miranda.

WPHC Red (Gunny & 1st) 4/101 Vs Normanhurst-Warrawee (4th) – we showed up at the Glade expecting the worse with the pitch due to the wet weather and it’s less than strong reputation as a wicket.

Hoping to bowl first in good bowling conditions, of course we lost the toss and were sent in to bat. Michael ‘slow’ Gunn (23) and Stanton ‘eyes shut’ Tam (13) set about a slow but steady opening partnership, with the team 2-33 at tea due to rain delays and an inconsistent pitch with a slow outfield.

Brent ‘whipped’ Larkham (34*) then set about putting away the bad balls and looking solid in defence apart from a couple of chances which went his way, with a little counter attacking cameo from Ray (12) saw us looking good towards the end of play.

KT (8*) then joined Brent to close out the day and see us to 4-101. While a slow run rate, only being 4 wickets down is the key as we look to bat on being the higher placed team. Was a good days play overall for us and thanks to Peter Johnston for being angry about the stumps and umpire John for being super keen to get back on while it was still raining.

B2 (3rd) Vs Glenorie (2nd) 5/181 – we arrived at our home away from home, Les Shore to take on the 2nd placed Glenorie. The day got off to a good start with Naps winning the toss and sending the opposition in to bat.

Dean Carlin and Prats Datar opened the bowling with great spells. Dean started with 5 maidens in a row before he got the first breakthrough. Dean backed it up by taking another wicket in his next over, dismissing the dangerous batsman for a duck.

At the first drinks break, the Opposition were 2/36. Eric Junkkari picked up a wicket shortly after drinks. The rain started and the constant drizzle set in. The ball soon turned to soap and this brought about a moment shift with the opposition starting to score more freely.

Another wicket fell just before Tea to see the Opposition at 4/120 at Tea.

The bowers all worked hard with a bowl that was doing nothing. A few dropped catches didn’t help our cause. Phil Hayes picked up an important wicket, knocking out middle stump.

The day finished with the opposition 5/181. A hard day in tough conditions. Next week we will look to take early wickets and get in to bat as soon as possible. With a solid batting line up we will look to chase down any total that is put in front of us!

C2 Blue (Fieds & 1st place) 6/197 Vs St Ives (4th) – cricket can be such a rewarding game when things go to plan.

And then there’s those days where it sucks like nothing else.Fortunately today was one of the former.

We won the toss and had no hesitation in batting (even though we had one opening batter who looked like he’d gone the distance in the Octagon with Brock Lesnar – actually it was just a work-accident) and another who hadn’t played since before Xmas & had to leave at 4:30pm. But why complicate things – just get out there & bat the day out, boys.

So Mick Barry (victim of Suplex City) and Dan Schwartzel (fresh from his golden duck Vs the Reds last week) got us off to a flying start, until disaster. Mick launched into an expansive cover drive that saw him yelping and hopping around on his crook knee. Exit Mick (ret hurt 13*) and enter Pratah to lend support to Dan.

Dan played a gem of an innings, full of controlled aggression as he knocked up his 3rd half century of the season. He departed shortly before tea for 53 and we were quite pleased with our effort at the halfway mark – 2/97 & well on the way to a big score.

Ollie Linschoten (returning from school cricket) and Feathers (keen to watch the Waratahs) continued the onslaught after tea. Feathers’ quick fire 25 was useful, but Ollie’s brilliant 50 saw us put St Ives pretty much out of the contest.

A final hour of scratching around by the lower middle order saw us reach 6/197 at the close. Fieds (10*) & Woz Schwartzel (11*) will resume against the new pill next week as we search to take our innings deep into day 2.

C3 (1st) 8/287 Vs Thornleigh (4th) – the day started the right way by winning the toss and having no hesitation to bat first.

It was a warm welcome back from injury to Ian Paterson, who along with Connor set about weathering some good new ball bowling before Connor fell to a good ball. This brought Xander to the crease and he and Patto went about their task of building a terrific platform for the team compiling a great partnership of 82 to really have the heads down among the Opposition.

Patto showed no loss of form from his time away from the game and after settling into his innings, proceeded to dispatch the bowlers around (and out of) the ground to complete a well made 53. Xander had supported him well, but fell to a slow half tracker (as a few others would do during the day), but not before contributing another good score with 24.

We then had a little heart fluttery session where we lost a couple of quick couple of wickets to see us 5/99 at tea.

From here though it was the Johnny Rose and Dylan (90210) Bish show!

90210 came out all guns blazing and took the attack the bowling, and Rosey followed, both using excellent concentration to pick the right balls to hit and playing brilliantly in finding gaps in the field to keep the scorers – who were enjoying their sodas in the Peach Pit -working hard. They continued to pile on the runs, Rosey reaching his 50 first with almost as many sixes as Kelly had boyfriends.

As their partnership grew beyond 100, like Brandon driving Dylan’s Porsche without permission, there was just no stopping them.

Rosey kept playing wonderful strokes off everything they could throw at him, a mix of sublime timing and all out aggression. 90210 brought up his 50, and still they continued to plunder the opposition attack to all parts of the ground and beyond, the bowling offering up more opportunities than a West Beverly Hills High School Prom night!

Throughout the day’s play we had several supporters come and wish us well – thank you all! (but still no sign of Brenda, which disappointed Buzz immensely)

After the 5pm break where the discussion turned to whether Donna and David were ever going to sort things out and get back together, we then re-focused on watching Rosey head towards three figures, but alas he fell a few short for a superb 93. A season defining knock just when it was needed!

The partnership between these two of 174 was not only our highest of the year, but also immensely invaluable as it batted the opposition out of the game and all but assured us of a Grand Final berth. Amazing application and yet another sign of the depth and determination this team, and in particular, these two players continue to display.

At stumps, 90210 was still continuing to build on what was described by the opposing captain as one of the best innings he has seen this season.

We will bat on next week and hope that the Luke Perry tribute match ends with us progressing to the Grand Final.

D1 (3rd) 138 Vs Kissing Point (2nd) – we won the toss and chose to bat to set a total.

The drizzle rain was more annoying than anything else. We lost a wicket straight up and then Papa Diggs and Connor Mayoh battled to see off their opening bowlers. The guys had done all the hard work and the first drinks break beckoned, however both fell either side of the break to have us 3/15 off 21.

Gautam Ayyar (30) was joined in the middle by last week’s star Roshan Withanage (20) and in 10 overs had brought the score to 49 with an array of shots. On that score, Roshan may have been a tad unlucky with an LBW looking to be sliding down leg. Steve Quanborough (37) joined Gautam and at tea we were 4 for 62.

After Tea, the guys moved the score to 90 and momentum was building until some loose bowling saw Gautam play shots and unfortunately got a top edge on one of them and was caught. Quan stayed around with Josh Elliott, Amith Ninan and Marcus Exton for some double figure partnerships until he gave catching practice to mid off.

We closed at 138 after 69 overs.

Thanks to Rob Hanich and Mitch Keetels who are playing week 2 but still had time to support the team. We have one if not the best attacks in the grade and while on paper our total seems a little under par we will throw everything at kissing point next week.

John Hayne Cup

C1 Grade

Game 1

WPHC 161 defeated Castle Hill 152 – in the first 20/20, we got off to a great start (161) with 4 batsman retiring 20no (Pavan Cherupalli, Waris Trehan, Richard Hughes, Asees Rajput) & Nandu Ramesh (18). In reply Castle Hill batted patiently needing 17 off the last over falling 9 short. Best of the bowlers were Pavan Cherupalli (2-18) & Raunak Sethi (1-7).

Game 2

WPHC 130 lost to Castle Hill 5/131 – in the 2nd 20/20 for the day, we batted slowly without a plan and so set a below par score of 130 with 27 extras, Rommel Pandey & Wortho retiring 20no were best with the bat.

In reply Castle Hill brought up the winning runs in the 18th over. Best with the ball, Richard Hughes 2-12, Nandu Ramesh 1-11, Pavan Cherupalli 1-13, Arjun Kumar 1-21.